Phase two – Onboard

In this phase of the Adoption Framework, you will work with your key stakeholders to build and launch your adoption plan. You'll prepare your environment and test your adoption approach with Early Adopters, and use feedback to make adjustments before scaling to the business.

The key steps in the Onboard phase are:

  • Build your adoption plan
  • Launch to Early Adopters
  • Adjust your plan

Select this link to download a PDF version of the Dynamics 365 Adoption guide.

Build your adoption plan

Begin by driving awareness through end-user engagement. Success owners ensure business goals are realized by helping people use and get value from the new Dynamics 365 solution. Try these methods for driving awareness:

Communications

  • Identify and deploy a variety of tactics.
  • Focus on the “What’s in it for me?”
  • Tailor plan to company and culture.
  • Send out communications.

Engagement events

  • Engage executive sponsors to kick off launch.
  • Staff events with IT and champions.
  • Distribute banners and leaflets.
  • Place demo booths in cafeteria/foyer.
  • Host online events for remote offices.

Communicate value to the business through scenarios

Delivering value

Incorporate success stories

Success stories are often just as valuable as quantitative measures when demonstrating Dynamics 365 success. Throughout the rollout, project team members and champions should identify examples that demonstrate cross-functional collaboration and teamwork and share them by using tools such as Yammer or Teams. Leverage these examples in your communications to generate excitement and demonstrate the impact of Dynamics 365.

What makes a good success story?

  • Time. The story should begin with a time marker so the audience knows when it happened.
  • Characters. The story should feature names, so the audience knows who was involved.
  • Events. The story should recount the events that took place.
  • Visuals. The audience should be able to picture what happened.

Create launch events

The following are some resources, ideas, and tactics to help create an effective Dynamics 365 solution launch:

  • Planning team and champions wear T-shirts featuring the name of the Dynamics 365 solution.
  • Dynamics 365 solution banners, posters, and leaflets displayed throughout the offices.
  • Demo booths in cafeteria/foyer to showcase the various Dynamics 365 solution tools and features, and to provide hands-on experience.

How to choose your launch events:

  • Consider your goals for using Dynamics 365. How can your launch event support your business objectives?
  • Consider your company culture. What types of activities will resonate with your leadership and your employees?
  • Consider your time and resources. Can you mix and match activities to plan something that suits your needs and fits into your schedule?
  • Consider existing company events. Is there an upcoming company event near the roll-out of Dynamics 365 that could incorporate your launch?

Develop your communications strategy

Develop a communications strategy that will generate awareness and excitement before the launch and share usage success after launch. Consider the following best practices when building your approach:

  • Ensure staff are considered when putting together the messaging to help them identify, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Pick a mix of activities including email, posters, and physical events, and plot them along the project timeline.
  • Schedule events where people can experience the products and ask questions.
  • Tailor activities for driving awareness to company and culture.
  • Having a leader send out a communication announcing Dynamics 365, hosting a launch event, or sharing the benefits during an all-hands meeting will go a long way in validating its importance and getting everyone on board with using the new technology.

Complete the Communications Assessment and use the planning template in the Adoption Planning Workbook.

Build your training strategy

Focus on the why. Make sure employees know why the change is happening, what’s in it for them, and why they’re being asked to change.

Use real work scenarios. Use tasks or business processes that are familiar to your audience to draw them into learning how to use the technology.

Use multiple formats. Training end users should take on multiple forms to accommodate different learning styles, geographical barriers, and resource constraints.

Reinforce. Make the training stick with reinforcement options like on-demand training, lunch-and-learn sessions, and new employee training options.

Consider training best practices

When you are putting together your training program, take into consideration:

  • The current productivity tools you are running. If you are currently running a productivity system, you may need to spend an increased effort in the training stage, as it will require a change in behavior.
  • The technology literacy of the staff. You need to understand how tech savvy your staff is when planning your training program. This will help to determine how easily they will pick up new ways to work.
  • The current change programs. It is important to understand what other programs are currently running in the business, so you do not overwhelm or confuse your staff.
  • Training preferences of your staff. It is important to understand the best way to deliver training to your organization, whether it be in person, through assisted or unassisted online tutorials, or other methods.

Align your training strategy to the launch plan

Design your training strategy to scale with your launch. Start with the groups that will champion Dynamics 365, then prepare IT, before launching to the broader organization.

Plan your training strategy

Use the Adoption Planning Workbook to assess the training needs of your organization and build your approach to training.

Access learning and training resources

Access free online training resources to help launch your Dynamics 365 solution. Microsoft Learn provides step-by-step guided learning by job role and product, including videos, tutorials, and hands-on learning resources. Check in with the Microsoft Dynamics community of experts and peers. Get answers by posting questions in the forums, reading blogs and how-to articles, and watching videos.

Microsoft Learn: The primary destination for Dynamics 365 learning with videos, tutorials, and hands-on learning.

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Dynamics 365 webinars: Product-based training to help ready people to use the services and apps effectively.

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Dynamics 365 tutorials: Get up and running quickly with the basic info you need to be productive right away.

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Dynamics 365 YouTube channel: Discover how Dynamics 365 can help you grow your business.

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Build a sustainable champions community

Success owners ensure business goals are realized by helping people use and get value from the new Dynamics 365 solution.

Champions:

  • Should be formally trained to increase their depth and breadth of knowledge.
  • Should be encouraged and empowered to guide, teach, and train their peers.
  • Need consistent positive reinforcement that affirms the impact of their efforts.
  • Need a clear plan to execute.

Incorporate champions community into the launch plan

Launch plan roadmap

Build and launch your Early Adopter program strategy

An Early Adopter program gives your organization early insights that will help you bring Dynamics 365 to life for all users. Think of it as a dry run, among a representative group, that will help you prepare for full-scale launch. Working with Early Adopters lets you test your ideas and collect feedback that will help your project team bring that “WOW” factor to your full, organization-wide launch.

Why this program is important:

  • Identify pitfalls. Gather initial feedback and identify potential stumbling blocks to help shape your final launch plan.
  • Collect feedback. Get feedback from users on the identified goals and scenarios for your Dynamics 365 implementation.
  • Solve problems. Troubleshoot potential issues with a smaller group of users prior to an organization-wide launch.
  • Recruit champions. Develop a pool of potential enthusiasts to recruit from. These individuals will help colleagues adopt Dynamics 365 once the full rollout takes place.

Use Early Adopter feedback to adjust your adoption approach

Use feedback from Early Adopters to revisit your communications, training, and feedback plans. Adjust your overall approach based on the input received. Consider bringing your Early Adopters into the Dynamics 365 Champions group so they can continue to support their peers through the transition.

Next step

Phase three – Drive value

See also