How Business Leaders Can Leverage O365

Matt Dressel

September 6, 2021

Making sure your executive team is staying in touch and efficiently working together can be a challenge. Learn how Office 365 can help.

Leadership Collaboration

No matter what size your business is, you likely have a group of leaders who need to collaborate to develop and execute business strategies. This involves things like:

  • Develop and deliver presentations for internal or external purposes.
  • Gather and review business data and metrics to monitor and make business decisions.
  • Approve business decisions being made throughout the organization.
  • Day-to-day communication between multiple leaders.

Today you might do these tasks through in-person meetings, email, phone calls, or text messages. While these methods have gotten us by in the past, they have some inherent inefficiencies when stacked up against modern alternatives. There's nothing worse than spending an hour reviewing/updating a presentation only to have someone else email an updated version 5 minutes before you were done. We've all been there.

If you currently use Office 365, there are some great tools and methods you could be using to make this easier. And we know - technology isn't a silver bullet for all these issues, but it could make for a huge improvement.

Example Business Scenarios

Let's talk about a few example scenarios that could be improved by using the Office 365 suite of tools in your organization. In future articles, we're going to dive into each of these scenarios in more detail, giving you a bit more explanation an how-to's.

Leadership Team Collaboration

You want your leadership team to have consistent communication and opportunities to collaborate. Let's take a look at some common challenges leadership teams can face related to communication and collaboration and some approaches to solve them.

No time to talk

The only time the leadership team seems to talk is when they have meetings. Try using a Teams workspace dedicated to the leadership team instead of email, direct chat, etc. This will allow for async communication that all remains in one place, making interactions easier.

It's hard to catch up to everything going on

Not everyone makes it to leadership meetings and it's difficult for them to catch up. Use a Teams channel meeting instead of a traditional meeting and record it. This will store all chat discussions and meeting content in a Teams channel for everyone to review. That way you won't have to track down a specific meeting recording/chat log in your calendar.

Sharing business metrics is a hassle

Keeping everyone updated on the status of business metrics is difficult. Create a Power BI dashboard to easily communicate key metrics and publish them to a Teams workspace so the leadership team has easy access. All the data will be one click away.

Capturing and preparing discussion topics to present to leadership is a huge burden

Use Teams workspaces, Power Apps, and Power Automate to create a process to intake, discuss, and prepare topics to present. This will make sure all the topics find their way onto the list.

Marketing Initiative to Move into a New Market

Your organization has identified a potential new market for your services. Let's look at some of the activities that need to happen to investigate the new market opportunity and how we can use Office 365 tools to make it happen.

Analyze market data to determine size and potential

  • Identifying and quantifying a target market can be challenging - Use Power BI to quickly combine data from multiple sources and analyze data.
  • Identifying trends and indicators is only half the challenge, then you need to use that data to tell a story – Power BI has features to help you highlight the insights you identify.

Execute a market test to determine the viability of your services in the new market

  • Keeping everyone in the loop can be difficult - Create a dedicated Teams workspace or Teams Channel to enable seamless communication and collaboration.
  • Using email to capture feedback can be a burden - Use Forms to capture feedback in a consistent and automated fashion.
  • It is important to make the best use out of the data you gather from your test - Use Power BI and Excel to analyze and gain insights on how to best attack the market.

Create market-specific sales and marketing material

  • Using email or chat to collaborate on documents is inefficient - Create a dedicated Teams workspace or Teams Channel to enable direct collaboration on documents.
  • Communicating your go-to-market strategy needs to be consistent – Use a dedicated SharePoint Communication site to effectively disseminate your strategy organization-wide.
  • Providing support to sales and support teams who work with customers in the new market can be difficult – Create a dedicated Teams workspace to allow for direct collaboration about questions and issues. Use Power Virtual Agent to create a chatbot that can handle standard questions regarding the new market. 

Simplify Approvals 

Approvals are a critical component of many parts of an organization's processes. Often the steps to get approval is cumbersome and inefficient. Let's take a look at a few common challenges we see.

  • Requestors have a difficult time determining who should be the approver for their request – Use SharePoint Lists and Power Apps to allow requestors to submit requests. Use Power Automate to automatically submit the request to the proper approver based on metadata associated with the request.
  • Keeping everyone updated on the status of an approval request is difficult – Use Power Automate to manage the approval process and automatically notify everyone where appropriate.

Aren’t Familiar with some of the Office 365 tools we mentioned?

The following links should help you get acquainted with the tools and we are going to dive deep into each of the scenarios above in upcoming posts.

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