Organizational leaders are often looking for the latest and greatest tools to enhance productivity and the improve the overall employee experience. Microsoft Teams has shed new light on collaboration capabilities within Office 365 and we’re seeing more and more executives driving Teams deployments, but true sponsorship is more than saying, ‘I want Teams for our staff.’ Sponsors need to be engaged at ground zero and should continue to participate and engage throughout the duration of the deployment and reinforcement period. Sponsors are responsible for ensuring funding and resources are available to support a deployment and positive user experience, beyond initial implementation.
It is common for us to hear that ‘the leadership team wanted Teams and now we’re making it happen regardless of the risk, lack of funding or lack of planning opportunity.’ It’s also common to see funding and resources reprioritized midway through a project due to the sponsor moving on to the next initiative.
It’s safe to say, there isn’t always enough emphasis on setting sponsorship expectations or asking the right questions. Let us equip you with questions and an expectation setting checklist for the next time an executive requests the deployment of the latest and greatest technology (Do you want in on a secret? This checklist works for non-technology changes too!):
- What budget has been set aside or repurposed to ensure funding availability for this project? Funds should be available for both adoption and change management and technical support.
- What is the higher priority: deploying the change or driving a specific user experience?
- How do you envision this change impacting user productivity, efficiency and experience (short and long term)?
- What is your vision for the user experience?
- What human capital resources will be, or have been, made available to help drive this change?
- What business outcomes are you looking to drive with the implementation of this change?
- Assess the budget and provide concerns or risk for underfunding, if applicable.
- Expect regular (daily/weekly/monthly) updates – ground zero through the reinforcement period. This will likely be driven by project size and organization size.
- Set expectations related to prioritizing the deployment over user experience.
- Require engagement, from the sponsor, on the frontline level. The sponsor should be having conversations with the business and frontline about the change taking place and the benefits it provides. It’s often important to provide a transition guide to sponsors, equipping them with answers to questions that will arise and to help align the message with those being distributed by the project team.
- Define success and metrics to measure success throughout the change project.
This is a great introductory conversation with any sponsor that hopes to drive new change and will go a long way in strengthening the initiative from every direction.
Stay tuned for more information and tips on a successful Teams deployment with Mistake #4.