Driving adoption with the Modern Collaboration Architecture
Published Nov 18 2020 08:59 AM 13.2K Views

Throughout the series on the Modern Collaboration Architecture (MOCA) we’ve talked about the rationale behind the MOCA, the business case for attention, and how we can harness attention at the individual level and team level. So how can you build an adoption strategy for your digital workplace in a way that enables employees to feel that sense of purpose and progress as they work to achieve goals?

Microsoft’s FastTrack team refer to three stages for driving adoption: envision, onboard, and drive value. You can find the full adoption guide here so let’s look at how the MOCA approach can help at each stage.



This stage is all about setting the goals for the digital workplace – how will the technology help the organization drive its goals, what are the needs of your end users, and what scenarios are most important for them?

When it comes to defining your business strategy, consider the objectives your organization has and the pain points with the existing workplace tools, prioritizing the scenarios based on impact.

  • Leverage the MOCA as a guide to understand all the tools in the toolbox, the needs each technology meets and in what context; individual, team, community or organizational.
  • Map these needs to your scenarios to get a view of which needs will support the prioritized scenarios and which needs appear most frequently.
  • Use the needs to understand how you can enable either a full scenario (because all of the enabling technology is available) or at least meet some of the needs behind that scenario if some of the enabling technologies will take longer to enable.

Having a guide as to which technology supports which need will also help you establish where you might expect to see changes in adoption metrics if you are successful.

You understand what the goals are, the scenarios that are important to the business, and the technologies that will support. What’s next? This onboarding stage is all about driving the adoption of the tools and some of the new digital culture norms, the new behaviors, that will really drive value for the organization.

At this stage, leverage the needs-based approach of the MOCA to help you position the services in a specific way, guiding the end user to understand exactly what the service will help them achieve. This cuts out the noise of having too much choice when faced with new workplace tools which causes us to retreat into the comfort zone.



Leverage the opportunity to hit refresh on some of the bad habits your organization has and drive new digital cultural norms that support achieving the goals. The focus of the MOCA on harnessing attention, and the series of accompanying blogs, provides ideas on what kinds of behavior changes you can encourage in your organizations. As we said in our previous blog the tools are not enough, it’s people and how they use them that really add value. Let’s take two examples – better meetings (a scenario) and increasing innovation (a business objective):

Better Meetings:

  • What’s that change? Better preparation, being punctual, present, and ensuring follow up.
  • Why isn’t this happening in your organization? Maybe it’s because of the back to back nature of meetings.
  • Include in your adoption plan: Tips on shorter meetings (the new digital cultural norm), which give people time to complete follow up, refresh, or check the mails they’ve resisted reading during the meeting, and setting the default appointment length to support that (the technology nudge) could help.

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Driving an innovation culture:

  • What’s the change? We need to shift away from a “knowledge is power” culture and towards a culture where ideas are shared, and people have time to learn, engage, and ideate.
  • Why isn’t this happening? We spend all our time in meetings, and we don’t have digital spaces where people and their ideas can collide.
  • Include in your adoption plan: Tips and training on the why and how of open sharing of information, “Working Out Loud”. How does this help meet company objectives? Train community leaders on best practices.

Use the MOCA to inform your training approach based on specific needs end users have. Use the opportunity of new digital workplace tools to catalyze change in the ways of working and drive new digital cultural norms, some of which we spoke about in the previous blogs. How will this change support individuals, teams, communities, and the organization in achieving their goals and how will you answer the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) question? Champions also play a key role in driving the new ways of working.

Drive Value
Once you have onboarded your organization, it’s time to reflect and understand if you were successful and where you might need to iterate. Earlier we talked about setting KPIs based on the changes you might expect to see if a technology is being used to meet a need in a new way.

Leverage the Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics to understand what changes you are seeing – are people shifting their behaviors and what can you see in the numbers? Complete the picture with the success stories that the champions bring forward where the technology, the scenarios, and the new digital cultural norms are making a difference to employees’ daily work and business outcomes.

If you are more advanced in your journey, ask yourself how your organization can take things to the next level when it comes to meeting these needs. What role can accessibility play in driving and inclusive culture? How could 3rd party apps and app templates enable individual and teamwork, so employees can focus on the task not the context switching?

So, what will you do to take adoption of technology to the next level?

Go Dos

  • Consider how you can challenge the organization to work differently in ways that better enable them to meet individual, team, and community outcomes?
  • What needs might not be being addressed, but could make a big difference when it comes to certain scenarios?
  • How can you clearly position the different services, guiding end users to choose the best workspace and tool for the task at hand?

This blog post is a part of our series on the Modern Collaboration Architecture, developed by @Rishi Nicolai, a Microsoft Digital Strategist with over 25 years of experience in leading organizations through change and improving employee productivity. Blogs one, two, three and four can be found under these links.


Emma Stephen
Emma is a Customer Success Manager at Microsoft and is passionate about bringing the human element into the workplace. She believes technology both enables change and can catalyze wider change efforts if introduced in the right way. Emma is based in Zurich and currently studying for her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology with a hope to leverage this in the organizational context.

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