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Do end users need formal training on Office 365 apps?

Contributor

Hi All,

 

I have a couple of questions regarding Office 365 user adoption:

 

  1. Do you think end users should receive formal training -- instructor/champion-led sessions -- to be taught how to use Office 365 apps like Teams or PowerApps, for example?
  2. Is there an expectation that end users will just learn as they go, without any formal training, and do their own research to learn more about how to use the Office 365 apps if necessary?

Personally, I think end users should be provided with initial training sessions on apps that are new to them, and periodic sessions on specific features, updates, etc, so that they can make the most of all that Office 365 has to offer.

 

What is your experience with these?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Graham

29 Replies

What a great thread and some fantastic advice in response.

@Eric Eaton raised some great points about on-demand, in context help. Choosing a good 3rd-party platform allows for other custom contextual help, like his suggestion on governance. Another product to look into is Content Panda.

I like @Karuana Gatimu's advice on creating playlists and engaging Champions to scale your training strategy. Whether they presenting a brief scenario during a team meeting or giving some 1:1 training, they are trusted experts in the business and of the business.

 

I'd add the tactic of recording your success stories and presenting them as teachable moments. Interview your subject. Ask them about their job and a general comment about the product you're focusing on. Then have them describe their scenario.

Capture their screen, be it with software or a well placed over the shoulder shot.

Have them step through what they do with the software in the scenario.

Finish with a comment from your subject about the impact of using the software with the scenario.

Real stories showing examples in the context of real work will offer bite-sized training and inspire.

 

@leslie tiku's suggestion to develop a knowledge sharing / learning culture is critical. You must provide a place for community-based learning to encourage a dynamic where people share and help each other. Community will help create a culture that supports the continuously changing environment of M365. Think about a strategy combining a Microsoft Team, SharePoint, Stream and Yammer, to provide a learning community. Create or curate your content in SharePoint, embed Yammer groups to provide the conversation alongside content, deliver quick interviews and bite-sized training live over Teams and embed the Stream recording into your SharePoint community site.

Combo's like this not only provide a community platform but also demonstrate the possibilities of the products for other work scenarios.

Training is a must or people stagnate with the apps.  I think we have Excel users that are still only using skills they learned in Lotus 123.  What we do is have a Skype webinar every week on Office 365 and Windows.  It is 15-20 minutes of training on the apps (different topics each week) and Q&A.  We have 8 office in the US and Canada with about 300 total people.3 offices participate as a group from conference rooms and others join from their own PCs.  We average about 28 people per session only but also get views on the recordings. We have a MS Form that users can use to submit topics and try to get guest presenters/co-presenters from our user groups like show and tell.

 

Getting VIPs to prioritize training and require it of the staff is very hard.  Everyone is busy with their jobs and often they don't make time to learn.  The scare of cyber attacks has made many office require the security training but productivity training is not required.

@Darrell WebsterI really like your point on communicating success stories and including screen recording with individuals walking through usage of a function and benefits of it. Working on some pilots recently and been thinking of ways of communicating the success from them and I think THIS IS IT! Thank you for sharing :)

I just found this thread and realized that I'm very late to the party :-).

So many insightful things have been said in this thread. I love the passion and excitement that all of you have in helping your end users and each other as well with ideas. Kudos to you all!

The only thing that I would add to this thread is that in my humble opinion, empathizing with your users' needs goes a long way. The best end user adoption resource is the end user herself. Ask the key people in each department what are their pain points and then truly listen... I mean actively listen! Then help them understand that you are on their side and are here to help make their work life easier. Once you have the key people and influencers in the company on your side and they truly believe that you are there to help them, the magic of user adoption will start taking shape.

Best wishes!
Great points - "listening" is a skill that Teams enables in a couple different ways. You can actively listen to a meeting, you can read something someone has typed in a conversation and you can watch recorded information (or even review or search the transcript). This helps users learn and use what is going to be most helpful to them at the time.
Is this Custom Learning for Office 365 training now available

@edith85,

 

The resource that you're referring to is called Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways, and it is now available. Here are links to some resources that you might find useful:

 

 

Hope that helps,

 

Graham

Interesting how a question from over a year ago still very relevant today, I just finished giving a couple of training sessions at a customer taking advantage of the freeze period at the end of the year, all the feedback was very positive, of course user will intuitively learn how to use O365 but i guess the idea of the training is giving ideas and insights on how to get started on the new tools or how to take full advantage of new features. Of course I got a lot of questions for help after training was done but it is being very satisfactory to see increase on the onboarding levels. So yeah go for the old fashion but still efficient instructor/champion led training