Two hours, nine minutes and seventeen seconds. Two hours, twenty four minutes and fifty five seconds. Those were the winning times in yesterday’s Boston Marathon for the men’s and women’s elite race. The thousands of other runners crossed the finish line several hours later and undoubtedly celebrated their huge accomplishment. After all, it takes serious training to complete a marathon.
The tremendous work that goes into training for a marathon reminds us that results don’t happen overnight. Time and dedication are needed for success. This same logic applies to adopting Google Apps at your organization. The majority of companies that decide to go Google underestimate the amount of training and time it will take to get their employees fully up and running with Google Apps.
So, in order to “run” Google Apps properly, it’s critical to prepare and consider the following:
1. Get buy in early and from the top
Before a runner decides to undertake a marathon, he or she must consider the commitment. The same rules will apply to your organization which means that before you can even think about kicking off your Google Apps migration, it’s crucial to have full commitment from the higher ups at your company. You need their total, complete buy-in.
It’s typical (and helpful) to have a company-wide email about Google Apps come from a CEO or CIO before the Google Apps migration begins as this will set the tone for the entire project.
2. Take small steps
A novice runner won’t be able to run 26.2 miles right off the bat. They must build up to it and each run will progressively become longer over time. The same can be said for adopting Google Apps. It’s best practice to start small with Google Apps so as not to overwhelm employees. For example, start by introducing Gmail. Get users up and running for awhile before introducing Google Drive. You shouldn’t (and probably can’t) run 20 miles in your first training run and you shouldn’t throw the entire Google Apps suite at your company on the first day.
3. It’s all about the training
Imagine attempting to run a marathon without the proper training? Implementing Google Apps is no different. Employees will need to be trained in order to confidently begin using the new technology. Spend time building up the appropriate training resources such as a Google Apps site filled with recorded videos and lists of tips and tricks. Provide small training sessions and send weekly “Google Apps best practices” emails. The more training, the better. It’s also recommended to develop a core group of Google Guides within your organization. These specially selected people will serve as your on-the-floor ambassadors, counselors, advocates, trainers, and your front line of support. They are transitioned to Google Apps earlier than most of the users and given extra product training and support. This is an especially effective program because users are usually more productive with the new product if they can get immediate, one-on-one help from a peer. Think of Google Guides as running buddies!
When communication is used effectively alongside proper training at a steady pace, your organization will be more successful adopting Google Apps. Want more specific details around adopting Google Apps at your company? Download the complimentary eBook below.