Change management is about communication first

Silverside thirsty of good stories about change management put into practice never stops. This time, we interviewed Sander Verheuvel, Product Specialist and Business Analyst at Gunco BV. Sander is involved in many change management projects that regard the implementation of a digital platform, the migration to Office 365 and the re-branding of his company. How can he deal with so many change management projects? “Communication first” is his motto.

Q: Can you tell us something more about Gunco?
A: We are a Rotterdam based company, even though we also have some other branches in the Netherlands. We rent and sell lifts, other equipment and machines for companies, but we also offer lease solutions, we repair the equipment and also organize some training. Our strong point is that we deliver very quickly. If a customer gives us a call in the late afternoon, we can still deliver the machine the next morning. The competition is very high in this market and we are aware of it. Being quick in the logistics is our strength to deal with the low prices and discounts that other companies offer instead. Gunco is also part of a bigger Belgian company, TVH that acquired us in 2011.

Q: So, you do many things at Gunco and the quick delivery is your added value. Since you have been acquired, how do you deal with being a local company, acquired by a global company?
A: Well, it’s almost eight years now we are part of TVH, together with many other companies in Europe. That’s why every company was working with their own system and computer programs to do accounting, invoicing, and other operations… So they have started a project to have only one digital platform for every company so that every operation is aligned and the method is the same for all the companies in TVH. And this is why I got involved in change management.

Q: All right… So, user adoption and change management are for many companies “hot topics” nowadays…Do you agree?
A: Yes, totally…

Q: Despite this, we are lacking a bit of insight from the real world. So we started asking ourselves: ”How are these topics applied in the daily practice of organizations?“. We really need insights from real professionals in their daily working practice. And that’s why we are here today.
A: Yes, sometimes theories are good, but then in real life, it is totally different.

Q: Indeed. So how was the impact of change management on you?
A: Regarding the project of the digital platform for me was ok, I adopted very quickly because I was part of the project, involved since the beginning. But it’s a totally different story if we talk about other colleagues that just heard about the project….

Q: So, how was your strategy to deal with change management for this project?
A: First make everyone aware of what will happen with the new platform, what is the project about, what will change for them… In two words, communication and awareness.

Q: All right, so since when you started your change management strategy, how have been things going?
A: Well, as you also know, some people adopt change more rapidly and are more open-minded, other people are different and more difficult to onboard. For us, this category involves technical people and drivers for example, because they leave the company very early in the morning and come back at five in the afternoon or later. So they miss a lot of information and things going on. So I am now focused on this target to making them aware of the upcoming changes.

Q: So, the first step of your strategy is communication, especially with those targets that can be more reluctant to change, right?
A: Yes, informing everybody and communicate the change.

Q: And how are you going to deal with reluctance?
A: So, for now, we didn’t have big cases of reluctance, but in the near future we will encounter this barrier. For now, as I said, the main action is communication and involve everyone in the change project. Also because the digital platform is not the only change that will happen soon. We will also change our name and brand in November and we will move to the cloud with Office 365. And there are more change management projects. So the colleagues have to be prepared for all these little and big changes.

Q: And which channels or methods are you using now to inform people in your organization about all these changes and projects?
A: Via newsletter and emails, but we also attach informative panels to the wall or next to coffee break areas, so that everybody can read and stay updated. Also with meetings of course.

Q: Which barriers and difficulties do you expect will happen with all these change management projects going on?
A: Difficult question… we are expecting difficulties for users in working with Office 365 and the changes in the way of collaborating for example and the same can be said for the digital platform project… But then time is also another barrier. People have to deal with all these changes besides their normal job, tasks and deadlines… so time is a challenge. Another challenge is that we have several branches in different locations, so also making sure that the same information arrives at every branch and are understood correctly, is not easy.

Q: And regarding the Office 365 project, how do you make sure that communication around this project works for every branch?
A: We have selected some Office 365 ambassadors for every branch. They will work closely together from the start of the project and their role is to communicate with their colleagues about the Office 365 project, but also to train and inspire them.

Q: And how did you select these ambassadors?
A: Well, we picked up those guys that have more interest in ICT, are more enthusiastic about Office 365 and have the qualities to spread the information throughout their branch. I personally travelled a lot through the branches, so I also know a lot of colleagues. I knew who to pick for this project.

Q: Ok, so this is the strategy you are implementing right now: communication and ambassadors. But what is your vision about change management?
A: I think it is tough to find the right time for creating and implementing the strategy. So, managing time is essential and also the main challenge. Moreover, change management is about balancing constantly between pushing (because you know you have a deadline) and not pushing too hard (otherwise you can lose the attention and enthusiasm of people). Change management is a daily practice, you really have to do it every day, it’s not just a project of three months and then it’s finished. Once you get started with it, you really have to continue because it is a continuous process.

Q: Based on your experience, which will be your main suggestion to other professionals that are starting out a change management project?
A: I think that communication should be a priority and also involve the colleagues from the very beginning. Keep people informed about the steps of the change process and also which are the impacts of those changes for employees.
Change management is a hard process full of challenges: reluctance to change, people behaviour, lack of time, communication issues. However, small and big companies have to deal with it.

Sander Verhuevel’s strategy is focused on communication first. This is also what our PACE methodology suggests to do from the very beginning of the process. But communication is just the beginning.

Silverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Prepare, Activate, Capitalise, Enhance and can help organizations to manage change in the method of working and in technologies. Download our whitepaper or register for our PACE workshop to know how we can help you to implement a successful change management strategy!

Task management in Office 365: Use To-Do

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Surviving in nowadays’ modern work environment and digital workspace where technology, collaboration and productivity are higher than ever, is not an easy task. Technology enables us to be more productive at work, doing more things in less time. Tools and apps facilitate us to manage our daily work and collaboration reached a new era, with smart tools that allow people to work together remotely from everywhere in the world.  Well, I am also part of this working environment, exposed to all this technology and fast way of doing things, managing tasks, collaborating and much more. Sometimes I wonder: During my working day, which is the most difficult thing to do? The answer for me was: managing all the things that I have to do, simultaneously. In one word? TASKS.

Personal tasks

As I said before, technology comes to help when we are talking about planning and managing tasks for various projects. I am not just talking about your Outlook calendar, but something more than that. As almost all of you, readers, know, Microsoft Ignite 2018 took place in September and many announcements have been done. The protagonist of this conference was doubtless Microsoft Teams and all its new integrations with other apps. Following the on-demand sessions remotely, my interest was caught by a session of about thirty minutes
presented Simon Chan, senior program manager, about how to manage my personal tasks across Microsoft Office 365. 

And actually, this section answered my main concern: How can Office 365 help me manage all my daily tasks across different plans and projects?

Microsoft task ecosystem is complex. There is a multitude of tools for general purposes, tasks, work, project management that we can use in Microsoft Teams, Project Online, Planner, Outlook, OneNote, To-Do. And the possibilities are almost infinite. But this session focused specifically on managing your personal and individual tasks using the Office 365 app To-Do.

To-Do, your personal task manager

To-Do is basically your personal task manager that helps you manage your tasks every day across different platforms. Since today, in order to keep track of all these tasks happening everywhere, you needed to manually add them inside of To-Do. However, the vision of Microsoft is to put the user at the centre of the task management process, with control on all the tasks he is assigned to or has to accomplish.

Microsoft vision To-DoSo the plan is to capture all the tasks and requests across all the different apps and organize them in one single place: To-Do. Thanks to this, your productivity flow will highly benefit. But Microsoft is just at the beginning of the process to build this vision.

New Features in To-Do:

  • My Day: it is a daily to-do list that teaches you to focus and achieve your most important tasks every single day. Moreover, “suggestions” tasks completed in To-Dogives you an overview of everything you had to do, but haven’t done yet. It helps you to be really intentional about the tasks you want to achieve that day. And this tool really works. Microsoft, thanks to a research, found out that actually 75% of tasks within My day are completed.
  • Intune: Microsoft enabled support for Intune in To-Do. Intune is a cloud-based service in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) space that helps to distribute applications while keeping your corporate data protected. It’s quite surprising that the company’s task management application was not supported by this platform but now that this support will soon arrive, it will make it significantly easier for Intune customers to deploy the app.
  • List sharing: an easy way to collaborate on your listed tasks. A way to manage tasks in really small groups. You can share a list of tasks by creating a link and share it with the app you use the most (like Microsoft Teams). People who will receive the link are invited to join your list on To-Do. You can decide when to stop sharing your lists whenever you want.
  • Steps: You can use steps to add more structured details to your tasks. But what you can also do with steps is to add subtasks where you can break down larger tasks into smaller and more achievable steps.
  • Importance: A more permanent way to Dark mode in To-Domark some tasks with high priority. But it is also a simple way to prioritize across lists. And it stands out visually, grouping all high priority tasks in one simple overview.
  • Dark mode: It is available right now and you can have your To-Do app with a dark background. Everything has been studied properly in order to make visually attractive all your lists, tasks, priorities and highlights, despite the dark background.

 

To-Do new integrations across Microsoft Office 365

  • Outlook tasks integrationOutlook integration in To-Do is available now: when you add a task inside of To-Do it appears also in your Outlook tasks. Everything sinks one to one. This integration is really helpful for everybody who establishes workflow between their email and Outlook tasks. Now they can just add those tasks on the phone in their To-Do app.
  • Outlook Web Email Integration: your To-Do lists are integrated into your Outlook Web Email, so you can easily drag and drop tasks from your emails in your To-Do lists. This integration will also help you manage your inbox better and reduce the number of emails in your inbox while keeping track of all the tasks you are required to do. Moreover, you can manage your tasks while checking your emails without switching between different apps. Coming in late 2018.
  • Outlook Calendar Integration: with To-Do integrate into your Calendar, based on your lists of tasks and priorities, you can easily manage your calendar and block some time to focus and accomplish high priority tasks, without living your Calendar. Coming in late 2018.
  • Flagged emails: The way flagged emails work is very simple, but it is also an incredibly powerful tool. When you receive an email that requires you to take some actions, simply click the flag, go to the To-Do button on your Outlook, and you will find that flagged email directly on your To-Do list. Flagged emails work across all Outlook clients. Coming in late 2018.

Planner integration in To-Do

  • Planner and To-Do: Planner is the place to go for all your team work management. In Planner it happens that you are assigned a lot of tasks. And to see all your tasks within Planner, you have a window called “My tasks”. However, what if you want to see in one place your Planner tasks, together with all your other tasks (like from your Outlook or other apps)? The answer to this is the integration of Planner in To-Do. This integration will be rolled out in spring 2019.

 

With these new features and integrations, Microsoft makes To-Do a more usable and flexible task management app. It seems that To-Do will become THE hub for task management, while Microsoft Teams is the hub for collaboration. If you want to know about the new features of Microsoft Teams announced during Microsoft Ignite 2018, read the blog Microsoft Ignite 2018: Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork.

The untold story about change management

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Silverside is working with change management and user adoption for more than a decade. From our experience, many organizations are struggling with these processes when a new technology is being introduced in the company. The risk of a badly managed change and user adoption strategy is high without the right expertise and methodology. Despite the fact that many organizations have problems and face difficulties, it is not so common to have customers or affiliates that are open to talking about their struggles and realities when things do not go in the right direction.

But telling the truth, with awareness, is the first step to change. That’s why Silverside presents this anonymous Q&A done with one of our customers. This can be an example and source of inspiration for another company that identifies in this specific organization. Mark, the IT manager, shared with our marketing team the real, untold story about how change management is being underestimated and unexploited by his company, causing many troubles in their process of change towards Office 365.

 

untold story-change management

 

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself?
A: So, I am an IT manager for a company in the Netherlands, working there for close to 5 years now.

Q: During your working experience as IT manager, when did you first encounter change management or user adoption?
A: Apparently you are supposed to know about change management from the technical point of view, but not really. Mostly it depends on your vision and gut feelings, but also on the management vision about it. They take decisions, so they have to be on board first. Change management is something that does not really incorporate revenue. We try as IT, but it is pretty much unrealistic. The main problem is that when projects around change management are running, the people at the head of the management always think they invented the wheel, but actually, there’s no strategy at all.

Q: Which kind of projects are running now involving change management in your company?
A: Yes, so for now what we have is a migration to Office 365. I am involved in this project more on the communication side, I am an intermediate. But also my role is to help and advise the technicians involved in the potential risks or issues we could encounter. This project is not the only one, we have many other projects running now and more will start soon. So we have the feeling that we are only doing projects and nothing related to the real business.

Q: This issue is related to time, right? Do you feel that time is one of the main barriers also to change management?
A: Yes, because besides your real job and official role in the company, you are also involved in different projects… and that’s why important things like change management are underestimated and left behind. And this is really bad, above all when the top level management does not understand the importance of having and implementing a good change management strategy. And when this happens in a company, that’s really frustrating.

Q: Oh yes, I totally understand it… So, what is your vision on change management?
A: From my point of view, business-wise, any change management project should be welcome. But unfortunately, this is not the vision of this company and there is no way I can make the top management understand this. I have tried several times, but it has always been a NO.

Q: And do you have any idea of the reason why the top management do not understand the importance of change management and refuses to take it into account?
A: I really think there is no specific reason, they just don’t get it, or don’t want to get it. Let’s say it is lack of knowledge, competence, and commitment. So, the thing is that if the directions do not come from the Board of Directors, it’s like moving mountains, it is useless. One person alone cannot go on with a change management strategy, it is going nowhere if there is no involvement of a team and a good strategy that engages everyone in the company, from the employees to the top managers. I am just being frank.

Q: So, from your words, I can understand that the barriers to change management are time, the lack of knowledge and capacity to understand the importance of the topic of the top management and Board of Directors, but also the lack of a proper change management strategy, right?
A: Yes… this is why many projects fail also, due to these reasons… and things have to change first on a corporate level, and only then the whole company can be involved in large-scale projects, like moving to Office 365, for an example. But if the top managers do not embed a proper change management strategy and user adoption strategy in the project, then how can you pretend that from the next day after we moved there won’t be problems all around the company? The negative consequences on users and business will be huge…

Q: So, you are also saying that a change in the culture of the whole company and corporate decisions are needed?
A: Definitely, if we want to go on with the business, be competitive and have success these days. From the management perspective, IT is just about tools, laptops, software and solve technical problems. But this is not correct. IT is about the tools, but also about the users, how to use the tools, how users can work with the tools, and thus change management and user adoption.

Q: And from your practical experience in the field, which kind of difficulties have you encountered in a change management process?
A: Yes, two words: corporate decisions. The point is not whether or not to move to Office 365, the point is the way we are going to do so. Just saying that we are moving and everything’s going to be more beautiful, faster and easier… it’s not true! It can be, but not from the day after the migration, it takes time and effort. And to be successful you need more than a technical migration. You need a strategy, a plan, you need to inform everybody, you need to communicate what will change for users, you need to train them, offer support and so on… and it doesn’t take a week, there are so many things to consider…

Q: In your opinion, what do you need to implement a good change management strategy when it comes to IT?
A: Well a good strategy for sure, but also support and training for end-users. We should also not forget about the competences and knowledge of the management level, that’s also essential. You also need the right people to implement the strategy in all its aspects. I don’t have the magic formula for change management with Office 365 or whatever technology, but I certainly know how NOT to run a change management strategy or migration…

Q: At the light of what you experienced in these years, which kind of suggestions would you give to managers and professionals that are approaching change management projects in their companies?
A: In general, I think that every company should be aware of the knowledge and capabilities that are onboard and if you use them, you are going to move forward. But if you are not using the expertise and knowledge of your employees, people are going to lose interest and slowly you are going to ruin the company. Great ideas, expertise, business cases from past experiences, everything can help if managers consider and listen to their employees as useful resources. That’s why communication is so important.

Q: Well, this was a very interesting story, basically it tells what other companies are not willing to tell the world. But I am sure many organizations will identify with the story of your company and your position in particular. Change management is such a complex and challenging topic for organizations and the struggles are multiple and real. Being aware of the limits, issues and wasted opportunities is the first step to try to do better and going in the right direction.
A: Yes, this is the untold story about change management in real life. Not in every company change management is brilliant and successfully implemented. On the contrary, the story of my company represents one of many other companies in the same situation that need to do something concrete about it. Change management is a great concept, and if applied properly, it can help the organization concretely by saving time, money and reach a positive rate of user adoption. But as I said before, you need the right expertise, knowledge, capacities, strategy, planning, and communication, if you really want to make it a success.

Mark told Silverside the story of how his company is not dealing with change management, with all the wasted opportunities and issues that this behavior is causing. Lack of expertise and knowledge in management, lack of a proper strategy and unused employees’ knowledge and potentialities, are causing serious problems for Mark’s company. The negative impacts regard the business, but also the relationship between employees and the management level.
If you identify with Mark’s story, if you felt familiar with what he told us, or if, while reading the Q&A you thought “this is so true”, then most probably you are struggling with change management, but you also see the potential for your company.

Silverside can help organizations in the process of change and with our PACE methodology, we can offer the right strategy and expertise to reach a positive rate of user adoption with the new tools, while ensuring a successful change process.

running a project whitepaper

Come to our workshop or download our whitepaper to discover how Silverside helps organizations with change management and user adoption!

 

Microsoft Ignite 2018: Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork

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Microsoft Ignite 2018 returned to Orlando this year for another news-packed week. The company’s largest event for IT and enterprise developers saw its doors open to more than 26,000 people from 100 different countries.

Microsoft Igite 2018

During the event, many announcements about Microsoft and Office 365 apps have been done. In this blog, we have summarized the main announcements and new features regarding Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork. During the session “What’s new in Microsoft TEAMS the hub for teamwork” held by Angela Donohue Group Product Marketing Manager and Marc Pottier Group Manager, the newest features and main future directions of Microsoft Teams have been presented.

A changing modern workplace

As a matter of facts, nowadays we are living in a changing modern place. We are becoming more “social” at work and we use more and more mobile apps. Indeed, according to Microsoft,  45% of employees and workers use social tools at work. Diversity is another keyword to describe the current work environment, since 5 generations are working together in the workforce. Companies are global and there are no boundaries for the businesses. As a consequence, the trend or remote workers is expected to increase, reaching a peak in 2020, when  72% of workers will be remotely. At work, we are more team based and collaborative, since 80% of employee time is spent collaborating. In response to these changing modern trends, Microsoft Teams is evolving to offer companies and organizations all around the world the perfect solution to work in a smarter and more collaborative way in the modern work environment.

changing modern workpalce

 

Teams is the fastest growing business app in Microsoft history

During Microsoft Ignite 2017 Microsoft presented highlights like Guest Access for External Users, Command Box, Cloud Recording, Direct Routing, Inline Message translation and these were just few examples…. And always in 2017, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams will become the single client eventually replacing Skype for Business. Now, Microsoft Teams is ready to become Microsoft primary business communication platform!

Microsoft Teams

Skype for Business Online features have been delivered in Microsoft Teams. New customers should just jump straight to Teams and for existing customers there are resources available to help with planning upgrades for Microsoft Teams. Customers that have not yet tried out Teams can access a free version of Microsoft Teams to try an introductory experience. The free version of Microsoft Teams is now available worldwide in 40 languages and includes unlimited chat messages and search, built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups and teams.

Be more productive with powerful new tools for meetings

At Microsoft Ignite, Smarter Meetings with Microsoft Teams has definitely been the focus of many sessions. Microsoft Teams, with the new features and functionalities, will help employees and team workers to stay productive and connected throughout the meeting lifecycle.

  • Scheduling meeting in Teams: There are many ways to schedule meetings in Teams. For example, using Outlook, you can now invite people outside your organization to join your teams meeting, only remember to add them as guests before the meeting starts. But now you can also schedule a meeting directly in the context of a thread. The advantage is that if you are working in your team and discussing around an issue with your team member, you can directly reply to him with a meeting or video call.
  • Background blur: Now, all Teams customers can remove distractions and focus your video on what matters most. Indeed, it is already available the functionality to blur your screen background during a meeting, so only you are visible (and not your messy living room if you are attending the meeting from home).
  • Meeting recording: Meetings are no longer just a point in time experience. With meeting recording in Teams, you or other invitees who missed the meeting can playback recorded audio, video and content at any time. Pull up a transcript, powered by Microsoft Stream, and search for keywords so you can optimize your time while getting caught up. And it is also indexed, so if you want to search for a particular topic, you can type the topic you want to hear about and Teams will display the moments when, during the meeting, that specific topic had been addressed. Same thing if you are only interested in one person’s speech in particular. You will just jump right to that point. This is very useful if you only missed one part of the meeting or if you are interested only in that part. You don’t need to listen to the entire meeting anymore.
  • Meeting notes: You can type in notes as you are in the meeting, you will see what the notes are and they get posted back into the channel instantly after the meeting is over.
  • Power point sharing: Share your content and open up a presentation during a meeting online. Join this meeting with the presentation simultaneously with your phone. And participants can even navigate through the slides privately, read ahead or look back to review something they missed.

 

remote team work

 

Collaborate as a(n) (international) team

  • Instant translation: Everybody in Microsoft Teams can communicate in their own language, and Microsoft Teams will automatically translate the text for you. Everybody can communicate in the language they are more familiar, no matter where you are in the world. How handy is this functionality, especially if you are involved in an international project? If your Chinese colleague writes a message in your team in Chinese, you don’t have to take Chinese classes to read and understand it! Teams will do the job for you! We are enthusiast about this feature, but we also wonder how accurate the translations will be…With Microsoft Teams collaboration is pushed to the limit! Our principle whitepaper Collaborate as a Team can give you more insights on how to boost collaboration in your organization using Office 365.

Finding expertise

  • Who: In Teams there is the functionality that allows you to know what people are talking about in chats. In the search bar loaded up with capabilities, there is also Who. You can ask the question “Who knows about CRM?” Who will look at all the messages and chats that you have and he will retrieve a set of people that know about that particular topic more than others? In this way, you can quickly and easily find the right person with the right expertise you are looking for. Finding the right person who can answer your question in an easy way can save you much time. For a deeper approach on how to profile expertise and find the right people with Office 365 tools, check Silverside whitepaper Profiling Expertise.

Empower workers in all roles and across industries

Microsoft is extending the power of Teams with new experiences that are tailored to industry-specific and role-based workflows. There are more than 2.5 billion first-line workers worldwide – including factory workers, store clerks, and electricians, among other roles. Why should they be excluded by the benefits of Microsoft Teams for their productivity?

WhatsApp Business

 

  • Home is a new mobile experience that allows first-line workers to see at a glance the most important and relevant info for their day. With Home, first-line workers can clock in and out of shifts/breaks, receive important notes for the day or shift, find out who is working during the shift and save time by easily reviewing information and schedule.
  • Shifts enables first-line managers to plan schedules in an employee self-service and integrated experience. They can create, update and distribute schedules for teams as well as broadcast open and unfilled shifts so that other employees can cover them. Finally, they can review and accept time off requests and swap shifts – all from mobile. For first-line employees, they can swap/offer shifts and request time off, right from their phones.

Teams for the entire organization

  • Introducing SharePoint & Teams Integration: SharePoint is being integrated even closer with Microsoft Teams. This means you will be able to see all the file use and customer use you have created in SharePoint in a surface in Teams. This will help you blend all your business practices in Teams. This will provide a consistent developer and user experience, regardless of whether your code is hosted in the cloud or within an organization via SharePoint.
  • Live events: You can create a new meeting and name it a “live event” and add some people. This will be a live event of one person or more people to many and it will scale up to 10.000 participants. So for example, if you are hosting a webinar you can do that in Teams. You can define who is the producer, who are the presenters and you can choose who you can present to (a specific group of people or it could be public), you can decide if the video afterwards will be recorded, available on demand and so on.
  • Replicate your best Team’s experience with Templates: Found a team setup that works best for a type of project or work style? You, as an admin, soon will be able to easily create new teams based on best practices and lessons learned by leveraging a new REST endpoint as part of the Microsoft Graph API. With Team Templates, you’ll be able to pre-define a team’s channels, apps, and tabs that can help you easily create consistent teams across your organization. You can also define team settings and auto-favorite channels, allowing your team owners to focus on collaborations rather than spending time setting up the team.  All other users, for now, can create a team based on an existing one, without having to start from zero. However, only admins will be able to create proper teams templates.

7 things that will help you running successful projects

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What does all modern knowledge workers have in common? Projects.
The amount of existing research about projects and project management is huge in the academic world. However, even though these studies are useful guidelines, contributing to expanding the knowledge of managers and project managers, sometimes research is far away from real life and daily practice.

 

Indeed, many studies exist on project failure, detecting and analyzing the causes of failure for projects in organizations. Among the common reasons for failure there are:

• Poor planningprojects failure
• Poor experience and knowledge of the Project manager
• No monitoring
• Not respecting initial objectives
• Losing control of the team
• Poor communication and collaboration
• Poorly defined requirements
• No risk management plan
• Unrealistic project estimates

What studies do not always address is how to avoid these failures while running a project in the complex context of real business life.
Thanks to Silverside experience with project management, it has been possible to list the seven things project team members and project managers can do to improve the chances of success of your projects.

 

1. Plan

Firstly, you should define the desired outcomes and results of the project, with strict time planning. Another important task in this phase is to assign the right human and financial resources, together with the necessary tools and rules. Finally, find the right project members and equip them with the right tools.

 

2. Methodology

Decide upfront the methodology you will use on your project. What project phases will the project proceed through? What will be the key go/no-go decision points? What are the expected project outputs for each phase? Think of a structured methodology.

 

3. Communicate

Analyse the key stakeholders and communicate with them throughout the project. Your stakeholders can make or break your project. A proper communication plan is needed to communicate in the best way with all your stakeholders, from team members to sponsors, managers or external stakeholders.

 

4. Collaborate

Using the right tools and strategies to collaborate with the project team members and stakeholders is a fundamental task. Too many times the collaboration strategy is underestimated and this impacts negatively on the end results of the project. Office 365 offers many apps to improve project management and collaboration within the teams, like Microsoft Teams and Planner. In this way, you can draw up a project schedule that clearly allocates project tasks to team members and collaborates simultaneously on the same platform and digital workspace in a smarter way.

 

project collaboration

 

5. Monitor

Get your sponsor and key stakeholders together to track the milestones of your project and your achievements on a regular basis. How will you know if your project has succeeded? What are the key indicators of success? Which tools and norms are you going to is? How to correct the process if needed?

 

6. Risk management

Unforeseen events are always happening, you cannot think about and foreseen everything. It’s real life, real work and chaos happen. Do not let an unforeseen event sink your project. Find out what risks can threaten your project and build a risk strategy into your project plan. You will face issues and problems only if you have the answers and strategies to overcome them. Don’t forget to keep track of these and communicate their impact and consequences, while adjusting the planning.

 

7. Learn from mistakes

Use your monitoring reports to evaluate success and failure. Once the project finishes, use these reports to learn for the future, you can always improve your practice. But do not only use statics and diagrams as reports. Ask toy team members and stakeholders how they felt about the project and the collaboration. Was the project a success from their perspective? How did the project impact them personally? From this, you will discover what went well and what did not go so well. Apply these lessons to your next project.

 

running a project whitepaper

Successful projects do not just happen. They require structured planning, the right tools, insightful management, and good interpersonal skills.
Silverside principle whitepaper running a project explores the state of running team projects today, looks at the research on running team projects and casts our vision for improving this important aspect of organizational life. In this way, we offer guidance to project managers and project teams members. With our research and practical suggestions, running a project will be an easier and more successful task.

How to get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 investment?

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Your IT manager suggested migrating to Microsoft Office 365, as it has been addressed as the best option now for your company. You trust him, you trust the IT team. So you did the migration, bought the licenses and now all employees are in. The investment was huge, and it’s time to get the most out of it. But how do you know whether and how your employees are going to use and exploit the possibilities that Office 365 can offer them in terms of productivity, collaboration and smart working?
By helping your end-users understand how those capabilities can improve their team collaboration and simplify their day-to-day tasks, you can make some positive changes for your company, starting to act for your return on investment.

 

Return on investment

 

 

1. Use Targeted Communications

To change the behavior of your end-user community and make them adopt the new technology, a communication strategy is essential. First of all, you have to create awareness and information about what is going on and what this changes will mean for end users.
You need to customize the message to their job role and specify how the new features can help them to be more productive, meaning do more in less time. So, focus on your audience and their needs. The critical question is “What’s in it for me? “ In other words, highlight the benefits for them.

2. Media mix

To implement your communication strategy, you can use several channels.
Printed material such as posters, flyers, brochures, and reference cards. They can be put up in common areas such as break rooms, printer bays, and bathrooms. Communicate your message and boost discussions, questions, dialogues.
Live events such as webinars, workshops, lunch and training. These are a great way for IT to engage with end users, learn about how the tool works, and discover many opportunities to solve real business problems with Office 365.
Audiovisual material. Videos broadcasted in your collaboration platform, internal organizational channels, WhatsApp groups, social media, intranet, corporate emails and newsletter.

media mix

3. Word of mouth

The good old way of communicating always works. People like to talk with people about what is happening in the organization. Everyone is involved in the word of mouth process to communicate the changes and marketing the new technology. Executives and managers are not excluded. They also have to tell their direct reports to peers telling peers. You can harness the power of peers telling peers by creating a champions program.

4. Champions program

Identify people in your company who see the value of Office 365 through personal experience and are willing to mentor their peers. They will be your ambassadors, promoting the use of the tools to their colleagues and inspiring them to follow their example.

5. Technical support for new users

The IT Helpdesk staff should be trained in what Office 365 can do, as well as how to support users facing problems and difficulties. Moreover, the IT help desk can identify a business productivity problem that Office 365 can solve in ways the end user is not aware, or discover common issues experienced by users that need more training.

6. Learning opportunities

Whether it is e-learning sessions, workshops, live or virtual training, the most important thing is to help users familiarize and experiment with Office 365. Learning how it works, the concrete possibilities and actions they can do in the daily work explained by experts is fundamental to avoid the barriers that can stop new users to adapt to the new tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

7. Keep track and monitor the progress

To do so, Microsoft provides many tools, such as Microsoft 365 usage analytics within Power BI. Thanks to this tool, you can gain insights on how your organization is adopting the various services within Office 365 to communicate and collaborate. You can visualize and analyze Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights within your organization and gain insights into how specific regions or departments are utilizing Office 365.

 

These seven points represent some tips and general ideas on how to proceed when a new technology, like Office 365, is being introduced in your company. However, to ensure a positive rate of user adoption and a successful change management strategy that will pay back your investment, a more structured user adoption strategy and change management methodology are needed.

Pace methodology SilversideSilverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Plan, Acquire, Change, Enhance. Managing the organizational changes in the method of working and in technologies is just easier for managers, consultants and end users. Firstly, be aware of the organizational culture of your company and plan a complete and predictive change management strategy in all the aspects. Secondly, acquire the new collaborative business vision and the technologies necessary to implement the strategy. A user adoption strategy is fundamental at this stage to instill change at every level in the organization. Lastly, optimize the value gained by adjusting the strategy, address key challenges and align with the required business outcomes.

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"Towards an enhanced learning experience"

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Jan van Vledder

                                     

     “Experience is one of the most valuable things we can offer.”

                                                              Jan van Vledder

 

 

User adoption, change management and training are very complex topics. To become real experts, a long-term experience is needed for professionals. You cannot learn in books how to deal with these topics, nor someone can just tell you the magic formula. How do user adoption trainers and change managers face these issues in the real life? To answer this question, we interviewed Jan van Vledder, a training consultant with over 25 years of experience in training, change management, and user adoption fields.

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself, background, position?

A: Well… I started working a long time ago at the Philips Research Laboratory during which period I studied for a Bachelor degree in physics. But after five years of working there, I wanted to do something else. I wanted to work in telecommunications. After a few years in Philips Telecommunications, I was offered the opportunity to work in product sales training and I became their sales training manager. I started organizing trainings, creating content in collaboration with the product managers and a more structured training curriculum. In 2003 I started my own company to provide training services and training consultancy. My first client was a satellite communications company, where I was asked to support them with the introduction of their new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) application, Axapta. So, I started to design workshops and work instructions to help users with the new software, especially for finance, sales, legal and marketing staff and I created a simple but effective communication campaign. So, that’s where I started working with change management and user adoption. From that experience, my career in change management and user adoption developed. Later, after joining SES and working as a process manager, I was made responsible for change management specifically. When IBM Connections was introduced in the company, I soon was an enthusiastic user and created a comprehensive wiki, resulting in an integrated digital learning environment on SAP CRM and related business processes.

My motto is: “Towards an enhanced learning experience”. I have always used this quote because I want to provide people with a good learning experience.

Q: Oh, that’s impressive, you are always developing and building up new skills and experiences in different fields.
A: Yes, and what I appreciate so much is that through the years I have learned a lot, always new skills. I can say I am an example of life-long learning. Also during the last years with SES, I had the opportunity to learn and use new tools. It’s not that I reached the retirement age and didn’t want to experiment new things anymore. No, the contrary for me. And now, for example, I am experimenting with Office 365, to see how I can use that platform for user training. I really like my job and I’m still full of energy.

Q: So, in your career, you managed to design and build training for the user adoption of SAP CRM and Axapta. So, from your experience, what do you think is needed to reach a positive rate of user adoption?
A: Erm…in general, it’s all about software: a new program, software, a platform. To get people to feel confident about it, you have not only to teach them how it works but also, and most importantly, they have to start appreciating it. You need to communicate with them what it means for them, what are the benefits for them and then give real concrete examples. And you need a step by step approach, not everything in one session, otherwise, it is useless. Also, you have to focus on the most important things and functionalities that will be used in the company, not on every possibility offered by the software. And speaking the users’ language is very important, fundamental.

Q: So, in the end, will you say that technology is about people first?
A: Definitely yes, technology is about people first. Most people are not experts in technology, they only need to work with it, and do their job with the new technology. Speaking their language, so that they can understand the technology is very important, but also doing a lot of training because they have to understand and learn how to use it. So, from my experience training is about making it as easy as possible for the users. Also, you should make somebody responsible for this adoption process who is a real expert on the topic.

Q: So in your opinion is also about finding the right people, the real experts, to give the training and hold workshops, using the right language and attitude according to the audience?

A: Oh yes, yes. And you have to do everything you can to make it easy for people to learn. Then in small steps, they will learn and appreciate the tool, instead of just saying: “here it is, the new tool, from tomorrow you have to use it”. You have to really hold their hands and accompany them in the adoption process.

Q: So, if you have to summarize your user adoption strategy, your formula would be…?
A: Erm…with respect to user training, a media mix I would say, so not just workshops, videos, e-learning or written materials, but a combination of these methods. Everything that is needed to help people and give them the support they need, so they don’t feel alone in the process. Also, the contents of all training materials must be valuable and consistent and also look good visually. People should recognize that a lot of effort has been put into all material to make it as easy as possible for them. Therefore, I like to use the phrase “towards an enhanced learning experience”.

Q: We also read a nice quote you stated in your LinkedIn profile “where technology meets people”, can you elaborate on that?
A: Yes, technology and people are often a clash, since you are forced to work with something new that, you’re not familiar with, but still, you need to use it. Technology develops also fast and people cannot go along with it in many cases. To help people to work with a new technology, you need experts who understand the technology, but also are able to explain the functionality in normal language to the users.

Q: And according to your experience, which are the main difficulties that users have during the process of user adoption of a new technology?
A: Erm…So first there is reluctance like if it is a new tool, it cannot be good. I heard so many times “if it’s SAP it cannot be good”. So people believe the new application is not good for them or not useful, or too complex. The other difficulty is those people that have a problem with change. I remember a colleague that often said “I hate change”, but she managed to become a superuser because she discovered and learned to appreciate functionalities that really helped her in her job. Of course, there is this well-known technology adaption curve, but these are two examples of difficulties I had to deal with.

From Jan’s experience, a successful formula for reaching a positive rate of user adoption of a new technology always starts with learning. The users’ learning experience has a great impact on the results of the adoption process. That’s why consultants and trainers should follow Jan’s motto “towards an enhanced learning experience”. Consequently, they have to work hard to offer users the best learning experience using different tools and methods. In the end, the success of a user adoption strategy depends highly on the efforts, passion, and experience that consultants and trainers have to offer.

4 reasons why IT is a challenging environment

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We are working in a business environemnt  where every day we see how employees encounter different issues related to the way of  working,  communciating, collaborating,  but also about tools and technologies. Since the business world is becoming more and more demanding, people have more work to do and less time, so employees have to do more in the same amount of time. This is why technology can help us by offering possibilities to be more productive at work. If on one hand technology supports and helps employees and businesses, on the other hand it is tricky and can cause many issues to the users.

Indeed, hardly a day is passing by without at least one novelty in IT environment is released. As a consequence, technology in our working environment is changing very fast: new products, new features and updates are being presented every day. In Silverside working practice we see some main challenges that companies have, but have to overcome.

What are the biggest challenges in this dynamic IT world?

1. Workload

If you think about your work day and all the activities and tasks you have completed… so many things need to be done in a short period of time.

workloadTime is precious, so we have to use it in the right way. Hence, managing your time in a productive way, is critical. This is why people are looking for better options and solutions that can allow them to be more efficient. If you are working with your colleagues, which tool is the best for communicating and collaborating? No matter if you are working alone or in a team, time is always precious and work efficiency is always a priority.

Technology provides all kinds of possibilities: tasks are automated, it is easier for employees to reach their goals in faster ways and it is now possible what some decades ago was impossible. In this context, competition in the market is higher than ever. Moreover, customers all around the world are more and more demanding, pretending high quality products and services, the right support from suppliers and fast responses when they have all kinds of issues. The result? The need for employees to reach maximum productivity in order to keep up with the workload they are assigned to do.

2. Globalization

We are living in a global economy. This means that companies expand all around the globe, opening new branches in different countries and continents, in order to enlarge the profits of the global market. In other words, business doesn’t have any boundaries anymore. This has a great impact on the way of collaborating and working.

Globalization

Nowadays, people can be in the different places and still work together: remote team work is a habit and being part of the same project team together with people from Japan and Canada is now the norm. How can this be possible? Thanks to technology. Hence, it is not possible to imagine working without smart technologies for business communication. If you have a meeting, do you always need to be physically in the same room with your colleague? In this age, the answer is definitely NO. However, the question arises on HOW to do that in a productive way with the right technologies? Which apps and which functionalities to use to have the most effective online meetings and conferences?

3. Fast Changes

The only constant is change.

fast changes

We are facing the challenge of finding that perfect balance between keeping up with change and not changing for its own sake. Change is inevitable, and change is good, but  change must be consistent with corporate objectives and and bring some positive results.

The impact of technology on constant changes is huge, because new tools, apps, new features, and updates are being released on a daily basis. Technology is changing so rapidly for organizations and the ability to adopt new technologies is becoming a vital mechanism. Hence, managers all over the world make many efforts in searching for the best technologies to help employees work better and smarter because nowadays the technologies give us many opportunities on how to improve our work.
However, changing the technologies means changes in the way we work, so people need to adapt and develop new skills.

4. User adoption

When we talk about business technologies the big problem arises when in reality only a few people will actually use these new tools. Why they do so? Because people don’t like changes, they like to behave in the same old ‘’natural’’ way. As a consequence, making change work for your business is the challenge. One of the biggest challenges that technologies bring to business is user adoption: getting employees trained on new tools of working and encourage them to use new tools on a daily basis.
However, at first, employees are stressed about new technologies coming into their workplace. They are worried about how disruptive it will be for them. Usually, they are worried and raising questions like: Will I understand the new tools? Will I be able to use and work with them? When employees are told that new technologies are coming into their workspace, they get stressed and feel under pressure. And so, the fear about how the change will affect their job causes reluctance to use the tool.

 

user adoption

 

One of the biggest mistakes that companies do when they implement the new technology, is thinking that the date when that technology is introduced, correspond to the starting date of its usage. Because it is not! The real struggle is not the switch from one software to another, but the task to make people adopt it.

 

Here I listed four business challenges that I believe have the biggest impact on our daily work. It is not difficult to imagine that in such a condition it is really challenging for us to keep up with this pace and the struggle with personal and group productivity, collaboration,  adoption of new tools and new ways of working is real. Hence, Silverside invites you to participate in our free workshop ‘Office 365 training: 5 min per day to increase user adoption‘, together explore the challenges that the dynamic IT world brings for the end user and find out about possible ways how to overcome these struggles.

The importance of Corporate Email Signature

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Your email signature is as important as any other part of your corporate identity. Using a badly designed, not consistent email signature has a huge negative impact on a client or a prospect since it results in poor professionalism.

Having instead a consistent, simple, clean signature with the corporate logo that reflects the identity of the company is the right approach to increase the positive perception of the company in the eyes of customers and prospects, while providing an instant brand recognition of the organization. That’s why a corporate email signature is fundamental for every company. Indeed, an email signature is like handing a person a business card every time you send an email. When people say: “the first impression is the one that counts the most” is really true, also if we are talking about corporate electronic communications. In the end, why should you risk your professional image by not instituting a company-wide email signature?

 

email signature

 

To sum up, an email signature has four main areas of interest:

  • Legitimacy

Conveying a cohesive and consistent image of your company throughout every email of every employee means that your business is well established and trustworthy.

  • Branding

How to brand every message you send? Through a signature. It establishes and reinforces who you are as a company, enforcing your brand awareness among your customers and prospects.

  • Email marketing

Entrepreneurs and marketing professionals commonly use email marketing for business promotion. But what is the point of email marketing if your corporate email is not attractive? If the logo is not present in the email? If it is not recognizable or doesn’t have the link to the company website?

  • Digital Business Card

This signature is your digital business card, meaning it is a way to connect with customers, leads or potential new clients. Moreover, including the contact details and important links (like your website or social media) is a way to facilitate the communication and connection with your audience.

email signature

 

Dedicated software can be used to design and manage signatures. By managing email branding, you can easily refresh email signatures across your entire organization, as well as regulate them. If you still don’t have an email signature, Crossware can help you.

crossware

Crossware is an international leader in company email signature management. Crossware’s flagship product, Crossware Mail Signature, gives users complete control over their company email signatures. They can easily design an attractive and professional email signature and ensure that these are included on every email leaving their company, even those sent from mobile devices.

Start your 30 days free trial now!

Microsoft Teams external communication

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Since Microsoft Teams has been introduced two years ago, the product has evolved in a reasonable way. Yet, there are still some difficulties to overcome with Microsoft Teams. There are many questions that need to be answered prior moving to Microsoft Teams when coming from Skype for Business.

Let’s say you are working for an international organization and you didn’t implement Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams yet, but the company needs a communication client to communicate with employees all around the world. Currently some departments within the organization are using different communication clients with potential employees, or are communicating with external clients with different tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

Microsoft Teams seems to be THE tool, right? Possibly, I would say.

Depending on the requirements for your internal business it can be a problem. When you want to communicate with external parties, are you going to ask every external person to install Microsoft Teams? Even when it is not an External Client? I don’t believe so!

Currently, many organizations are using the Skype consumer client for external communication. Why? Because people are used to use Skype consumer everywhere around the world for communicating with potential new employees or external clients. And people are using it to communicate with friends and family around the world. It is easy to install, it is a lightweight product and it works on everything: from a simple tablet to phones and notebooks. It doesn’t consume a lot of bandwidth and it doesn’t need a lot of resources to operate smoothly. Next to that, it has persistent chat which stays available.

Are you going to ask a single person to install Microsoft Teams for just a one-hour call, and the hazzle that comes with it? Since not every person is handy with computers and software, you need to guide them with them. With Skype for Business you can communicate with Skype consumer, but it lacks many options that come with Microsoft Teams. Also, Microsoft decided that we need to move to Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business will be deprecated.

But there is also an issue with Skype consumer version. You cannot use it in a very strict environment with Proxies. Skype consumer doesn’t like Proxies, and yes, in version 7 you can still use it, but in version 8 it isn’t possible to set a Proxy. And when you have configured a Proxy there is still no guarantee it will work. Skype for Business

So, let’s go back to Microsoft Teams. You would think that Microsoft Teams will support external communication with Skype consumer, since Skype for Business has it? Well, no! After investigating I found out that Microsoft rejected the implementation of integration with the Skype consumer version. The only part that Microsoft will introduce is the PSTN calling from Microsoft Teams to Skype Consumer, but not the ability to chat or send files.

Microsoft is limiting organizations to use Microsoft Teams with no possibility to communicate with external parties that don’t use this app. But nothing to say about the future, Microsoft is still learning from its own mistakes.

Yet there are no decent solutions for organizations who rely on communication with external parties when you are moving to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. MS Teams is nice for internal communication and organizations who are using Microsoft Teams.

Source:
https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16958347-skype-integration-consumer-federation

 

Join Sasja Beerendonk at Office 365 and SharePoint Connect 2018

This year, Office 365 & SharePoint Connect conference comes to Haarlem, Netherlands. Here the best independent experts from around the world and Microsoft will meet to talk about the possibilities Microsoft offers to innovate the IT and Business sectors and how companies and professionals should deal with it.
Attendees can learn how to move forward with expert speakers who will share their experience, knowledge, and best practices, plus real-world project insights with you.
Moreover, there is also the chance to hear about the latest novelties coming from Microsoft Ignite USA, who will take place in September. This will also include all the latest Ignite releases and updates as Microsoft defines its directions.

The conference format is designed with many personalized sessions, based on the attendees’ interests and levels of knowledge.
Office 365 and SharePoint Connect are once again delighted to work with various user group leaders from SP&C NL, DIWUG, Office 365 NL, and Collab365.

 

Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

 

Among all the expert speakers of the sessions, we are proud to announce that also our Senior Consultant Sasja Beerendonk will hold the workshop “Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

Silverside

Resistance to change is what you’ll get without a proper change strategy for your collaboration platform. Unlike IT people, business users are not necessarily thrilled about new technology, features and functionalities.
Introducing a collaboration platform in an organization, does not mean that people will adapt to the changes and adopt the new way of working, using that platform.

Most employees will need to be motivated differently to actively use the new tools. What are the reasons employees do not simply embrace new technology? And most importantly: How can we bend resistance to change? Learn what makes change for technology so difficult and how to motivate your employees by joining Sasja!

 

Silverside

Remote Team Work: How to communicate efficiently in the digital age?

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Nowadays, working in a team remotely is almost a state of mind. More and more companies have different project teams with members located in different parts of the world or teams and departments dislocated all around the globe.

Harvard Business Review reports that, according to recent studies from Gallup and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of Americans work from home, while nearly 50% are involved with remote or virtual teamwork.

 

remote work

 

In the past, the collaboration and communication between these remote teams meant thousands of emails and phone calls. But the impossibility to physically meet and have conversations and discussions negatively impacted the productivity.

Online and virtual meetings revolutionized completely the collaboration and productivity for teams that have to work together remotely. Tools like Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams opened up a completely new world for remote team working (read the blog Online team collaboration with Microsoft Teams to have an example of how to collaborate online using Microsoft Teams). Through an internet connection, basic digital skills and the right tools, it’s now possible to have brainstorming, knowledge meetings, collaborate around projects, solve problems and much more, boosting in this way team productivity. Even though remote team working is now a habit for the majority of companies, people who work on remote teams still face many challenges that require new collaboration skills to be faced.

 

Lack of body language

When working and collaborating remotely, body language is completely missing. This can create misunderstandings, confusion, misinterpretations and other communication issues that cost a lot in terms of social interaction, productivity, and efficiency.

 

Distances

There are three kinds of distance in remote collaboration: physical (place and time), operational (team size and skill levels) affinity (values, trust, and interdependence). Virtual and online meetings reduce physical distances but do not compensate for the differences in skill levels and values among team members.

 

The solution

The solution to these two main challenges cannot come from the technologies used. To perform at the highest levels, remote teams have to find new and better ways to operate, communicate and collaborate.

 

remote team work

 

1. Clarity and consistency

To avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, it is fundamental that members in the team establish and respect rules and norms on how to communicate and collaborate. Some examples can be a set of acronyms, expected response time, rules on how to use communication platforms like Microsoft Teams.

 

2. Limit the digital volume

Even though communicating in a platform like Microsoft Teams will significantly reduce the amount of emails team members will receive, this does not mean that you can send hundreds of messages in a team chat. Discussions have always to have an aim and a purpose and having a team conversation full of confused messages and attachments is not going to help the productivity of the team. Try to send one message with the information you want to communicate (only the most important one). In the end, you are not whatsapping your friends, even though the platform is similar.

 

3. Always respect the social rules of interaction

You are communicating remotely through digital devices and online meetings. You are not having physical and face to face conversations with your team members, but they still remain human beings, with feelings and different personalities. Don’t forget to respect the normal norms of social interactions: thank you, good morning, have a nice day, and expressions like these are always welcome also in chats and online conversations.

 

4. Strengthen relationships within your team members

Your team is composed by people with who you are working and communicating on a daily basis. Conversations should not only be about work. Creating occasions for celebrations and socializing can strengthen relationships and lay the foundation for future collaboration. Find ways to shorten the affinity distance. Congratulate for a birthday, create personalized memes, share funny content, tell something personal, ask for advices and so on are also part of a remote team life!

 

As mentioned before, the challenges of digital interactions and remote team working cannot be solved by the technology teams use. Miscommunication is always a high risk, but by understanding the new rules of engagement and building the right communication skills among the team members, can help remote teams to work more efficiently, facing the challenges that our digitally-driven age brings.

Download our whitepaper Collaborate as a team in Office 365 to learn how to foster your team collaboration using Office 365 tools.