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How can a digital champions programme help you adopt Microsoft 365?

By 18th January 2023No Comments
A digital champion assists a colleague on Microsoft Teams

Getting people to embrace a new way of working doesn’t happen automatically. You need people to lead the way, support others, and live the change you want to see in your team.

As humans, we naturally learn from those around us – especially if they can show us a better way of doing something!

Learning from someone we know and trust is the key to successful change. This is where digital champions come into play.

By rolling out a digital champions programme, you can help your people unlock effective digital transformation with Microsoft 365.

What is a digital champion?

To get employees to adopt a digital change you need help at all levels of your organisation. This is what a champions network is for. They help equip your team with the skills, information, and support to enable them to embed digital change.

Essentially, you’re building your own network of experts and super users.

As well as being first to get training in your new technology, your digital champions are there to spread the word. They make sure people understand the benefits and how they can access support for the new system.

A digital champions network helps your whole organisation embrace change with confidence.

Digital champion vs change champion: what’s the difference?

Peer support for successful change adoption isn’t new. It’s a tried and tested method with a few different names, including change agent and change champion. The term digital champion is used in technology change management projects, such as moving to Microsoft 365.

Much like a change champion, a digital champion is an early adopter of the new system. They are specifically trained to help colleagues and promote good working practices to help the change become business as usual.

Benefits of a digital champions network for Microsoft 365 adoption

When rolling out new technology such as Microsoft 365, the technology itself can dominate your plan. But to get the most out of Microsoft 365 in the long run, you also need a plan for your people.

Your champions already have pre-existing, trusted relationships with the people you want to reach. This is a key advantage of embedding a digital champions programme.

Someone who knows your organisation will find it easier to communicate the benefits of digital for their peers, and understand any potential fears and risks.

Digital champions will…

Spread the message to your people

Advocate new processes within their teams

Be an approachable source of knowledge on the subject

Signpost relevant support to those who need it

Does a digital champion need to be super tech-savvy?

Not necessarily. Being a digital champion is often more about people skills than it is about digital skills.

Champions get all the training and support they’ll need with the new system. So although they do need to be confident in their own digital ability, it’s not the most important thing.

What they need most is patience, enthusiasm, and a passion to help others make the best use of new tools.

Who in my organisation should become a champion?

Ideally, a great champion would…

  • Be passionate about the digital change happening
  • Care about the impact it will have on end users
  • Be influential within your place of work, but not necessarily in a management position

You can nominate champions, although it’s always better to go with a volunteer approach if possible. That way the champions will be more willing to dedicate their time to the programme.

It’s important to identify your digital champions network as early on as possible. This way, they can invest in the journey from the start. It also gives your champions time to get up to speed with changes and become advocates of the new way of working.

How do I build a digital champions programme?

Introducing a team of digital champions can boost digital transformation in an engaging and cost-effective way.

A digital champions programme will help employees adopt Microsoft 365 and train them to use these tools effectively.

At Inform, we’ve had great success introducing digital champions programmes to our customers. If you’d like to find out more about what this could look like for your workplace, get in touch for an informal chat.