Change and adoption shouldn’t be overlooked in your organisation – it requires a balance of preparing, equipping and supporting your people. If it’s not done well, it could have a significant impact on not only your technology investment but also how your people perform. In this blog, Business Change and Adoption Consultant Marilize Sage discusses how we’ve been using the Power Platform for change adoption with one of our clients.
It’s fair to say Microsoft 365 has changed the way we work. New tools call for new behaviours – and that goes for business change and adoption too. Having the right tools at the right time can make a massive difference in how supported your users and the overall organisation feel throughout the change adoption journey.
Business engagement is a major part of our role. Taking the example of our current project, where we are bringing around 26,000 users through change, we can take advantage of some unique opportunities.
- How do we create a communications campaign that feels personal to all employees?
- How can we work with the organisation to gather data pertinent to the project?
- How should we share knowledge and provide support?
- And how do we do all this across around 150 geographical locations?
For this project, our primary objective is to unite two very different businesses into one single organisation. One, an unregulated tech solutions company, and the other, a highly regulated financial institution. The vision is a united global financial markets infrastructure and data provider with a vital role in the global financial system. Read on to find out how we’re making it happen.
Managing communications with Power Platform for change and adoption
While there is a third-party managing communication for this project, they use the traditional generic Outlook mail-merge route, sending messages from a generic email address. Often, messages are badly structured with calls to action hidden amongst verbose text. This has resulted in lots of noise, leaving users feeling spammed and confused. Worst of all, it’s not resulting in the desired actions, and overall, is negatively impacting our change and adoption efforts.
To combat this, we take control of messaging whenever we can by:
- Using Power Automate to target specific users with Teams chat messages – a more personal and immediate way of communicating with your people where they work, prompting immediate response and action.
- Using PowerApps and Power Automate together to allow managers to communicate with their team members at the click of a button. According to research by Procsi, messages from direct supervisors are shown to be the most effective at engaging with users. You can make it easy and ensure consistency with auto-generated templates.
- Using Power Apps to create a manager dashboard so they can keep track of their team’s compliance in real time and take the necessary action.
Preparing for business change and adoption
The nature of our project requires the gathering of pertinent information from users. Specifically, who they are in the business and what they need to continue working after the change is implemented.
To achieve this, we created a questionnaire and application catalogue (fed by data in Azure DevOps) using Power Apps in Teams. This provides actionable data in the Teams Dataverse that drives scheduling and application discovery, as well as delivering powerful and insightful data in Power BI.
The app is presented through a Teams channel pinned as a tab next to all the information the user needs to traverse the three-step process. It represents step one of the process and underpins our whole project.
Communication and knowledge sharing
As part of our knowledge sharing step, we created user guides and training, as well as publishing frequently asked questions (FAQs). We used a solution that comprises a SharePoint list to host FAQ content, with a Power Apps overlay that allows users to search by category and keyword.
This model has proven so effective that we’ve shared this application with other areas of the business not related to our project. The best thing about it is how easy it is to implement – we can hand over the app file and list format so the organisation can manage the app and apply customisation such as branding and category options as needed.
In addition, we took the FAQ database and created a bot in Teams that allows users to type questions into Teams chat and receive information from our FAQ list. This provides flexibility in how and where a user might seek support.
Providing change adoption support
While automation is great, there is nothing better than engaging directly with people. In the first half of our Microsoft 365 migration project, we set up clinics in the form of all-day meetings running in Teams so that users could drop in for support as needed. Based on demand, we extended these sessions to accommodate more time zones. It was intense with long hours but the result was a measurable impact on the successful implementation of the change. All in a day’s work.
Now, during the second half of the project – a laptop refresh – we are hosting live chats on Teams to help users get past step one of the change process. The feedback has been great.
Making it possible to work from anywhere
Microsoft 365 functionality makes it possible to work effectively and efficiently in any time zone. For example, scheduled messaging is made possible in Power Automate, making sure that messages sent out of hours aren’t missed. And with Power Apps, the tools they need are on-demand and easy to use.
We can take the tools we’ve developed using Power Platform in this change and adoption project and replicate them to meet your requirements, not to mention what else is available in our wider service offering. Our business change and adoption team has a wide-ranging skill set that enables tactical deployment of a whole range of technical solutions. It’s challenging but effective – and we have the feedback to prove it.