Is it difficult to keep up with Office 365 continuous changes?

In my opinion it depends a few factors and it does not need to be difficult:

  • Your mindsets towards modern apps and cloud based working
  • Your willingness to do short periodically checkups
  • Allow users to have me time to get updated and do knowledge update

I would like today to pickup on some blogposts going around noting that Microsoft is releasing new features and apps in a high tempo creating a conflict for consultants, users, managers and admins to keep up.

So yes, this is confusing if you did not adapt your mindset, whatever role you have.

Working with Office 365 / SharePoint in the cloud is not different than working with a smartphone. Apps come and go, while updates popup like mushrooms on a sunny day after a good rain. And we decide Everytime what we like and use.

In both cases you have the choice which apps to use and which not. Realize that looking at Word or Excel, a lot of users use only a small percentage of the features, bells and whistles these programs have been offering since the beginning while others found themselves more features that enhance their productivity and use them to a greater extend. Office 365 works the same way. Only on a bit bigger scale.

Start seeing Office 365 as a whole, and find the apps that are useful for you and ignore the rest or wait till you are ready for them based on your needs.

Keep yourself informed on a weekly basis is the key here. You do not need to spend hours on this, just check what’s coming soon and is new and think about if this can improve your work of the of others

And then give it a try!

Office 365 is focussed more and more on self management. Users, managers and admins can all independently determine what works and what does not. So users should also get the chance to have personal time to update their knowledge and skills.

Try to be less rigid as an organisation and use best practice pilot initiatives to support further adoption. As I said, see Office 365 as a complete platform and as with Word itself, some users use this and some use that.

As admins we have to make the full organisations understand this are not rigid programs anymore with a single working method. This are platform solutions with freedom of work.

This does not take away the idea to streamline the general setup across an organisation and as admins we can still manage a lot of central setting. But do not block to easily everything new. Instead find early adopters and make them part of the target release program.

So check the admin portal at least once a week and find yourself those early adopters for early feedback.

Encourage users to search for work improvements what will benefit all.

For consultants to say, hold back on making manuals and PowerPoint presentations!

Keep the info focussed on the ideas and logic behind Office 365 and use more live demo examples to show what it is about. You indeed do not want to spend half your time updating your screenshots and adapting your text.

Hopes this helps any of you finding your way in going along with the updates flows of this modern times.

Author: Martinus Hamers

Hi, My Name is Martinus and I am a self made Office365, focus on SharePoint Online and Teams, administrator and architect. I have been spending my time the last years with an international organisation as a functional application manager for SharePoint Online providing administration, architecture, setup, providing training info and updates and second line support tasks for all the global sites worldwide.

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