EP 07

Should You Hire in House for Office 365 Help?

Our focus today is around hiring consultants to help you with initiatives in your organization. Should you be looking for a company/expert to help? Should you hire someone on your team internally? And what information do you need in order to make this decision? We’re going to target Office 365 today, but a lot of this thinking is “agnostic” to the specific technology. And full disclosure, we offer O365 services, but this podcast isn’t about us, it’s about helping you find your way when you have business goals that may require some technology behind the effort. So please enjoy the conversation between Matt Dressel, Mike Bodell, and Mitch Herrema.

Episode Links
Hosted By
Matt Dressel
Mitch Herrema
Mike Bodell
Produced By
Mitch Herrema
Edited By
Mitch Herrema
Music By
Eric Veeneman


[00:03] Mitch: Hey, everyone welcome back to Make Others Successful. Our focus today is around hiring consultants to help you with initiatives at your organization. So let's say you have a new initiative and you're not sure should you hire a consultant to help you, or should you be trying to do it internally?Should you be building a team? And what information do you need in order to make that decision? We're going to target office 365 today, but a lot of the thinking here is agnostic to the specific technology and full disclosure before we get into it, we offer office 365 services, but this podcast is not about us. 

[00:39] It's about helping you find your way when you have business goals that may require some technology behind the effort. So please enjoy the conversation between Matt Dressel, Mike Bodell and myself. So Matt, we decided to sit down because you wrote a blog post not too long ago, and I kind of laid this topic out as a little bit of a track for you of, should you hire in house for office 365?

[01:07] Matt: Yeah, I was definitely trapped. Yeah.

[01:10] Mitch: And of course we led everyone to the road that is us, right? 

[01:15] Matt: That's the only option. This is going to be short podcast because that's all you have to do is hire us.

[01:20] Mitch: So actually by the time he was done with it, I was pretty impressed. It's a rather objective point of view. The short answer is it depends on a lot of things on where your organization is at. And so we want to kind of talk through the topic and all the ins and outs of where you might find yourself and what we would recommend. Sound good.

[01:39] Matt: Yeah, for sure. Okay.

[01:42] Mitch: So can we set the stage a little bit of like, why is this even atopic in the first place?

[01:47] Matt: Yeah, so I think with customers that either work with us that come to hire us or with just other people we've talked to, they start with a concept of, I need someone, I need a person. And what I really try to do with what I presented is change that a little bit to make sure before you ask that question, you should ask yourself some questions about why you're asking about it. And the answers to those questions will make it very obvious whether or not you should be hiring somebody in building a team, like an internal team, that's going to be supporting and advancing your office 365 initiatives, or whether or not you need to bring in one or more consultants or contractors to come in and do a project or a targeted thing.

[02:37] But I really tried to focus on, we get it all the time. People come in and ask us, I need an intranet. I need some SharePoint help. What do you really need? What business objective, are you really prepared to engage and have a clear vision for where you want to be, where we can just come in and help or not?

[02:58] Mitch: Sure. Okay. So I think that gives a good picture as to where people find themselves in the process. But just one step further back, we're talking about office 365, a lot of people know, Outlook, Word, Excel, all that kind of stuff. And most of the time IT is the one who manages that. They at least get accounts running and you're good to go. But people start to poke around and find out that they have access to more things and find out that maybe they need to use those things. And they're not quite sure where to start. 

[03:32] Matt: Yeah. So for sure. And it can be someone who gets a subscription or it could be just somebody who's like I have an employee who came from another organization and say, office 365 is the way to go. It comes in all shapes and sizes. People have a lot of different experiences with Office 365, but you're right. It comes from the fact that they're interested in advancing that and improving that and gaining some outcome through that tool. Sure. But they don't have anybody or the people they do have are really busy, so they want to start looking at somebody.

[04:07] Mitch: Okay. So you ask a couple questions here to help sort things out. We're going to look at it from two different perspectives. One is, does your organization have a strategy for leveraging office 365 and then two is where are you at in adopting office 365? And so each one of those has a little bit of nuance and detail that we're going to walk through. So number one, does your organization have a strategy?

[04:33] Matt: Yeah. So the strategy actually is broken down even further into a couple different areas that I really like to use to talk about it, which is to say, do you know what business objectives and goals office 365 is supposed to support? Are you looking at office 365 as a tool to help improve efficiencies in your organization, communication, collaboration or is it, you had Skype for business and had to upgrade to teams and now you got office 365 subscription and you're having some phone problems. 

[05:11] Those are very different things. And just to be clear, if you're looking from the point of view that you're, I just need this problem with teams fixed, you probably ought to get somebody who's really good with teams to come in and fix that one problem. If you are trying to underpin a business strategy, you need to investigate what it's going to take to do that with office 365, which goes into kind of the next piece of it, which is do you have a plan for what you want to roll out?  

[05:41] You say you already know, well, we already have teams where we're using it a little bit. We want to roll out SharePoint to do this. Do you have a good strong plan for that? Do you have a person who's going to own the adoption of that? It's all well and good to have a plan and have goals that you want to accomplish. But if you don't have anyone already within your organization, that's going to make sure people are adopting it and following it and adapting to it.

[06:12] Either adapting the technology or adapting their process, it's not going to be successful. And then the last piece is how will you support it? So do you have an infrastructure to provide, help desk support, documentation training for it. If you have all those things great, you're in a position where you probably could start thinking about bringing somebody on to your team and building a team around office 365. If you don't have any of those things, or even some of those things, what you really need to do is you really need to focus on getting answers to those things. 

[06:49] Mitch: Yeah. So let's pretend I have no answers to any of those things. I don't know what should I do? 

[06:53] Matt: So it really comes down to what I recommend is getting some outside help. So bring in somebody, but that outside help, isn't a office 365or a teams expert. It's really a organization that can come in and say, Hey, I understand what your business goals are. Or I can even look at your current business goals and tell you what areas of office 365 would fit well to support those and really articulate a vision for that and how you look to support it and gain adoption and all of those things. 

[07:25] So I would look to someone else. And the reason I say someone else is you need somebody who has a large amount of technical expertise and breadths of expertise across all the tools to help you understand which ones are going to be valuable to you. So that once you're done with that engagement, then you're kind of have a foundation where you can either A, engage in additional projects with outside vendors to kind of do targeted things or start to build your internal team. 

[07:54] Oftentimes like a lot of times when we work with organizations, we help them build that vision. When we we're done, their team is the one that picks it up and kind of moves it forward. They just needed that help figuring out where it fits in their business.

[08:08] Mike: So it sounds to me like one of the things that you're saying is get somebody that's familiar with the territory that has experience and knowledge in the tech aspect of it. But then also somebody that can look at your organization and speak to what you're going to need as far as skilling up, maybe adding to your team long term, to be able to manage it. Because ultimately if you're going to rely on that outside vendor to do all of those things for you for the next 10 years, that's going to be much more costly than building the skills in house. And it may be that you already have some innovators in house that can up skill and take on some of that stuff. 

[08:42] Mitch: That was actually where I was going to lead next is, let's say, I don't necessarily want to hire someone outside. I would really like to have someone on my team that runs it and carries this forward. What do you recommend there? 

[08:55] Matt: Yeah. So there's a part of the article is focused on kind of another area where like the person I want to hire is that person that's going to figure out these answers. The two things I'll say about that is if I can tell you the best case scenario, you shouldn't hire for that person, that person should come from your existing executive team or management team, because they know your business and that job of understanding that piece of it has a lot to do with your business. 

[09:25] Now if you say we don't have anybody that's available, maybe you don't already have a technical person on your team that's at a senior level.Maybe it makes sense to hire somebody. In that case you're looking for somebody who is very technical and then can learn about your business over time and be able to marry those things. But you're talking about somebody at a pretty senior level, from a technical experience perspective. And the last thing I'll say is that when you choose someone that's already on staff, what I would recommend to excellarate that because obviously they may not have, or they won't have the technical expertise, marry them with an organization or a person who does have some deep technical expertise to help fill in those gaps. 

[10:07] And they work in a partnership kind of way where the technical team or the resource is providing, high level information. But then that person becomes the central. Instead of like in a lot of our engagements, we spend time interviewing a number of people within the organization. In this case that technical resource just needs to work with that one person. They need to have all of that other knowledge and that other expertise.

[10:32] Mike: So I find it very interesting, the concept of choosing someone on your executive team or on your management team, that's already there, that's close to the business, they understand the business and the challenges that the business faces and where they're trying to go and kind of have them be a sponsor of the strategy. It's interesting to me because that approach mirrors what many who are promoting no code, low code solutions are promoting, which is, put the tools in the hands of the people who are closest to the problems.And let them build the solution because it'll be better. It'll be greater for all of those things. I find it very interesting that those two things align so well.

[11:08] Matt: In the IT space for a very long time. That same concept has been a problem. It's become I think in recent years it's become more palatable to actually make that happen. But for a long time, you have these different roles of a BA versus a person who's way more technical. And we try to bring them together and make them work to provide the best outcome. And I think what's happening now both from the perspective of office 365 and low code, no code like you were saying, is the technology is at a point where you can take someone who doesn't have a ton of technical expertise. It doesn't take a team of 12 people to install a large SharePoint server, to build an intranet. 

[11:51] Mike: Those days are far behind.

[11:53] Matt: I don't need somebody who understands all of those things to be able to deliver on this. So you're right there. I think there is some similarities to that. And I think like I said, in an ideal world, I would take somebody that's existing. Give them that responsibility, find someone technically who has the knowledge, partner them together and move forward. If that's what you're looking for.

[12:17] Mitch: Okay, cool. That covers them wanting to hire someone. They know they want someone on their team to hire internally, right? 

[12:24] Matt: Yeah. So actually, I didn't get to this piece because you started with that with a really excellent point, which is I don't want to bring in somebody else. I want somebody on my team to know this stuff and do this stuff.I think that's great. Honestly, I think that's what all organizations need.We've advocated with a lot of our customers for hiring people that do fit this role of helping the business utilize these technologies and enable those technologies to help the business. 

[12:53] And I think you, you can only get that with people who are deeply embedded in the team, right? Which I think I'm 100% for that thinking. For me, when it makes sense to hire out externally is when, what you're going to need is someone who has a very specific set of skills and you don't need them for an extended period of time. If I need a solution architect, because I'm a fortune 500 company that has, 50,000 people, you need a dedicated, full time resource that's an office 365 enterprise consultant. 

[13:30] You don't need that if all you're doing is trying to roll out an intranet in the next year. You shouldn't be hiring somebody because two things will happen. Number one, if you want to get somebody like that and you want to get somebody that's good, they're going to be very expensive. It's going to be cost prohibitive. You can't provide them probably what they want to be doing.They want be doing architectural stuff every day. You don't going to have that kind of work. 

[13:57] And then in addition, they probably aren't going to be good at some of the other things you need to have happen. So in that case, bring in somebody else, either an external team or just a person who can give you some of that for a short period of time, get you kicked off on the right path. And then your team takes over and sees it to the end. 

[14:19] Mitch: Yeah. You bring up an interesting topic of that unique person that can connect the business and the people to the technology. I've been reflecting on it lately as to where does that person come from? What do they go to school for? What are they trained up in? What kind of personality do they have? And like what role do we play in helping those people? Because if we really believe every organization should have one of those people, how do we help that happen? 

[14:49] Mike: I think a lot of organizations won't necessarily have that person.And one of the benefits of finding an outside firm to help you with this typeof work or this type of activity is that they will come with experience that will help them set up a system that you guys can use long term and then hire people to fill the doer roles inside of that system. So they kind of like get you started, point you in a direction, bump you when you get into the ditch kind of a thing. And they can even do that long term, but it's not too expensive to have them engaged that way, but they set that system up initially so that your team can get into it.

[15:27] Matt: So I want to, you started the statement with like, Hey, I don't think every organization will have that. I want you to dig into that for just a second, because I think there's a nuance to that, that a lot of people might miss. So what you're talking about is somebody who is really good at all of office 365 and can take anybody's desired business outcome and map them. Not every organization should have that, they just should. But what they should have is somebody that knows as a business, we've chosen teams and you these technologies as our platform of choice. And I know how to take a business problem that someone comes to me and says, Hey, I'm having a problem doing task management for this reason and can marry those technologies together or to the business need.

[16:14] They don't need all of the knowledge. But they know what it is that the organization is trying to accomplish. And so when I talk about that, what I think every business should have is they need someone whose job it is to say and this isn't maybe a full-time job depends on the size of the organization, but they're the person that people go to and say, Hey, I've got this thing that I'm trying to do in the business and it's not working out, what tools do we have that can maybe help with that? And how does that work? 

[16:46] And sometimes they just know what to do. They did it already for the engineering department or for the the sales department. And we're just going to repeat that same thing. In other cases, they're coming up with a new way todo it or in other cases, they say, Hey, I really think that we need to do this with it, but I don't know very much about that. Let's go engage with somebody that can help with that. And that's where the other side of it, which is what I think what you were talking about is you're taking somebody who has a really broad set of now about all of the things and bringing them in and applying the min a similar fashion.

[17:19] Mitch: I'm going to tangent us a tiny bit. It's not in your article, but what should someone look for in a person that they're looking to fill that role? 

[17:27] Matt: Just to be clear, the role that I'm suggesting every organization to have.  

[17:31] Mitch: Yeah. 

[17:32] Matt: So it's somebody who is passionate about solving business problems, identifying business problems and uncovering business problems, and then solving them with technology. That's probably one of the core tenants. The other thing is that they are pretty strong technically. And from a communication perspective, you need somebody who can sit in a meeting with people from lots of different backgrounds, maybe somebody who is quite far along in their career, they've done a lot of different things, technology wise, they have a lot of technical knowledge and they can speak to that person. 

[18:06] But they've also got somebody who's relatively new to the organization and either doesn't understand the technology or maybe not the business things and they can help identify and bridge some of those gaps to be able to create a solution that works for all of these people. So it is a unique position. And I think not everybody is going to be well suited for it, but it really comes down to someone who has that communication skills, somebody who has that a deep technical knowledge, but then can look at the business and kind of align all of those things. 

[18:43] Mike: Well, I gotta say I, for the first time in my life feel like you really know me. The more you are describing that person, the more it's like, they might be tough to find, but when you find them, so it might be great.

[18:57] Matt: So it's interesting. We've had a couple customers, who've taken someone within their team and moved them into that kind of role. We've had some customers who have looked for those people. And it's not easy. I think it's not easy for a couple different reasons. Number one, because I think when I talk about it, the way I talked about it, it's like painting kind of the perfect person. A perfect employee who doesn't, everyone want someone who can do all of those things. 

[19:32] But you don't have to be perfect at all of those things to be successful in this role. That is the ideal person for sure. But is that going to be hard to find, yes? Will you be able to afford that person to hire that person? Maybe, maybe not. 

[19:49] Mitch: What I've seen is it comes from either or the communication side, learning more technical or tech starting to learn more communication.

[19:58] Matt: Or business learning some of each of those things. Like you can take somebody who is really ingrained in your business and knows your business inside and out and help them learn the communication and the technical ends of it. You can take somebody who's super technical and start teaching them some of the communications and all those things will work. Quite frankly, someone who's super great at any one of those things can compensate significantly for some of the other areas. You don't have to have somebody who's balanced on all of those things. You just need somebody, that's why I started with the passion for solving those. If they're excited about, I fulfilled this business need by doing these things with technology, we'll figure out the rest.

[20:40] Mitch: Okay. I think that does pretty well for our first section actually, to resolve the first section. Let's pretend they have a strategy.They know where they want to go.

[20:50] Matt: Yeah. So really, if you have a strategy, you know where you want to go, you know, like all those questions that I mentioned. You know what you want to do, you know when you want to do it, all of those things. It's really a question of whether or not, it's up to you. You can hire in-house, you cannot, it's up to you. Because at that point you have all of the pieces together to move it forward. You need to just start to fill in the roles and those roles can be either hired for the company or they can be you know, external contractors. 

[21:22] In the next section, I talk a little bit, which we're going to get to in a minute about the different roles that I would recommend for building out a team. Some of them, depending on your organization, I think it makes a lot more sense to hire someone outside or get them in on contract for a period of time. Others I think you should 100% have them in house and that's where they should be. But it's largely up to you.

[21:45] Mitch: Okay, cool. I think that leads us to the next section with is where are you in adopting office 365? Where are you at, in your journey?

[21:53] Matt: Yeah. So if you're interested in this topic, it means that you either or are thinking about using office 365. I lay out a couple different stages. But it's pretty simple, either you're not using it all and you're just thinking about it. You are using it, but you just rolled out like email and teams because you wanted to save money by moving off your on-premise infrastructure. Or you already have some stuff rolled out. And you already have a plan for rolling it out and you're starting to roll it out, but you have specific challenges or issues, either from a business perspective or technical perspective. 

[22:36] It's not delivering on what you want. So for me though, I think those cover the various ranges that you might be in. There's all sorts of stuff in between. But generally speaking, I think people can find themselves in those three spots. 

[22:51] Mitch: And I imagine there's a bit of overlap sometimes between them.Let's start with, you want to use it, but you don't have licenses, you list out quite a few key resources here.

[23:03] Matt: Yeah. So just to be clear in this section, I'm already assuming you've got a plan or you think you know what you want to do. So at this point, if you haven't started at all, it's like you don't have any existing infrastructure. What I lay out is a couple different roles that are really important. One is what I call an office 365 solution architect which that person is really very technical, understands the business end of things. But they're the person that's going to be able to match the technology with the business goals. 

[23:33] So they're going to be the one that when you say, we want to rollout teams to improve collaboration and communication with the organization specifically around meetings. And doing meetings within our organization.They're going to be the one that's going to be able to help articulate what policies, governance, all of that stuff you should be putting in place.

[23:54] The second resource I talk about is a change manager. And so a change manager is a role within organizations that in my belief is often left out. It's all about the transformation in the organization and the change in the organization and helping everyone in the organization understand what that change means and how to get to that, the end of that change. And so this person, there's a lot of people who, there's a lot of titles around this and a lot of different options, but really their goal is to help with facilitating the transition from the old state in the organization to the new state by uncovering challenges that maybe the solution architect needs to address or the business owner or business sponsor needs to address. But they're really about helping to move the change forward within the organization.

[24:58] Mike: And their objective is adoption at the end of the day?

[25:00] Matt: Yeah. It's funny. Their objective is change, if that requires adoption. Yes. If that requires simply changing the way that you're behaving.Yes. It's really all about delivering on the change, the intended change that the business is looking to achieve, right? 

[25:23] Mike: I mean, so many times in our past, we've been involved with projects where that was ignored because the primary objective was install and configure my farm. And deliver a style that I can apply to my intranet. And then we disappeared and there was zero plan beyond that. There was no change management.

[25:48] MattWell, I mean, people think about a lot of different ways. The change management people can think of as like training or communication about the launch or communication about X, Y, or Z element of the launch. And it's really way more than that. It's okay, Hey, we're looking at rolling this out. Idid some interviews with some people and they have these concerns. How are we going to answer them? 

[26:16] Well, one of the answers might be training. One of the answers might be doing coursework or providing better guidance to them. But it could be something else. It could be a change in the way that we're looking at deploying it to make this issue go away. It's really having a mind and a focus on what that outcome is and getting you across that line.


[26:37] Mike: So how important is that role when you think of protecting the bulk of the investment that you just made in whatever that thing is that is changing your organization?

[26:49] Matt: 
So I would say that the first two roles that I just talked about, the office 365 solution architect and the change manager, are the most important in setting you up for a good outcome in the long run. The other roles I'm going to talk about, they're the ones that are going to actually make a lot of this stuff happen. But these two are supercritical in delivering on the goals that the organization wants to get out of any project that you might be doing. Which is why, when I talk about it, these two are often ones that I would recommend. You might want to get somebody to come in and help you with it. 

[27:27] Now maybe you've got a project management team already. And you think that a change manager can come out of that group, which there's a lot of similarities in some of the skills that you might have as a project manager and a change manager or maybe you have somebody in a strong other area of your business, either a manager or something else that you want. That's totally fine. Nothing wrong with that. I think that's a great way to go. But let's say that you don't have, a group of people have these skills. These are perfect roles to bring in. They're going to be involved in segments of the project and they can help you through that process and then move on to something else.Like, go do something else. 

[28:08] Because you aren't going to need them for the entire life cycle of what you're doing at office 365. With that said, you might need them in your entire next 10 year engagement of technology across the board. You could use some of these same skills and people for other things. So that's why I said when I first started off, a lot of it is up to you, but these are two that I could clearly see that would be easy to bring in somebody outside without too much issue.

[28:35] Mitch: And you also mentioned in your article that they might not even need to be two separate people. They just need play those roles. 

[28:43] Matt: So we're going to go through, I think, five or so do different roles, mix and match. The role doesn't mean person. So I often play in organizations, the office 365 solution architect and the change manager to try to help with both of those things, depending on what's going on, it's kind of in my nature to be focused on all of those different things, but it depends on the person and the people and the makeup of your organization and what you've got going on. So yeah 100%.

[29:13] Mitch: Okay, great. Let's move on to the next role, which is technical specialist.

[29:17] Matt: Yeah. So the technical specialist is the person who's going to bean expert at the thing that you're rolling out. Now it could be a specialist that's more general, like I'm an office 365 technical specialist. And I know about teams and about planner and about power automate and SharePoint. And that's the technologies you want to deal with. And so I'm going to come in and help deploy and manage and maintain these things. 

[29:44] It could also be somebody like, let's say that you've already rolled out teams and you've got a group of people who are doing teams. Because that's what your phone system is using. And, you've already got that sorted out, but you want to start rolling out SharePoint. You may need to get a technical specialist for SharePoint that can come in and work on that projector that solution for you. And so it's somebody who has, who's really very deep technically in one or more areas.

[30:12] Mitch: Alight. Next is support specialist.

[30:15] Matt: Yeah. So this one and the next one, I really think these should always be hired. You should always have someone on your team that is able to support your team to use these tools. This could be somebody that's already in a help desk capacity within your organization. It could already be somebody that is in IT somewhere. But they need to have some technical knowledge to be able to answer questions, dig in, investigate, solve problems on a day to day basis for whatever technology you're implementing. 

[30:51] Obviously if you're in a big organization, this could be a large number of people. You could also, let's say you're using managed IT to do some of your things. Maybe they're your first layer of support. And then this person would be, Hey, we did the basic stuff. We did a password reset. They're having issues accessing. I did some basic things, but I need some more help. That's who this person might be in that kind of scenario. 

[31:14] Mitch: And I'll mention, it's often this person can be trained, right?

[31:17] Matt: Yeah. For sure this is one of the lowest areas for barrier to entry in regards to technical knowledge, you should be able to train someone who has at least some technical background in what's going on with office 365 and they should be able to pick up on it pretty easily.


[31:34] Mike: So one thing I'm catching onto is you're describing these roles, is that in this world, within this thing that we're talking about, as you step down in roles, you're describing kind of a reverse career path of sorts as well.

[31:50] Matt: Yeah, potentially. Yep. It's oftentimes the people who start out in the support role might prove themselves to be very knowledgeable in business, very knowledgeable on a particular technology and may step up into something else. 

[32:01] Mitch: Alright. This one sounds fun. The champion, who's the champion?

[32:06] Matt: So champions is something, actually Microsoft came out with a champions model. And there's a lot of it that is I think it's difficult for organizations to implement sometimes, but one of it that I feel pretty strongly you should do, even if you don't do the rest of the champions model, is having end users be empowered to champion using this technology that you're asking them to use. 

[32:31] And what that means is they are the ones that are going to be providing direct feedback for the use of this technology in their day to daywork. And so it's not their full-time job by any stretch of the imagination, but as one of their responsibilities, you're looking to release a change to the way that you use SharePoint or teams or something.

[32:54] They're going to be the people who you're going to be getting information from. They're going to be the ones that know about the potential changes early on. So like some of the attributes of a champion are, they're interested and passionate about technology. They don't have to be super technical, but they have to be passionate about it. They want to know it and they want to use it, but then they also need to be open-minded they need to be able to accept that when you talk about potential changes, that they understand the word potential.

[33:19] Sometimes end users have a difficult time understanding, oh, we're not talking about you changing this thing tomorrow. And it may never happen.I'm just here to give feedback. They need to be that person that can take themselves out of their day to day task. Think about it in the context of their day to day task, but not get hung up on this is not ever going to work. And soI'm going to shut down. But that's the type of role that is, it's really engaged with the rest of the team to help advance that process from the enduser's perspective.

[33:48] Mitch:  Cool. I think we should plan on having a future episode on the champions model. Because I think it's interesting.  Whenever we enter an organization and promote this champions model, it's always interesting and can be really successful if they embrace it and it's worth talking about more. Okay. So that summarizes all the roles for us. How does that work in an organization that kind of has some of the things already in place, they're using email but they really want to use more?

[34:23] Matt: Yeah. So in the case that you've already kind of started using office 365 and you're looking to just advance that to the next level and continue to deepen your usage. It's largely the same kind of concept. In that case, you still don't have probably a really broad infrastructure in place to roll out, identify and roll out additional solutions or usage of applications.And so you really want to have some of those same people involved to help you in that process to build your team that's going to advance your modern workplace, if you will, using office 365.

[35:01] Mitch: Okay. So a lot of the same. So let's say they're already in the process of deploying something new and they're having issue with a particular technology. That's the other segment.

[35:14] Matt: So in the case where you've already deployed your solution, but you've got either a problem with adoption. So it's not working for the people that was intended to, to be using it or something isn't working technically, so you thought it was going to do this and it's not doing that anymore, or it's not doing it the way that you expected you. It really comes down to a couple different areas in my opinion, about the types of people you should be looking for, one would be an office 365 solution architect. 

[35:46] This is a person who has broad expertise across the stack. And that's going to help in a scenario where maybe you're having problems with interactions with multiple pieces of the tool. So that's one thing another would be the technical specialist role. So let's say you're having a specific problem with teams or another area or aspect of office 365. Bring in a teams expert. That's the person that you really need for this type of problem. 

[36:14] So last, if you're having a problem with adoption, so people aren't really using it how you would expect. Chances are that you had a problem with your change management. You didn't either talk to those users to really understand and get buy in from them, or they don't have the right training, or they don't understand the benefit of this thing. And really getting someone that can help you right the ship in regards to the change management, and maybe try again with the rollout and, and usage of it. 

[36:42] Those are the three different roles that I think are best suited for that type of need. You really or should already, at that point have someone doing support. Someone who's doing champions pieces, if you don't have those, obviously you can look into those as well, but my guess is one of those three roles are going to be the thing that's going to give you the best value for what you're trying to do.

[37:05] Mike: You mentioned champions again, I feel like you just added a little bit more cheese to the trap that Mitch sent. When it comes to change management, like one of the things that feeds into that is whether or not you implemented the champions model or some form of it, right?

[37:20] Matt: Yeah. Whether or not you're getting feedback from the end users. Because just telling somebody that, like, it doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter what level you are. If somebody just says, you have to use this new thing, I'm not going to tell you why. I'm not going to tell you how, just use this new thing. People don't respond

[37:33] Mike: No, they don't.

[37:36] Mitch: Okay. So that summarizes the first two sections of your article, which is, do we have a strategy? And then where am I in my journey? So this last section is what if I don't want to hire a full-time employee for one of these roles?

[37:50] Matt: Yeah. So I think for a number of these roles, there's a lot of great options for hiring someone who is experiencing these things and engaging with them in a contract or part-time basis to help with a particular solution.I actually recommend that for, as I mentioned, a number of these. Especially as the experience and type of work changes. Because the volume of it changes. So as you get further up in change management, office 365 solution architecture or even technical specialists. 

[38:28] So let's say if you have someone who's really technical and deep in one particular technology, let's call it teams. And rolling out phone solutions for teams. And you've identified that as a thing you need, but once it's rolled out, there's not so much needed in regards to deploying it all from scratch again. So maybe you need that person only during that particular project. So I think in all of these things, there is no hard and fast rule. It really depends on what you see the next 3, 4, 5, 6 years being, which is again why the plan is so important, why the vision is so important to really get a gauge for where you want to be. And that should really indicate how you want to hire or bring in from outside. 

[39:13] Mitch: Okay. I think that's good. The couple of points you also laid out here that I wanted to share was they might be fearful that they don't have enough work to keep them busy. Or they might be expensive.

[39:26] Matt: Yeah. Which leads into what I was talking about. So as you get higher up in that expertise area, both of those things become a challenge.These people are going to cost more and the work that they like to do, you may not have a lot of. So again, that teams person, let's say that they absolutely love solving problems with deploying and rolling out teams. And phones specifically in teams. Going to a location installing, maybe there's some hardware that needs to be installed, or maybe there needs to be old hardware removed. That's what they love. They love doing that.  

[40:02] You're only going to do that once. Most organizations in like every 5 years, 10 years. It's not the type of thing that you're going to do that type of rollout all the time, but that's what they love. If that's the case, you're not going to be able to fulfill what they really want to get out of this thing. Also, they're probably are going to be pretty expensive because they have a very targeted skillset in what they like to do and how they're doing it. Especially again, when you get to the change manager, the solution architect, their roles that become a premium.

[40:34] Mitch: The more you describe a lot of this, the more I'm trying to put myself in someone else's shoes. And I feel like it might feel a little bit overwhelming.

[40:43] Matt: It can be, yeah.

[40:44 ] Mitch: And still expensive. 

[40:46] Matt: Sure. So I think the key though, is to again, go back and focus on what your business needs. If you have articulated that you're going to get significant business value out of rolling out an intranet let's say, for communication and collaboration. Once you have that value articulated, then you can start to compare that to what you want to do to accomplish that. And what you need to accomplish that. It becomes much easier when you all have a shared vision for where you want to get. 

[41:18] If you're just saying, I need an intranet and somebody says, well, it's going to cost you a lot of money to have this person, you don't know what you're going to get out of it. You just know you want this thing. And quite frankly, when you say this is the value I'm going to get out of it and it's valuable, but it's not that valuable. You can also set your expectation about how you want to engage with somebody. A great example, we work with customers and we can do a couple different ways we work. We like to say, we'll doit for you. We'll do it with you. Or you can do it yourself. If you are going to get some value out of it, but it's not going to be life-altering for your business. You can choose one of the options where you are taking more ownership of it. 

[42:01] And you're not going to cost as much, you're not be paying us that much. And the reason we do that is because we recognize that there are varying scales and you really need to decide. Now, if you choose the option where we're going to do it for you, you should be looking at something that is going to be transformative to your business. It's going to take you from where you are now to the next level. Because it's not going to be cheap. It's going to cost you money to make that happen. And it's really up to you and where you see that value. But for me, it all starts with that plan, identifying where the business value is and then using that to guide how you want to move forward.

[42:41] Mitch:  Yeah. I feel like that it's a good summary. It puts a lot of on us on them to kind of put their ducks in a row before they really start venturing down the path. And I feel like that's a thing that we come across with customers is that, they're like, oh, I just want to use teams better. Can you train me how to use teams? And it slowly expands into this thing and it's really hard to navigate sometimes.

[43:06] Matt: Yeah. So if someone comes to us and says, I really want to use teams better, this is my goal. And I've already articulated to myself. I know that it's going to be valuable and I know what it's going to be. That's totally fine. There's nothing wrong with that. And we're happy to help you. We are not in the business of forcing you into some grand scheme. But what you have to understand is that we're not bought, we can't guarantee the outcome that you're envisioning because you haven't articulated it. 

[43:37] I have no idea what you're trying to get out of this. All I can do is take what you've said as your plan and your goals, and then help you try my best to accomplish those technical things and tactical things. If that doesn't deliver on the thing you need from a business perspective, there's nothing I can do about that.

[43:57] Mitch: It's hard to be in that position. Just like, Hey, it's up to you.We can do it. But if it goes bad, sorry.

[44:05] Matt: It's not that it'll go bad. I guarantee we can roll out teams and make you use teams better if you were doing it because you expected 50%improvement in efficiencies. I can't guarantee that. I can guarantee as an organization, I can train your people on teams. We can help you use it more effectively. Will that make your sales team more effective in doing sales calls? I don't know. Will that make your training organization be better at doing training? I don't know. I'll try to do my best to make it, to have them have the tools to determine it, but I've done nothing to help you or help assess that that's really going to happen. And it's really like when I talk about those things, it's not like you brought it up very much, it's like we're trying to tell you that you have to do this to make this happen. I'm not. 

[44:58] What I'm telling you is if you want to be the most successful and if you want to make good decisions about whether or not to hire somebody or to hire somebody outside, you need to have those things in order, if you don't have them in order, have somebody help you get them in order. We work with people all the time where we help them figure out the vision, but like I said before, they're doing all the work. Our involvement is upfront, fairly heavy investigative, identifying what they're doing, but then they're doing most of the work afterwards. I'm not in the business of trying to have an organization be tied to us for delivering all of their office 365 solutions. I want them to understand what their plan is and for them to take that forward and make it happen. But we're kind of on a tangent now.

[45:49] Mitch: That's okay. I think it was a really interesting conversation. I hope dear listener, it provided an objective opinion on how to navigate your way through improving your organization with office 365 and figuring out what your next step is. So like I said, champion model coming up. So thanks for listening and we'll see you guys soon. 

[46:19] Outro: Thanks for joining us today. If you haven't already subscribed to our show on your favorite podcasting app, so you'll always be up to date on the most recent episodes. This podcast is hosted by the team members of Bulb Digital. Special thanks to Eric Veneeman for our music tracks. If you have any questions for us head to makeotherssuccessful.com and you can get in touch with us there.You'll also find a lot of insightful blogs and videos to help you modernize your workplace. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you next time.

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