Wherever I go, Microsoft Office 365 seems to be on its way of becoming the primary foundation to empower business productivity. Coupled with the suite of tools that offer new levels of flexibility and autonomy, business and IT teams experience three key challenges:

  1. An increased need to convey the WHY and HOW for the new ways of working to drive user adoption.
  2. An active role for managers and power users to encourage self-learning, experimenting and a “we help each other” attitude.
  3. The joint responsibility of business and IT to enable user adoption, functional training and continuous improvement.

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”

Confucius

One thing for sure: the old paradigms of functional training and work order based software roll-out fall incredibly short in the context of Office 365. Hands-on involvement and experience are paramount to the success of implementing this impactful and ever evolving suite.

It’s like a big pile of Lego™ – in a really really good way

From years of interaction with users, I’ve learned that the Lego™ analogy works the best. You can be incredibly creative with all the building blocks. If you want to build something specific together, though, you need a clear understanding of what you’re working on. To say “let’s build a castle” isn’t enough in most cases. You need to be clear in what kind of castle you’re trying to build if you don’t get stuck in endless experimenting and iteration.

Storyline Workshops® empower well-informed decisions.

The approach is a mix of gamification, structured discovery, design thinking and business process design. One key objective of the workshops is to find the balance between automation & empowerment:

Hypotheses: You’ve got the right people and skills on board. It’s now a case of finding the right place and scope for digital tools to empower people to apply their skills effectively.

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Phase 1: Diving into Office 365 with Gamification

Like with Lego™, the easiest way to experience how the blocks work, how they can be combined, and how flexible they are is to “play with them” – quite literally. In my workshops, I use two main approaches to gamification:

  • Role-play
  • Simulation

Role-play and simulation both create a scenario, which will be the setting for the use of Office 365. Depending on the group, it can be artificial (role-play) or close to the actual business process (simulation).

Phase 2: Applying the tool knowledge to the business challenge

This step is a little more structured and happens in a four-step-sequence. Sometimes the “pilot” step can happen in a gamified “try to break the prototype” fashion – that’s fun and often delivers a better insight than simple testing:

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