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Top 5 Ingredients to a Successful Office 2010 Rollout

January 12, 2012

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of firms both large and small over the last 18 months as part of our consulting team providing guidance on how to achieve a better level of user adoption in an Office 2010 rollout. I also presented a session at the ILTA conference in Nashville this past August on Office 2010 Success Stories. As I look back on what commonalities the most successful projects have, I’ve identified the following top factors that impact the success of the projects:

1) Listening to Learners
The best ask for and act on feedback provided by the user community. Without a doubt, seeking and asking on feedback boosts user adoption of technology, ranging from firm-wide surveys that solicit input on training durations and learning preferences, to smaller role-specific focus groups that further define technology decisions and training topics.

2) Planned Communication
From the initial firm-wide announcement of the firm’s decision to move to Office 2010 to the ending communication to celebrate the success, the most successful firms invested in and followed the who, what, when, where and why of good communication. Creative in their approaches, the best of the best included a project theme and logo that allowed for branding of all project related communication. They also used a variety of communication vehicles to keep the firm informed including email, technology commercials, posters, rollout specific portal pages, testimonials (both written and video), executive briefings and WOW sessions.

3) Supported by Upper Management
There is no surprise that the best projects had full support of firm management. The projects were not viewed as IT projects, but critical initiatives planned by, supported by and driven by those at the top.

4) Targeted Learning Opportunities
With shorter classroom durations and the potential of lawyers not attending classroom training at all, these firms saw the risk and got creative in providing a variety of learning opportunities. They all focused on the “learning” and not on the “training.” Before migration, they provided users access to Office 2010 in the form of the Microsoft home use program, virtual environments, learning kiosks and targeted lab opportunities. They used E-learning content that focused on the new features in Windows 7 and the new user interface in Office is a jump start to learning. One-on-One coaching was offered to partners in lieu of classroom training. Hands on training opportunities were offered to all learner audiences. Many broke down the training into shorter pieces allowing for greater participation and less time away from the desk.

5) Intentional Floor Support and Coaching
Longer floor support durations with more people on the floor to encourage learning to continue and to bring learning closer to the work flow was a key factor to greater user adoption. One-on-one coaching continued with partners and many firms extended this offering to associates as well. During targeted floor support, each user received on average five visits over a five day period of time. Each visit would focus on five to seven topics that were vital to that user’s success in adopting the new technology. Daily floor support huddles provided the vehicle for feedback to the training team and a way to document frequently asked questions that could be shared with both the help desk and the user community.

How many of these factors are you using or planning to use in your next technology rollout? For more information on tools that support these factors, be sure to ask your Traveling Coaches Account Executive about our Windows 7/Office 2010 Rollout Materials. To share your success story with us, please contact me at

Added Bonus! An Office 2010 and Windows 7 Word Search
Games are a great way to increase learning and build awareness around new terminology and concepts. Here’s a freebie Word search on Office 2010 and Windows 7 vocabulary. Coaches Connection – Word Search Puzzle

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