This was a year of great change within the Office 365 service as Microsoft has started pushing their next generation collaboration tools including Teams and Groups in addition to new capabilities from the Yammer service. As we work with companies on their platform roadmap and governance plans we continue to see a trend with technology leaders uncertain what to do with these tools or more importantly, how to position them to the constituents.
The greater topic of SharePoint Governance is not new, but I believe it is more important than ever to take another look at your organization’s approach and what it means for the systems you support. Many technology leaders are still pushing for a standardized approach and usage of their tools across the organization; that is to say they want to pick one tool, have one way to use it, and then adopt that model everywhere. Many of these same people are then frustrated when they see the rapid change of tools and features with new ones being added while in some cases other features are being deprecated and removed. To fully take advantage of these tools and the rapid innovation, it is important to evaluate them within the right mindset and with the right expectations. What Microsoft has really been doing is pushing innovation and offering choices. By taking a less ridged approach to tool selection and governance, you can provide a suite of tools that can be used to meet the unique challenges of a given group. We are after all trying to improve collaboration within these groups so it makes sense to find the right tool for the job. This requires an agile mindset and an understanding that the tools selected, or the decisions reached today may need to be re-evaluated tomorrow. This approach can have a pretty big impact on things like your communication and training plans. Investments should be smaller, perhaps more along the lines of pilot projects allowing a more natural validation and deployment of the tools and allowing decision makers to see what tools work best for different types of teams and collaboration scenarios.
It really is an exciting time in the collaboration space! If you would like our team to help work with you to evaluate the tools and empower your users to take the next step in collaboration, please let us know.