Where Does End-User Adoption Start?

Occasional Contributor

I have users who are still very conservatives in their adoption of new technology. We have had signed up for Office 365 for the past 3 years and adoption of the applications and features available within O365 are mostly through top-down approached or sometime enforced; removing old feature and force them to adopt the new ways of doing thing.  Still the progress is slow.  Sometime feel really wasted to have all the available products and features where it is under utilized. 


I have just rolled out OneDrive for Business online implementation recently, enforced adoption and removing their old file shared folders. Wonder if there is any creative suggestions on how we can approach users to accept the change.  

5 Replies
I have had the same experience. Just a quick reply and hope do discuss more details later.
For Onedrive make sure it is transparent to users for the default folder 'Documents'.
To replace fileshares with SharePoint/Group libraries make sure Sync is understood.
You have been able to get stakeholders ?
best response confirmed by NL12143 (New Contributor)

Interesting question, I'd take a step back and look at what problems or issues the organization is facing, also what priorities are at the forefront and shape an adoption plan around that.  This means Office 365 is supporting the work people do and isn't just seen as something upper management is imposing on staff for no apparent reason.  


There are all sorts of things I could recommend, some of which you may be doing already, such as


build a champions program, so knowledge is spread across the organization.  These are your staff that  respond well to new technology and can kickstart and encourage other staff to try new ways of working


Build an adoption site, in SharePoint, that bring together resources, tips and guidance that helps staff make the most of these new features.  This can be done easily in SharePoint, like this - SharePoint Communications Sites for your Office 365 Adoption Site.


Demos or webinars can be useful to help staff overcome some of the common stumbling blocks and help tackle issues upfront, these can be recorded and made available on-demand


Use reporting to find out more about how Office 365 is being used in the organization and what areas to focus on.  Office 365 Usage Analytics and things like Usage Score, will make this even more useful once available. 


Surveys - Use Microsoft Forms to gauge and benchmark departments on how Office 365 is seen or could be improved or better resourced.


Productivity library - For inspiration as well as lots of resources make sure to check out the Productivity library, which can be easily filtered on industry, roles or products.


Productivity Library - Save and share files.png


Microsoft 365 Adoption Guide - Has a complete framework for adopting Office 365 mapped around common scenarios, that tie in with many of the resources in the Productivity library.   


Six Core Scenarios.png


Plus you could do things like have a fair, roadshow etc. promotional events that give staff a taster of some of the top features that will help them be more productive. 


Hope that helps a bit.

We have used marketing style awareness campaigns for clients, if possible try get Microsoft on board to sponsor some swag as well, have someone man a stand and staff can chat at their convenience. Staff need to know "what's in it for me?" to fully adopt to the change, use the carrot rather than the stick. :)

Hi Augustine,


Interesting discussion. I do a lot with Office 365 User Adoption; here are some key take-aways:


- user adoption is 20% IT and 80% culture change, invest in this culture change

- after user adoption project is done, make sure you have user adoption embedded in 'business as usual'.  A good idea for this is to set up a proper 'Competence Center' model with the proper stakeholders, roles and an active community.




Hi Augustine. I support what Cian and Marcel have said. 

You need to find the reason for end-users to want to start using OneDrive for Business. Create the desire to change the way they work. 

As IT Pros, we often aproactive problems from the technology and features first. We are comfortable introducing new technology workload by workload. 

However, observe how people work and make note of a common scenario each person will experience in their daily work life. It might involve two or three workloads from Office 365. But people understand scenarios. “When I want to do this... I can follow this process and use these things to achieve my goal.”

If your organisation has a strong email culture, try introducing OneDrive’s modern attachments. But introduce it as a way to point everyone to the same copy of a document to work on. 


Scenario: Getting input and feedback on a document draft. 

You’re creating a new document. It’s in very early stages and you want input and feedback from your team. Normally, you’d attach the document from your desktop to an email and ask people to add their comments or edit and add their content. But this  creates a problem when you try to bring all these changes together. 


Solution: Rather than creating the document on your desktop or My Documents, create it in your OneDrive folder. 

When you are ready to share it with others for input and feedback, create a new email, address it to your collaborators and attach the document using “Recent Documents.” Try the new “Share Link” option. When you send the email, your collaborators will be able to open your copy of the document, add comments and edit the document if you have allowed them to do so. 

Once you’re happy with the document and ready to share it with the rest of the organisation, you can copy it from your OneDrive to the appropriate shared drive or Intranet site. 


Note that the solution makes use of OneDrive, comments feature of Word and Outlook’s  attachment of “Recent Documents.” Potentially, a SharePoint team site too. Three workloads involved, but wrapping them up in a scenario, carefully messaged as a new and improved way of working.  

Train up a few people using this new way of working. Check on them daily or at least weekly, to make sure they are confidently using the method. Then write a few sentences sharing the success stories. 


My advice, talk to people about the challenges they face working as individuals. Address the small things with scenarios built around using pieces of a few workloads in Office 365. Coach, share success stories and watch the usage grow through relevant  scenarios.