In recent years, many organizations have chosen Microsoft 365 as a platform for their digital workplace. Maybe your organization is one of them?
As a coach for management teams’ journey of change into the modern (and digital) workplace, I have gained insight into how tough the journey can be for some groups. One pattern I can notice is that around 1-2 months after the group has started working to bring in the new ways of working, the energy, interest and motivation begin to noticeably decrease. Then it is good to have a strategy for the group’s digital journey of change, to pick up and gain renewed awareness of why you made the decision, what challenges you saw in front of you and where you are going.
In this article, I describe how a board and management team can think about their own digital strategy.
The purpose of a digital strategy
A digital strategy for the management team can serve as a basis for decision-making that everyone reads into and takes a stand on. Then it becomes more real and you become more aware of what you are actually getting into.
The journey towards bringing in the new ways of working will be full of challenges. Building the new habits will take on the energy and motivation. So it is good for the members of the group to return to something tangible, something that you have decided on together, for motivation.
What it should contain
A digital strategy for a management team’s changing way of working should answer the following questions:
- Why are we making this change?
- What will we be able to achieve by changing our ways of working (to more modern ways of collaborating and communicating)?
- What is our time horizon? When do we expect to be ready?
- Have we divided the journey of change into stages? Any phase1 and phase2?
- What support will we get in our journey of change? As a group and as individuals?
- How will we measure and follow up to know how far we have come and where we are?
Example of working with a management team’s digital strategy
Below I describe the steps that a management team took to develop their digital strategy for their use of Microsoft 365.
Current situation analysis
Via a survey (via the Forms app in Microsoft 365) in which everyone in the group participated, an understanding of what the current situation in the group looked like. Here are some results and votes from the survey:
Most in the management team think our digital collaboration can be improved (80%).
The communication is perceived as fragmented (the communication takes place mainly by e-mail)
Too many emails and too much information received at “wrong” time
It is perceived as difficult to know where to find the latest version of an emailed document
It is poor follow-up of tasks that we take on individually
Preparing for a meeting often takes too much time and energy.
The opportunities for the group
What opportunities do we have to improve our cooperation and our communication?
As our organization has introduced Microsoft 365 in the past year, we in the management team have the opportunity to set up a Team in the app Microsoft Teams where we can manage our communication, our meetings, our documents and our tasks (and probably more information). By doing this, we can achieve the following efficiency gains:
To avoid wasting time by searching for information because it is not structured.
Not having to work on several different channels for our communication (“where did I get the message that I now need to act on?”)
Be better prepared for our meetings, and it is no longer possible to blame that you did not have access to the documents
Better follow-up on our common tasks, and that they are actually performed
Better meeting structure, where we gather everything for a meeting in one place
Better sustainability, where future members can access what we have worked with before and they can quickly get into the work
We will also be able to lead through examples in our organization, where we will be able to carry out the working methods that we want our organization to adopt as part of our digital transformation. We should probably not underestimate the value of this.
The group’s vision
We have investigated how we can come to work in the future when we have carried out our journey of change and and we have developed the following vision. We envisage that in the future we will collaborate and communicate in Microsoft 365 in the following ways:
We basically handle all our internal communication via Teams, in a structured way where everyone participates. This makes it easy for us to find information and we do not have to spend a lot of time accessing information, but our energy we put on the important thing: to come to the right decision, to come up with innovative proposals, to create a good atmosphere in the group , etc.
Anyone who wants can use their mobile phone to access all information and perform work for the group
We handle our meetings in Teams, and we have received a good flow in our work that we perform before, during and after a meeting. Because we have become so good at working asynchronously and distributed, there is quite a lot that we discuss in each meeting thread before the actual meeting, which means that we only need to talk about the most important things during the meetings. We leave our meetings with energy and confidence.
We have a good view of our common tasks, and we respect the end dates of the tasks.
How to get there
It is a journey we will make together. We are in relatively different places in terms of knowledge and execution of digital working methods. In our joint survey, the following needs and wishes emerged:
“I think we should get help from someone who can and has made the journey himself. Get suggestions on established working methods for a management group and then adapt for our particular group.”
“I want us to have joint workshops where we lab, try and discuss together.”
We will try to fulfill these wishes, and we have put SEK 20,000 in the budget to buy help from outside.
The time horizon we have set is 1 year to achieve this vision.
Do you recognize yourself in how this management team’s current situation and where they want to go?
Our tip is that you then put together a decision basis (with a digital strategy) for how you should move forward, and get everyone’s commitment for its implementation.