Office 365 Governance

Product IT and its implications for
companies, IT, and enterprise architecture

Sometimes things need to move very fast – for example when a new task has to be performed that requires the acquisition of additional knowledge, but the normal workload doesn’t allow the time needed for this. Sometimes circumstances can also change suddenly and staff need to introduce new software that the company has no experience with, and therefore little information about.

CBA Lab created its Sprint Workstreams in order to help companies deal with such situations. Whereas conventional workstreams often address an issue for a period ranging from nine to 12 months, a Sprint Workstream works in a very focused manner, and usually only virtually, for a period of just a few weeks and can thus produce a result after two or three months that can be applied immediately. Sprint Workstreams involve very specific tasks that rely heavily on an exchange of the latest knowledge and experience.

CBA Lab’s first Sprint Workstream addressed 15 specific questions relating to Office / Microsoft 365. These included issues associated with the tenant identity strategy that companies need to define themselves because intensive cross-company collaboration in the Microsoft world is anything but self-explanatory. The members of the Sprint Workstream also discussed questions relating to access via private devices and the allocation of resource contingents for various services, as well as the question of whether additional governance instruments are needed in certain situations.

The questions were very pragmatic:

  • What proved to be reliable after the introduction of Office / Microsoft 365, and what was no longer reliable?
  • Are there pain points, and if so, where?
  • What special challenges resulted from the home-office strategy?
  • Which 365 governance principles are needed for operations?

"We addressed Office 365 governance as a Sprint Workstream," says Benjamin Zimmermann from KUKA, "because we needed to react quickly to the rapid implementation requirements of the business units and departments due to the need for remote IT solutions for home office environments. Nevertheless, we still wanted to use proven architecture and proceed in a structured and sustainable manner – quick and dirty wasn’t an option here."

The EA teams at the companies provide support to the IT and business units and departments, whereby governance no longer plays the type of dominant role that it did as recently as a few years ago. This is also why CBA Lab wants to quickly provide answers to current questions, and thus facilitate daily tasks and interaction.

Sprint Workstreams can be supported here by experienced moderators who manage aspects such as timeboxing, organization, and documentation in detail, thereby reducing the strain on team members.

We wanted to use proven architecture and proceed in a structured and sustainable manner – quick and dirty wasn’t an option here.
Benjamin Zimmermann
Workstream Coordinator

External expertise is also incorporated in order to obtain new knowledge more quickly. This expertise can be contributed by member companies that already have experience with the topic – in this case Deutsche Telekom – as well as by research institutes or other providers.

The Sprint Workstreams sometimes approach documentation differently than other workstreams because they seek to quickly put together documentation for the individual sessions and the workstream as a whole, and they therefore use creative depiction approaches in many cases.

Lessons learned

  • Plan at least one half day per workshop!
  • Remote workshops need to have a fixed agenda.
  • A digital whiteboard is highly recommended for working out the results.
  • Digital surveys are helpful when prioritizing issues in advance.
  • If the results are documented as minutes only, a great deal of follow-up work will be necessary, which is why a results document should be produced directly in the workshop!
  • Sprint Workstreams are good for rapidly enabling an exchange of ideas and information between experts.
  • Sprint Workstreams require a lot of discipline from participants.

The format and content of this first Sprint Workstream’s results were quite impressive. Among other things, an infographic was created that can be hung up as a poster, whereby this infographic can also serve as a checklist for anyone who wants to introduce Microsoft / Office 365 at their company, or anyone who wishes to optimize the use of soft- ware that affects virtually all employees in some way.

Die Infografik ist Poster und Checkliste für alle, die in ihren Unternehmen Office / Microsoft 365 einführen oder dessen Einsatz optimieren wollen.

Download Infographic (PDF, German)

The workstream was called "Office 365 Governance", and its results document also references this product name, which has since been changed to Microsoft 365.