Tips for increasing the usage of Drive and/or G+ within your organisation

Version 2

    Hi all,


    I hope everyone is doing well? I’ve had a really interesting past week - visiting Doha in Qatar for the first time. I presented at the Global HR Trends Summit which was a great event with a lot of interesting speakers and the largest event of it’s type the region has ever seen. I’m very grateful for opportunities to participate in events such as this as they always give me ideas and interesting insights into the different challenges that organisations are facing. The one main takeaway I got from the event is the importance of getting organisational culture right in order to be successful in today's competitive markets.


    So gold stars to all of you - because your organisations are already on that journey to becoming more collaborative and innovative through the use of Google Apps.


    For today’s post I wanted to share some tips for increasing the usage of Drive or G+ within your organisation.


    Many of you will have enabled Drive / G+ across your organisation during your initial deployment, but unless you have completed specific Drive focused change management activities, or you are lucky enough to have had viral adoption within your organisation there may be an opportunity to increase adoption and therefore the value you are getting from the product.


    With any project that is focused on increasing adoption of a specific tool, I suggest you follow the approach detailed below: Analyse, Plan, Execute, Measure.


    Screenshot 2015-05-06 at 14.24.06.png


    Oftentimes I see project teams leap directly to the ‘execute’ phase and start scheduling trainings or sending communications messages without having done any analysis or planning. Doing this may result in some increases of product usage - but it is likely that a lot of that effort will go to waste as it won’t be targeted to the needs of your employees.



    As an IT admin you’ve got access to see the usage statistics of the products within your organisation - so that is step one for getting an understanding of how the products are being used, and where there are areas that adoption could be increased.


    I’d also recommend collecting some data from your employees about how they feel about the products - what is the 'user sentiment'. You could do this either through a survey or via focus groups. The types of questions you should ask include:


    Example questions

    • Are you using Drive / G+?
    • If yes: Do you find it / them easy to use?
    • If yes: What are you using Drive / G+ for?
    • If no: why not? (don’t know what it is, don’t know how, don’t know why etc)
    • In your day to day work would being able to collaborate with others, share, store, access files from anywhere, connect with experts within your organisation, get advice from others, learn about the latest industry news be useful?
    • Do you use other file sharing / storing applications? USB, Dropbox, Box, C/Drive, etc
    • Do you use other social network tools for work purposes? Yammer, Facebook etc


    With the insight gained from the above you will be able to identify the use cases that different parts of the organisation will find most beneficial.


    Additionally you could facilitate a ‘Transformation Lab’ for various teams across the organisation to deeply understand their day to day challenges, and identify ways that Drive / G+ could be used to solve those challenges.


    Once you’ve identified the use cases most relevant for your employees it’s time to develop your change plan.



    As per any change program - executive sponsorship is key to driving behaviour change, so ensure that executives from different parts of the business are using the tools themselves. You may need to run dedicated training programs for executives, or you might use a reverse mentoring program (see my post on this topic here) to ensure they know how to use the products. They can then help lead and motivate their teams to start working with the new tools. Have the executives communicate to their teams the importance of collaborating, sharing, being compliant by using the corporate provided tools (rather than using ‘illegal’ things such as personal Drive or Dropbox accounts).


    Utilize the existing knowledge within the organisation by getting champions or guides to join a community and promote the usage of Drive / G+ to their peers, offer tips and tricks and also pass any feedback onto you and the project team.



    Then it’s time to get your communications messages drafted. Make them engaging and creative and share using all available channels. Create specific messages about some of the high profile use cases that you’ve identified. It’s especially engaging if you can focus your communications messages on the problems that you will be helping people solve.


    Regarding training - you might run some specific formal classroom training sessions - or you might utilize the existing online content and templates and customise if needed. Partners can also offer training services - both online training and instructor-led training. (See detailed blog post on training here)


    There are a multitude of assets available to help you with the above:


    Apps in action:

    Screenshot 2015-05-06 at 16.14.42.png


    Top 10 Use Cases for Retail, Manufacturing, HR, Sales and Marketing


    The Apps Show:


    And don’t forget to share the ‘switching guides’ if you’ve identified that employees are switching from using other storage tools:


    Make sure you have a way of collecting and sharing the use cases that you’ve identified - so that other parts of the organisation can also benefit and be inspired. A great way to encourage people to share use cases is to run a competition or publically reward those teams that are doing a great job of using Drive and G+ to improve the way they work.



    As you capture the use cases and success stories - collect them in a format that shows the impact. Detail the existing process - how long it took and then the new process with the amount of time saved or benefits received. You’ll then have a great set of assets that you can showcase to the leadership team that really demonstrates the value that IT is delivering to the business.


    Hopefully you’ll also be able to see the impact you are having by checking the usage stats.



    And then the cycle continues! Establishing an innovation council will really help you scale this work across your organisation.


    As per usual I’d love to hear your thoughts / comments or experiences that relate to the above topic. And don’t hesitate to get back to me to let me know about any specific challenges that you’re facing within your organisation that relates to increasing adoption.