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You have already made the ‘wise’ decision to move your company to GSuite Apps, and you have already invested in this new “software improvements,” the only part that is remaining now is the actual “move.” Your Move to GSuite Apps is an important step, as it is through the deployment of Apps, that you will be able to fully realize the benefits of these various Google Tools and software.
Moving to GSuite Apps might sound like a “simple I.T thing,” but it might not be that simple. While deploying GSuite Apps (the software and tools) might not be complicated, the “moving process” might be. This is because the move involves more than a “simple system change,” it involves personnel or staff who have to be in on ‘the move’ and who are part of ‘the move.’ For this reason, it is important to prepare for the GSuite Apps migration process by creating or utilizing an effective Change Management Activity Planner.
A well-outlined Change Management Activity Planner can help you capitalize on your move to apps by ensuring you Increase user proficiency, and also drive a quick adoption to this new system, which will in turn, deliver the highest possible Return on Investment (ROI). Here you will find a suggested timeline, which outlines key change management activities for a successful move to GSuite Apps.
The below timeline is a five-week, weekly GSuite Apps roll-out activities plan, for medium sized businesses with about 50 to 250 users.
Five weeks before GSuite Apps goes live
This week’s activities include sending out a customized company announcement, which will inform your employees of the impending move from their current software to GSuite Apps. You should include the reasons and the benefits of the move to the company, in your announcement. You can send this statement via official email channels or post it on the company’s Intranet. An authority in the company such as a CEO or CFO should be responsible for communicating the impending change, so that the move is not assumed to be a simple I.T matter.
Four weeks before Going Google
During “week four,” make an official GSuite Apps communication poster, which announces your company’s move to apps, and then post it. It is important to keep communicating to your employees about the looming ‘software migration,’ to reduce the chances of employee rejection of this new ‘technology.’
Activities for this week also include, sending out a training announcement to pilot users of the new ‘technology.’ This announcement should mention the training courses the users are to undertake and on what dates and times. In addition, you should develop GSuite Apps training materials for these courses:
• Delegated G-mail and calendar.
• Supporting GSuite Apps.
Three weeks before GSuite Apps deployment
During this week, you should focus on making a change impacts plan (explained in next paragraph) and develop training materials for the following GSuite Apps courses:
• Gmail and Calendar Basics
• GSuite Apps for executives
• Docs and Sites Basics
Two weeks before going Google
By this week you should have worked on your change impacts plan and should continue working on it until the last day. A change impact plan will help you deal with the “impacts” which are likely to occur due to the migration from the old system to GSuite Apps. For instance, there is likely to be a new retention policy of official emails, as Gmail is able to hold and save a higher number of email data as compared to other similar ‘apps.’ Your plan should identify the individuals responsible for addressing “change impacts,” and how these changes will be addressed (action plan).
During this week you should also customize and send out the first switch over notification message (Switch Message #1). This notification should inform your employees of the beginning of the GSuite Apps switch for instance, “we are now switching our email and calendar systems from Microsoft Outlook to GSuite Apps.”
One week to “the date.”
You should send out another customized message reminding users of the data migration (Switch Message #2). You should also, deliver and evaluate trainings conducted on Supporting GSuite Apps and Delegated Email and Calendar.
Two days and a day before going live
Two days to “the date”, make and send a reminder notifying employees of the looming data migration, and request them to prepare for it (Switch Message #3). One day before going live, send another customized message on the same as a final reminder (Switch Message #4).
“THE DAY” –Google Go-Live
On the day of going live, send out an official welcome message to GSuite Apps and if possible conduct a “go-live event and party.” Congratulations!
Preparation, effective communication, and training are essential in achieving a successful GSuite Apps migration. An effective Change Management Activity Planner can help ease your “move” to Apps.