Microsoft Viva™ enhances the employee experience, and a well-executed adoption process can help your organizations realize its benefits faster. In this TechTalk, Insight’s Anna Donnelly and Michell Ruff discuss change management best practices that enable your workforce to hit the ground running with Microsoft® Viva.
Want to learn more about the features and benefits of Microsoft Viva?
Check out Part 1 of this TechTalk.
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Hello, thanks for joining us for another Insight Tech Talk. I'm Michell Ruff, architect with the Microsoft adoption and change management team here at Insight, and I'm joined today by Anna Donnelley, Microsoft services product manager to continue talking about Microsoft Viva. Hi Anna.
Good morning. Thanks for having me, so last time we talked a little bit about what Microsoft Viva is, what employee experience is, what the potential benefits for organizations are, and this time we're going to talk a little bit about what folks need to know in order to deploy this or to get ready for this in their environment. There's a lot of things to consider where readiness is concerned and regardless of what particular solution you're looking to implement, and there are a couple of things I think that apply across the board so whether it is connections, insights, topics, learning, the first piece to consider is where your leadership is at in this whole conversation. So, Michell, you know we talk about a lot about adoption and organizational change and that how that's really kind of a foundational component of driving any change. It certainly is exactly the same for this as well, but it's an even different conversation, because last time we talked a little bit about why this idea of employee experience is different and how it can be a little challenging for IT because we are attaching this to the larger Microsoft, EA conversation, and a lot of times that comes up within discussions with CIOs and perhaps in IT operations which is kind of a weird place for it to begin, right? Usually if you're talking about these types of solutions, you're talking to HR, they understand it a little bit more, right?
Whereas now we have IT coming into this conversation and they need to understand that they have to define who exactly is going to own each one of these solutions, if they're going to deploy it, that has to be very clear upfront, and I do think that that is the number one thing to consider, whether you're deploying topics, connections, insights, any of that, who is going to own that? Who's going to drive that forward? And who's the leadership who's going to kind of carry the flag for that? Where connections is concerned, what group owns the communications? How are you going to have individual folks contribute to content within Viva connections? Where insights is concerned, who is going to drive the change that's required once you get the actual metrics out of Viva Insights? How are you going to drive that change? And without really defining what you want to get out of it, and who's going to drive everything, it's really kind of an exercise that is not really, not particularly fruitful. So that's the first piece. The second thing to understand is that Microsoft Viva hangs on Microsoft Teams. Yes, so learning, insights, connections, topics, all of that is part of Microsoft Teams. There are apps that are available there, but it hangs on the larger Microsoft framework, right? So there are ties into security and compliance, records management, so if we look at some of the tools that are available with either the Microsoft 365 or E3 or E5 license, there's a lot of tie in, in particular where Azure information protection is concerned. How are people flagging confidential information? That's going to surface a lot of things that perhaps folks wouldn't necessarily be able to find right out there otherwise. Definitely on the record management, and if you are dealing with Viva topics, SharePoint Syntex definitely brings a whole new aspect into this. When it's married to Viva topics. it definitely is a great experience for your end users.
The power platform is going to allow you to get so much more out of Viva connections and insights than you would get otherwise so you can build apps that are going to assist your employees with various workflows, like requesting vacation time, and that'll be right surface right there on their connections homepage. Where insights are are concerned, you can build your own dashboards, bring in information from other sources and have that all in one spot using power BI, so it's tied to that, and then over all of that is SharePoint, right? We know Teams hangs on the SharePoint framework, we know that all of the other pieces and the components of this, so Viva connections is just a regular home site that you've enabled globally, and same thing with Viva topics. It creates a topics site so that you can create those individual topics cards within SharePoint. So the long and short of that is that you have to have a mature Microsoft environment and a deployment, and it's not just that these things need to be available.
People have to be using them. You should have the appropriate amount of governance around it, information architecture, and obviously there's some business analysis components that I think you also need to deal with when we're talking about Viva Insights and being kind of successful really with the Microsoft 365 overall. So with that said, though, besides maturity, leadership, the third component is really a foundation of adoption, and I know I talked briefly about that, but that really, to me, is the thing that is going to really drive success and results from this, right? We can put all these things in place and if nobody is using it, then it's all for naught, right? If they're not aware of what Viva Insights is, why they should be paying attention to that, why they should be looking at my insights and my team insights, then there's no action that's taken, you're not getting any return out of that. So I'm going to ask you, throw it back to you for a second, when I say foundational components of an adoption program, can you explain? That's your bread and butter here.
Right, so, you know, talking about adoption, what does that really mean? That really means end-users using the platform in a way that is the way it's intended to be used, you know, using all the feature sets that are available to them, instead of not assuming that if you just put a product out there that people are going to naturally use it. You know, they have their habits and the way they go about things, so really what you need that foundational component that you're talking about to me, the most key part is what we call our champions network. What that really means, champions are individuals within your organization that are what we call subject matter experts. So there's a certain type of person that makes a great champion. Typically, they're going to be people who are naturally curious about technology or adopting new things as it's coming out. So people that are naturally curious that way, they tend to be sort of, I wouldn't say supervisors or managers necessarily, but they could be, but they're just natural leaders within their teams, right? People that tend to know what's going on, or like to ask questions and are just excited about change in general, those make great champions. So what's really important is to identify folks like that and pull them together, start building out a champions network, and then empower them by giving them the information they need to go forth and socialize that, share that with their peers. It is a peer learning network. That's really what it is, and so you're just leveraging natural human behavior, that water cooler talk, so to speak, but you're giving them the right information that they need to go forth and share that with their peers, so that's really the, you know, at a high level, that's what a champions network is, and we that's really the key to driving adoption, especially for these types of technologies.
Yeah, and I can attest to that. I mean, here at Insight, we have what folks consider a relatively mature environment for Microsoft. We have a lot of adoption where the power platform is concerned and all of that has been organic. It's not been anything that's been pushed down from IT, right? Folks have seen what in one group or another has done, they get curious, and we do have the benefit of being a technology company so we definitely have folks who are more willing to kind of dive into that. However, these people exist everywhere, and to me, the biggest barrier to that is frequently the attitude of IT that they want to kind of pull everything back because they're concerned about supporting everything right? But, you know, I go back to them and say, you know, are you supporting their word documents and their Excel spreadsheets? And the answer is no, right? These types of things need to be viewed in that same way and empowering folks, and again, this brings it back to that employee experience. Are you giving folks the information that they need? So when we talk about the need for good foundational components for Microsoft Viva and governance and information architecture, all of that, does that support the employee experience? These are things we need to think about now, rather than, you know, just pushing down and mandating and saying no, or yes, or, you know, here it is, do this.
That's all part and partial to driving success with these types of platforms. And like I said, just back to that whole employee experience piece altogether. So with that said, I just want to mention that we do have a couple of workshops that are focused on employee experience in Microsoft Viva so for organizations who are looking for additional information about Microsoft Viva, we have one that's focused on connections, topics, and learning, and that is Employee Experience with Connections, Topics, and Learning, and then we also have Employee Experience with Insights as separate workshops. So there's the two workshops that are available. You can learn about them at Insight.com. There's a link below that you can visit and ask a question and we appreciate everybody's time today and hope to see you again on an Insight Tech Talk. Thank you.
Great, thank you Anna.