Having access to a technology is not enough, the users and the company should see some benefits from it in order to achieve some value out of this investment. This is something that is often forgotten when we work with SharePoint or Office 365 – the wonderful new feature that was just released might not be useful to your employees at all, and trying to force it on them will make things rather worse than better. Additionally, just because a new functionality could be used for a lot of purposes doesn’t mean that your users will actually do so – they may not know how to use it, they may have a preference for a familiar, older technology, or they may not even know what the new functionality can do for them. This is where adoption comes in.

“At Microsoft, we want you to make the most of your investment in Office 365 and planning is key to achieving this.”

The statement above is taken directly from Microsoft’s brand new Office 365 Adoption Guide which they quietly released this week. While the guide feels a little bit like marketing material for Microsoft’s FastTrack, it is still full of good content that you can leverage. The purpose of this document is to guide you along the way to make the rollout of Office 365 in your organization a success.

Microsoft divides their adoption guide into three different phases:

Phase 1: Envision Identify key stakeholders, assemble your team, identify and prioritize Business Scenarios, and collaborate with key stakeholders to create a Success Plan for the adoption of Office 365 in your organization. Phase 2: Onboard Execute your Success Plan to onboard your organization to the technology, and help your people work in a new way. Start with an early adoption program and then expand to cover your whole organization. Phase 3: Drive Value Realize ongoing value from your Office 365 investment by continuing to boost user engagement and drive adoption. Manage and prepare for change by measuring and sharing the success of Office 365, while understanding where to iterate for future improvements

Obviously, this is based on and influenced by their FastTrack experiences:



I recommend that you review the adoption guide even if you’re not planning to use FastTrack – the content inside will surely help you to plan how you can tackle Office 365 adoption. Additionally, the Productivity Library provides a nice range of examples on how Office 365 can be used in various industries and scenarios. Another resource to review if you want to hold a discussion with business stakeholders on the potential benefits they may see.


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