I have been chasing the perfect Digital Workplace for years. One that intuitively adopts to the users need and magically presents information before they knew they needed it. Unfortunately it has been quite a challenge to build these types of workplaces. And it´s been even harder to get the users to change their work behavior to ”fit” the intended use of the digital workplace. When Office 365 came around Microsoft proudly announced that they had figured out what the perfect digital workplace should look like. Turns out, it requires 23 different tools (and counting) that´s also constantly changing…

After quite a lot of technical innovation Microsoft Office 365 is actually starting to reach a maturity level that slowly is getting close to what I have been chasing. While waiting I have gotten a bit worn-out with the technology and have started to focus more on the user adoption of Office 365. Sofia Edholm, Tech Solution Specialist at Microsoft got me on track with her take on Modern Workplace and based on that my colleagues and I have created an implementation model.

Here is what Modern Workplace is about: All companies and organizations consists of individual employees. In most cases each individual have specific tasks in the organization and need to get different things done during the day. To get productive they all have one common need – Where is my stuff and how do I communicate with me peers?

An employee works with information in three different ways:

  • As an Individual – managing their personal information and communication
  • As a Team member – being member of a team and contribute to the teams information
  • As an employee of the Organization – Getting access to instructions, news and other company general content

As individuals we need to have good control of our personal documents and an easy way to communicate with others through email or chat. We also easily need to find information that others have created. These needs can easily be managed in Office 365 if you have the right skills. In order to get these basics right you need a focused introduction that show you a handful of the tools and how they interact. When you’re up and running with the basics you are ready for the next step.

As a team member the most important is usually the documents that the team produce and collaborate around. The next thing is to know what decisions that are being made and if tasks has been assigned to me. The team needs a common place to store and manage its information. By building on the skills achieved from the Individual sessions more collaborative tools can be introduced. The similarity in usage makes it easy to understand the added services especially since the different work tasks of the team can be  clearly supported. To make this a smooth ride, you first need to work-out a common way of doing things and THEN apply the needed tools.

As employee of the Organization you need instructions and guidelines and information about what is happening inside the organization. To meet this need a Digital Workplace (or Intranet) is normally introduced. To boost company culture an Enterprise Social Network such as Yammer can be added as an addition to the Digital Workplace or as an initial platform to get discussions going before the broader communication platform is in place.

All these three perspectives needs to be taken in to account to fulfill the needs of the employee. Each part use different tools and should be introduced in phases.

Stratiteq is using Modern Workplace as our model when introducing Office 365 to our clients. To learn more please contact Stefan Hult, Business Analyst & Office 365 Specialist stefan.hult@stratiteq.com . For more updates on Modern Workplace and Office 365, please follow StefanHult on Twitter.