The most important aspect of transitioning to a new digital workspace are the people. After all, they are the ones who will use the digital workspace, and therefore it’s crucial to start with them. To ensure that everyone will get a fitting workspace and will actually use it, you can use personas. In this blog, we explain to you what these personas are, the crucial part they play in the adoption and how you can start creating your own personas.
What are personas (and why are they so important)?
Your employees are the ones who will, in the end, determine if your digital workspace will be a success or not. Even if the product is amazing, if people don’t know how to use it or if it doesn’t meet their needs, there’s a slim chance they will embrace the new workspace.
In a perfect world, an optimal workspace would be custom-made for every individual in an organisation. This would make setting up a perfect workspace complicated and time-consuming – after all, all users are different. Luckily, there are usually groups of people who do similar work, need the same (kind of) applications and use IT to the same extent. Based on these groups, you can create personas.
A persona essentially is a user profile that gives a name and a face to a user group. By creating personas for your organisation, you can map what kind of employees work there, how experienced they are with technology, what they already use, what they need and what their obstacles are.
The road to a custom workspace
Based on this information, you can create the needed workspace for the user groups behind these personas that suits them and their tasks. By offering a tailored workspace that matches the tasks and needs of the user, it becomes easier for the user to actually use the workspace.
Personas do not only come in handy when setting up the workspace. They are also very useful to base your training and communication on. Some user groups, or in this case personas, will need more consideration when transitioning to the new digital workspace. Some personas simply need more training, encouragement and/or technical support than others, what could be due to several indicators of the persona (which we’ll discuss later). Based on the personas, you can offer the user groups the help they need and people don’t get more or less support than they need.
How do you determine personas?
There are several characteristics on which you can base your personas. By defining similar user groups and filling out these categories for them, you create your personas.
- Demographics: Such as age and educational background
- Function and seniority: What is their function in your organisation?
- Job goals: Why do they do what they do in your organisation? What is the purpose of their role?
- Challenges: What difficulties to they deal with concerning their daily tasks?
- Mobility: How mobile are they in their position? Are they mostly in the office or on the road?
- Collaboration: How much do they collaborate with colleagues or external parties?
- Technical skills: How skilled are they with technology and how quickly do they learn new skills?
- Information sources: From which apps and tools do they get their information?
- Most-used applications: Which applications do they often (have to) use to do their work?
To help you create your personas, we have a presentation with a few example personas that can help you create your own. You can view them here.
Setting up the workspace based on personas
Now that you’ve defined your personas, you can use them to set up matching workspaces. This starts with an inventarisation: which technologies are already being used? Which technologies do they still need? Which technologies do we need to replace?
We’ve created a handy inventaritation list for this, which we use when supporting the workspace adoption. Both partners and customers get this list and other handy tools and fill these out together with our Success team, when they use our adoption support services. Do you want to know more? Contact our Success team.
When you’ve mapped all your (needed) technology, you can choose a fitting basic workspace and customise it based on the needs and necessities of your personas.
The next steps
Personas help you to be user-focused and offer your employees the digital workspace and support they need, which is a good step in the direction of complete adoption of your new workspace. However, this is not the end of the adoption process; to make sure all employees embrace the digital workspace, there are more steps to take. We’ve described them in our ‘Embracing Workspace 365 whitepaper’, which you can request here.