Persuading Executives to Support SharePoint and Office 365 Adoption

Persuading Executives to Support SharePoint and Office 365 Adoption

by: Asif Rehmani Monday, October 01, 2018

To ensure success in maximizing SharePoint and Office 365 usage, leverage the influential power of executives in your company. When leaders from every department play a role, the initiative becomes a priority to everyone.

Even though your company size and structure will determine the number of executives to add to your team of stakeholders, aim to recruit at least two executives from every department and assign specific roles to each player. Look beyond your IT department; mobilize efforts from heads of departments across the organization.

But, here is the challenge: executives can engage efforts and remain active long term only if they fully understand the benefits of using the platforms. You may find leaders with a strong penchant to innovation, palpable longing for the benefits yielded by the platforms, and readiness to dedicate at least 30 minutes per week to the adoption campaigns. But, if they don't see clearly how the platforms are going to help everyone in the company, their commitment may be minimal. You have to make effort in persuading them about the benefits and gain their full commitment to the initiative. It's the first step in getting them to champion the organizational change that is needed.

Different approaches may produce substantial persuasion outcomes but demonstrating the benefits of certain core capabilities of the applications native to the platforms has proven predominantly effective. Show them how the platforms will improve everyone's daily experience and productive output in the company. It's even better if you can quantify personal and business challenges as well as personal and business objectives. Numbers always tell a clear story.

Understand key personal and business challenges across your organization and create your persuasion campaigns around them. Invite department leads and run persuasion workshops. Create demos, gather case studies, and explain scenarios. And, remember to always put each feature in context so that everyone can see “when to use what”.

Start with the following capabilities:

  • Networking in Yammer;
  • Collaboration in Teams;
  • And document management in SharePoint.

To add to these most universally useful capabilities, demonstrate calendar features in Exchange Online, Business intelligence features in Power BI, communication features in Skype for Business, etc.

Illustrate networking in Yammer

For employees to be able to stay informed and initiate teamwork in an organization, everyone's skills, role, interests, and availability have to be known. An internal enterprise social network is indispensable in today digital workspaces.

Yammer seamlessly helps employees connect with each other and share mutually relevant information.

Create demos that show how easier and faster it is to share updates, crowdsource answers, discover skilled co-workers, and discuss ideas in Yammer.

Demonstrate collaboration in Teams

Working together requires a common workspace; Microsoft Teams provides a digital one for employees. The chat-based application makes it possible for people to collaborate on a project without having to be in the same room.

Share case studies and create demos that show how employees synergize efforts and get things done. Highlight how people are gathered into groups, how documents are shared, how tools are integrated, and how ideas are exchanged.

A special emphasis should be put on the way team members engage in discussions through text, audio, and video, all in real time.

Explain document management in SharePoint

Think of all the errors that can be avoided when working with documents. This is essential to any digital workplace.

SharePoint has many indispensable capabilities. It's simply much more beneficial to use a platform that allows everyone to access, coauthor, and share documents from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and other applications in the Office 365 suite.

Using illustrative examples, show how intranets give employees shared spaces where they can collaboratively work on documents while ensuring data security. Demonstrate steps in building and using workflows that automate business processes and guarantee compliance when working with sensitive data. Also, highlight how SharePoint helps companies avoid errors and enjoy peace of mind.

Overall, demonstrating these core capabilities is simply a starting point. Look at the challenges that your company faces on communication, productivity, collaboration, data security, etc. Use success stories, case studies, and demos to help executives see how other companies successfully solve those challenges.

To secure executive support to SharePoint and Office 365 adoption efforts, it's not enough to build your team of influencers, you have to gain their commitment. And, telling stories is a winning strategy.

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