Identifying your users’ Microsoft 365 skills is the first step to unlocking its power

Microsoft 365 is the most popular productivity suite, offering a broad range of powerful apps and services that enable truly exceptional levels of collaboration, communications and business functionality.  However, there is so much capability within the Microsoft 365 products that it can be difficult for users to either know it is there or employ it effectively if they do know about it.

Without any formal help, users are expected to pick it up and learn as they go and they may do this by working out how to complete tasks either by themselves or from each other. While they will most likely be able to use the core functionality (sending emails, using Teams chat, etc.) user self-learning will only go so far, so they will almost certainly miss out on features and capabilities that could really benefit them, their teams and the wider business. They don’t know what they don’t know, of course!


Person using OneNote on a laptop and Teams on a mobile phone

The investment doesn’t stop at the technology

Clearly, if your organisation has invested significant resources, time and money in the deployment of Microsoft 365, it should make sense that you would want to maximise the fantastic functionality and incredible value that Microsoft 365 offers. However, this typically cannot be achieved through user self-learning;additional help and support are required to maximise knowledge and achieve the ensuing productivity benefits.

The type of help and support that we are referring to here is commonly known as user adoption – a process that encompasses a number of disciplines and areas including communications, training and support.

The other blogs in this series will explore and expand on all these areas, developing a vision for an effective adoption programme.

Two office workers looking at a Word document together

But what do your staff really know?

Before anything else, though, you’ll need to understand what your people do or don’t know about Microsoft 365 so that you can develop a baseline view of how they are using it, and equally importantly, how they feel about using it to get their work done.

A skills audit is the foundation for developing a customised training and support programme that will resonate with the staff and be effective across the varying levels of skills and confidence within your organisation. This is much more than the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional training programmes.

Woman working on a PowerPoint presentation

What does a skills audit look like?

The skills audit encompasses an information discovery, a staff survey and a report.  More specifically, it covers:

  • A review of the existing technical usage analytics held within Microsoft 365 to identify patterns and trends in the technology's usage. This information also helps to identify any areas where users may be facing challenges using the tools and apps.
  • The design and creation of a comprehensive skills survey to be issued to all staff. This will identify what they know, how they use apps and tools, and how effective they find them in getting their job done.
  • Delivery of a comprehensive plan that will identify the approach and steps needed to effect your training and communications programme, as well as detailing how adoption of Microsoft 365 applications can improve productivity, collaboration and communication both internally and with your partners.
  • Development of a dashboard that visualises the results of the skills audit as a baseline, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of training activities and identify future training requirements.
Man editing a Word document

We’re here to help

Our experienced adoption consultancy team has worked with numerous organisations across multiple sectors to design, develop and realise user adoption programmes that really work.

We know that a full user adoption programme can be daunting and difficult to justify as a single business case, so we have created a modular process, known as accelerators, that allows you to undertake each selected element as a standalone project.

You can find the associated Skills Audit Accelerator here.

If you’d like to find out more about user adoption and how we might be able to help you get the best out of your Microsoft 365 investment, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation chat.