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The Negative Impact of Ignoring Governance and Adoption

December 1, 2023
6 min read
The Negative Impact of Ignoring Governance and Adoption
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Read Summary

  • Governance is an ongoing process that needs continuous work, or it becomes more difficult to manage over time. Tackling governance implications early (e.g., for new technologies) makes adoption easier.
  • Adoption should be treated as a service, with continual shared interest, understanding, and commitment, rather than one-off training projects.
  • Focus adoption campaigns on generating interest first with "did you know" messaging before providing detailed "how to" guidance.
  • Identify and target digitally underserved groups like non-managers and non-IT staff for adoption programs. Use tools like Collaboration Insights.
  • Advance governance and adoption together in a cycle - governance readiness enables adoption campaigns, which improves digital fitness and allows more governance controls.

Read Transcript

Let's talk about this idea of governance never being done. If business is hard to solve, but there's pathways, there's tools that we can use, then how do we solve this idea of governance never being done? As we roll out things like Viva Topics or Copilot, there's entirely new governance considerations. And this just adds and adds to our plate.

The key with this, and I know it sucks because it's the same thing everyone's all said, but we have to do the work now so that we can do the work later. If we don't start to solve our problems now, that framework that we're sitting on just gets more and more convoluted. It just gets harder and harder to unpack.

It's way easier to tackle something like Viva Topics as an example and its governance implications. If you already have things like purview and labels and compliance strategy and other things like that in place, it's way easier because you're not worried about overexposure, you're not worried about a lot of the things that people get concerned about when they roll out a search based solution that does AI computation like Copilot or Viva Topics.

Alright, let's finalize this one point around this governance and adoption connection. A lot of organizations, I find, do training projects. I would even call them adoption projects, right? We have, okay, we're going to roll out this, and then we do a little bit of training then that's it. Then there's other self-paced learning; they'll be fine.

That self-paced learning is never updated. There's a lot of problems with digital fitness and excellence. What I would say is the goal, of course, is for us to work towards adoption like a service instead of adoption treated as projects.

One of the key considerations for that is how we approach this. How do we think about it? And so this is one way to think about it. On the left-hand side, you see things like governance policies and guidance. Champion framework, support, guidance policies, and all that stuff can help make adoption more successful.

Goes back to our analogy of the football team. On the right-hand side, we have what we're going to call adoption campaigns, adoption roadmaps, adoption plans, whatever you want to call them. These are things where you're using digital fitness initiatives to improve adoption in measured and effective ways, typically time-based.

That's why I like the term campaign because the campaign kind of makes sense. I also like the term campaign because most of the problems I see with a lot of organizations in their adoption plan is that they focus on guiding understanding and they invert a funnel.

The way the funnels work is you need to have way more how instead of how do I? Way more. Did you know? Did you know this? Did you know you could do that? Did you know that that's way more important than the how do I's? Because that's what brings people into the top of the funnel. Oh, I didn't know I could do. I've seen this like two or three times where there have been things I didn't know.

I'm going to go do this training. I'm going to go learn about how to make meetings better, by the way, not how to use Microsoft Teams better, how to make working with documents better instead of learning about how to use SharePoint. And then that nicely adds a lot of other.

You can understand really quickly how that would not just drive more interest, but how that would allow for more flexibility in the training and the material you present, the tips and the tricks that you share and how all of that would be more longevity. It would be less time-sensitive, and then we wouldn't have to keep it as up to date as if we just did on training on Teams or just did training on OneDrive or just the training on SharePoint or something like that.

This idea of we want commitment, and in order to sustain commitment, if we want to sustain commitment, we need to continually have what is called shared understanding and shared interest and shared recognition of value, but that's more complicated.

Shared interest and shared understanding - if you don't get those two things and you need shared interest before you can get shared understanding, because no one will keep up with the understanding if there's not enough interest. Sometimes you almost argue you need awareness before interest, but you need those things.

If you're sustaining the shared interest and understanding, then you get shared commitment. But if you don't have it, it's really hard to achieve that result. There's some quick resources. I would suggest if you go to Office 365 campaigns, I know it says 2016, it is older, but it's actually extremely relevant still. All the patterns, practices, and techniques that it uses, we still use today, just with obviously slightly different examples.

Another example here is that I see a lot of organizations say, well, we can't do this because every person in the organization, if we wanted to take this approach to adoption, it would be too expensive, and it becomes this, like, analysis paralysis. And the key thing there is, it doesn't matter.

Look, I'm not trying to offend anyone. Most people in the organization, they don't matter as much as a small subset. Like I said, some people need to be digitally fit, some people don't.

What we're talking about are the people with high digital debt, the linchpins, the people who are over-leveraged, the people that are super collaborators that we know statistically drive most of the value add in terms of collaboration, in terms of document, in terms of knowledge, in terms of things that you eventually sell your business for and you get a bunch of money for besides your revenue lines and EBITDA, you get it because you have these differentiators, Qs and A's, you have documents, you have processes, you have all that stuff.

That comes from wonderful, smart people sharing that and extracting and sharing that in different ways. And so you can actually use different tools like, say, collaboration insights to help determine who those people are. Again, we want people that are non-manager, non-IT.

I'm not saying that managers in it aren't those over-leveraged people. They are. But what we want is we want to find a lot of those non-manager, non-IT people because they're critical for these champion programs and successful adoption.

A way to think about all of this together is that if you want adoption services, the actual trick to it is you advance your governance readiness, right? You keep improving governance, and when you're doing that, you're aligning with business objectives; you're measuring and reviewing it.

You're saying, okay, well, these things need to be better, or we need to help people understand these changes, or people are all using Outlook for everything. We need to get them to use Teams more. We're going to plan and execute specific adoptions and campaigns to help with those behavior changes.

Then, that will improve digital fitness and excellence, which will allow us to take on that next lever or take on those new governance capabilities. And then we go through that cycle again and again.

That's why governance and adoption are so intertwined because they literally support each other. Each one, if it's doing well, actually helps the other side.

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