10 Tips for Google Apps Change Management

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“But I like using Outlook!”

“But I don’t want to switch my email!”

“But I already know how to use my own tools, why do I need to learn new tools?!”

If your company is about to transition to Google Apps, there will undoubtedly be some strong resistance. It’s a matter of human nature – people don’t tend to embrace change. We like things the way they are. This is why your company needs a strategic plan for dealing with change management when you begin to implement Google Apps.

To get started, here are ten quick tips that will help your company ease into Google Apps and face change management challenges head on. Good luck!

1. Ensure you have executive buy in

Have a member of the executive team officially kick off the move to Google Apps by sending an email about the change. This helps the entire organization get on board for the move and take it seriously.

2. Create a simple and effective “elevator” pitch

In  the pitch mention some of the organizations most used features on their current service and highlight the equivalent Google Apps feature.

3. Offer transparency to all parties

To ease any anxiety about moving to Google Apps, commit to meeting with each department as a group personally both before and after the implementation. It helps tremendously to mitigate any resentment, fear, and anxiety.

4. Have a clear cut off date

When it comes to your old system and making the move to Google Apps, make sure you have a clear cut off date. Running two systems at the same time will only cause confusion and breed more resistance.

5. Make it a comfortable transition

Strike the right balance between minimizing the time where different users are on different systems but also making sure everyone feels supported through the implementation.

6. Develop a core group of “Google Guides” to help with the implementation.

These are specially selected people – many times volunteers – who will serve as your ambassadors, advocates and front line support to all things Google Apps.

7. Assist in user training

Create a video training series that dives into each and every aspect of Google Apps. Record these on Google Hangouts and then publish them for later training sessions.

8. Whittle it down!

In a training session, go around the room and ask everyone about the top three things they want to know. List them all on the board and ensure that you tackle those items. This gets everyone eager and ready to tackle Google Apps.

9. Ensure your users are continually learning

Create a monthly tips and tricks email that you can send out to all your users. Pick tips that are very practical and will apply to a large group so that they can appreciate these tidbits of helpful information.

10. Celebrate your success along the way

Whether it’s by recognizing contributions of your project team through email or a company intranet, rewarding users who have embraced Google Apps through a contest, or just continuing to reinforce the Google Apps vision.

When it comes to Google Apps implementations and change management, there are lots of resources available. One resource in particular is Backupify’s eBook “Growing Google Apps: How to Increase Google Adoption in your Organization”.

Best of luck rolling out Google Apps!

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