Setup Targeted Training on Office 365 Adoption Center

Blog post: 3 minute read

This is part 1 of a 2-part blog series:

I highly endorse the idea of building an Office 365 Adoption Center as an effective tool to train on specific services across Office 365 as well as share employee success stories for how the tools are being used to make their work lives better. That all sounds like a good thing to do, but where do you start if you want to build one of your own? In this post, I’ll share a technique for building an Adoption Center using SharePoint search and related modern pages on a SharePoint Communication site.

One of the training tips I often share in end-user adoption sessions is building Targeted Role and Targeted Service training. What do I mean by these? Let me explain.


Targeted Role Training

In any given organization, there may be different roles you want to tailor training for to focus on specific Office 365 skills required for that role. Common roles I see in organizations that lend themselves to this style of targeted training are:

  • new employees
  • mobile workers
  • customer-facing
  • back-office
  • leadership

For example, customer-facing roles may require focused training efforts on using the Office 365 mobile apps for customer-site visits, knowing how to securely share files with their customers, and knowing how to use the new File-on-demand OneDrive sync client to work offline during customer-site visits.

The idea behind targeted role training is to surface the key things employees in that role need to know for their day-to-day work. It’s a “What do I need to know to get me quickly up-to-speed?” style of training.


Targeted Service training

This type of training is organized by Office 365 service rather than by role. For example, you would have all SharePoint-related training together, all OneDrive-related training together, etc. for all services you are training for across Office 365.

For the SharePoint service in Office 365, you may want to have one main SharePoint skills training page describing what SharePoint is used for in your organization with reference to related skills pages to include things like:

  • Working with Document Versions
  • How to use Filters in a library
  • Where to start a new document (where you describe tips for starting directly from SharePoint or starting from an Office client).

IMPORTANT: Please don’t “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to documentation for Office 365. Microsoft has already done a thorough job of this and you should leverage that wherever possible. What I do recommend is to build a site where you present the documentation in a more meaningful way (by role for example) for your own organization, however… ALWAYS link back to official Microsoft training material on your detail pages.

For the first post in this series, I’ll walk thru the setup prior to creating any pages. In the next post, I’ll walk thru the steps to create Adoption pages tagged with both roles and services and then build a series of pages for Targeted Service and Targeted Role training.

The technical advantage of this technique is it will allow 1 Adoption page to appear in several locations depending on how it was tagged. (Example: if a page was tagged with both SharePoint and Customer-facing, it would appear on both the SharePoint Skills page and the Customer-facing Skills page – a smart way of re-using your content)

This will be for a fictitious company, Contoso, on a new SharePoint modern communication site.


Setup

Step 1: Identify Roles and Services you want to train for.

The roles an organization needs to train for will depend on the individual needs of the organization and how they see the tools being used across those roles. In Contoso, the roles we want to train for are: Back-office, Customer-facing, Leadership, and New employees.

The services requiring training will typically be identified as part of a larger training program you have in place for Office 365 and, in addition, these skills may be tied back to individual employee’s training plans in HR. In Contoso, the services we want to train for are: OneDrive, Outlook, Planner, SharePoint, and Yammer.


Step 2: Define managed term sets for Roles and Services

Service Term Set

At either the tenant level (if you want to re-use it across many site collections) or at your Adoption Center site collection level, create a new Term Set for each of the Roles and Services values called Role and Service respectively. For each of the services above, create a term in the Service term set. For each of the roles above, create a term in the Role term set.

Note: for this example, I’ve created two Term Groups (Roles and Services) with their term sets underneath at the tenant level.


Step 3: Add 2 Site Columns for tagging your Modern pages

In the Adoption Center site collection, add 2 managed metadata site columns for the tag(s) you want to associate to each Adoption page. I’ve named these columns AdoptionRole and AdoptionService, each associated to the Role and Service term sets respectively created in the previous step. Allow for multiple values on both.

SiteColumn


Step 4: Add 3 custom content types

Adoption Page content type: In the Adoption Center site collection, add a content type inheriting from Site Page for the pages you want to build with this tagged content. These pages will be the specific “How-to” training articles you will surface in your Adoption Center and will be tagged with AdoptionService and/or AdoptionRole(s).

Examples:

  • How to Work with a Document’s Version History
  • How to Filter a library/list in SharePoint
  • Tips for Searching in SharePoint

Add the AdoptionService and AdoptionRole site columns created in the previous step.

AdoptionPageContentType

Featured Service Page content type: In the Adoption Center site collection, add a content type called Featured Service Page inheriting from the Site Page for the main service pages you will build. There will be no additional metadata added to the content type. For Contoso, we will use this content type to build 5 Featured Service Pages – 1 each for OneDrive, Outlook, Planner, SharePoint and Yammer.

Featured Role Page content type: In the Adoption Center site collection, add a content type called Featured Role Page inheriting from the Site Page for the main role pages you will build. There will be no additional metadata added to the content type. For Contoso, we will use this content type to build 4 Featured Role Pages – 1 each for Back office, Customer-facing, Leadership and New Employee.


Step 5: Include the 3 Custom Content Types in the Site Pages library

Using library settings on the Site Pages library, add the Adoption Page, Featured Service Page, and Featured Role Page content types to this library. I’ve made the Adoption Page the default content type since most of the pages on the Adoption Center will be built using it.


What’s next?

Now that we have everything set up, continue to part 2 of this series where I’ll build the Adoption pages and show how to display the content in the Contoso Adoption Center.

Thanks for reading.

-JCK


Credit: Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

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