If your organization is preparing an enterprise-scale Microsoft 365 implementation or upgrade, the first & most critical step is developing the plan. The struggle many organizations have with developing this, is properly thinking through all correct and possible scenarios for how to implement Office 365. For example, addressing things like:
- What type of plan do you need?
- Is it for just deployment? What about adoption?
- Do we need to include a timeline?
- What stakeholders & resources do I need involved?
- Is our network ready & capable of handling this?
The good news is we’ve leveraged our years of experience to help address all the elements you should be thinking about in your plan.
Why does my organization need a Microsoft 365 Migration or Implementation Plan?
Starting at the beginning, it is vital to have an implementation plan to map out how you will provision applications & services to your users on their devices, and onboard them efficiently and seamlessly. Just like any enterprise-scale technology initiative, failing to plan means you should plan to fail, as the saying goes.
One of the first things to decide is if your Microsoft 365 implementation or upgrade plan calls for a phased deployment over several months to globally distributed remote users or if it may entail a rapid roll-out of the application stack across your organization’s operations, leveraging components like Intune Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM). It is highly advisable to engage a Microsoft Modern Workplace Partner to augment your technology team. Not only will this help with the resources required during this time of stress but they will have additional experience to help determine the right type of implementation plan which aligns with your goals for productivity, security, governance, adoption, and cost-efficiencies.
One of the key elements we recommend to anyone while developing a Microsoft 365 implementation plan is to hold executive workshop sessions, designated user sessions and administrator interviews. These sessions can lay out key milestones and objectives for the implementation, assign roles and responsibilities to the combined project team, and keep everyone accountable for delivering on their task list. It can act as an appendix in a project Statement of Work, simplifying contracting and project management processes.
Common Microsoft 365 Implementation and Post-Deployment Problems
- Network Capacity: Some organizations experience delays or downtime when deploying Office 365 applications and other M365 components because the project team doesn’t conduct an assessment of their network’s capacity to scale.
- Underutilizing Microsoft Virtual Academy: There’s a tremendous amount of in-class technical training, instructional videos, and documentation available from the Microsoft Virtual Academy.
- Lack of Resources: Many teams are short on time and are juggling multiple priorities. This is why it’s critical to fully understand the team’s bandwidth prior to engaging in this type of project and bring in additional resources ahead of time.
These are just a few of the common issues we’ve seen. Leveraging internal & external experience is one of the other biggest advantages organizations can have. Attempting large digital transformation projects like this can be a big problem for organizations that don’t have experience preparing their employees for new productivity tools or managing their documents and data with increasing regulatory governance scrutiny.
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A Microsoft 365 Implementation Plan Checklist
As a way to help you navigate the process of developing a plan, we wanted to include an easy to use checklist. The goal of this checklist is to provide guidance for achieving these critical success factors throughout the implementation journey:
- Are you pushing for minimal business disruption during client-side installation?
- Are you developing frictionless user adoption and onboarding?
- Do you understand all of the deployment prerequisites?
- Do you have effective alignment of user roles and tools licensing for services like SharePoint, PowerApps, and Project?
- Do you have a scheduled deployment of data security, data loss prevention, identity, and access management safeguards such as Microsoft 365 Defender and Security Center?
- Have you mapped out system governance? Specifically, defining who should have permissions for applications like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint? (preventing unauthorized users from creating too many Teams, workspaces, intranet sites, and document folders).
- Have you ensured employees do have access to core intranet pages like FAQs, policies, and role-based content and data?
- Have you conducted a network readiness assessment (WANs, LANs, Wireless LANs, and VPNs) for bandwidth-intensive applications like Microsoft Teams?
- Do you have a phased or “big bang” migration strategy for shifting documents from shared drives and other online file-sharing platforms to OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams?
- Have you identified customizations, integration paths, and plugins to enhance core Microsoft 365 tools and functionality?
- Have you worked out administrative maintenance plans and departmental use cases?
Every Microsoft 365 implementation plan is different so we’ve included the most common elements for you to focus on.
Determine the right Microsoft 365 Implementation Plan for your enterprise with help from Yorktel
We understand how hard these types of projects are & how many factors there are to consider. So if you are struggling to develop your plan feel free to reach out about our Microsoft Consulting Services to see how Yorktel can extend your enterprise’s technology team to support you through the deployment. You can contact us here.Back