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Helping Your Colleagues Break the Habit of Saving Files on Their Desktop

Helping Your Colleagues Break the Habit of Saving Files on Their Desktop

Asif Rehmani

 

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In your organization, youmay notice that some people still have the habit of saving work related files locally on their desktop computer even months after SharePoint and Office 365 have been deployed.

In every sizeable organization, you will always find a small group of personalities who tend to resist change for as long they can. And, humanly, breaking bad habits is super hard. Executive, Sites Collection administrators, or colleagues; it's up to you to help them get out of the old way of data management.

This approach consists of leading them through stages. Instead of taking them from their Desktop directly to SharePoint, help them move to OneDrive for Business first. Follow this sequence:

  • Find out where theysave files on their desktop computer;
  • Explain the risk associated with the habit;
  • Demonstrate the benefits breaking the habit;
  • And help them transition to OneDrive for Business before SharePoint.

Let's take a look at each step.

1.    Find out where they save files on their desktop computer

Pick a representative sample of people to observe. Observe their processes.

Sending an email and asking them about their processes may not expose you to enough information. It helps to see what they do rather than hear what they say. A short afternoon visit to their desk or sitting down with them may be enough to allow you to see some clues. In many cases, you may find that they even use third-party tools that are not authorized by the IT department. Ensure you understand how they work.

2.    Explain the risk associated with the habit

The risks associated with dumping work related files on a desktop computer are several. Two of them are very common and apply to almost everyone who works with digital documents: data loss and data theft.

Since their desktop hard drives may not be backed up, critical business files, including intellectual properties, are exposed to a variety of risky possibilities. A hard drive may fail or a computer may be stolen. Sometimes, an application update may go wrong and leads to data loss.

After the risks are well understood, the benefits still have to be highlighted.

3.    Demonstrate the benefits breaking the habit

When it comes to documents management in SharePoint and other Office 365 applications, the benefits are plenty: collaboration, search, security, and more.

You may highlight some of these most prominent.

  • Even after damage on their local machine or change of location, files will always be available and accessible on all devices.
  • Access to sensitive data can be well controlled and important files can be well secured.
  • Collaboration on documents can be enabled for different people in their team.
  • Using SharePoint and Office 365 for data management gives way to a multitude of options and solutions built for versatility, simplicity, and convenience.

You may add more benefits pertaining to their situation. With live demonstration, you can easily persuade to embark on the journey.

4.    Help them transition to OneDrive for Business before SharePoint

The reason why you need to start with OneDrive for Business is quite observable: easing in. The OneDrive for Business environment resembles folders interface on a desktop. Use it as a staging step to final destinations in SharePoint. It's an extra step but it helps to smooth the transition.

Also, one of the attractions to using local desktop is the sense of privacy that it provides. To these late-adopters, some work-related documents may feel like personal documents. It's easy to feel some kind of personal attachment to document you help create.

The steps may look as follow.

  • Help them create a personal space for their files within OneDrive for Business, a place where they can dump files with which they don't know what to do yet.
  • Help them sync OneDrive for Business to their Desktop. This will have files on their local desktop backed up.
  • Motivate them to slowly move files from OneDrive for Business to SharePoint. Get them to make sure they move a few files a day. It's easier to complete tasks in tiny steps.
  • And finally, remove alternative tools that they may be using currently. Tools such as DropBox and Google Drive are usually hard to abandon.

To help them quickly get familiar with OneDrive for Business and SharePoint, you may give them access to contextual self-help system such as VisualSP. Below is an example of a bite-sized, easy to consume video tutorial.

When you have people who are resisting to fully adopt SharePoint and Office 365, some special methods may help them join the rest of the team. This approach works for two reasons: it gets to the root of the habit and allows for gradual behavior change.

Understanding the way they work helps you address the reasons why they keep dumping documents on their desktop computer; a conversation about the many benefits of using the Microsoft platform helps motivate them; and the move through OneDrive for Business makes the journey a little effortless.

If you help them be consistent on the adoption to-do list, with time, they will start to break the bad habit. And with optimal training, they should be able to embrace SharePoint quite quickly.

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