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Making deployment of Office 2007 easier for both users and the IT guys

Making deployment of Office 2007 easier for both users and the IT guys

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A lot of IT departments have been traditionally nervous about rolling out new end user applications due to the potential helpdesk impact if users are not 100% au fait with how to use the software.

In my experience, the concerns have been largely unfounded as long as the rollout is planned thoroughly. Typically it takes a lot less time for the average user to get up to speed with the new Office UI than many IT guys think - less than 2 hours for 30% of users, according to one analyst report. I've yet to find someone who has moved to Office 2007 that would move back to an older version after a day's usage - so it's important to have as much end user collateral as possible in order to make the transition as non-disruptive as it can be.

I could write about this topic for hours, but in the interests of keeping the post succinct I thought I'd highlight some of the end user resources available that I've been having a look at. Plus the "ELF" acronym just has to be shared :-)


Get Started guides

If you or your coworkers are starting to use the new 2007 versions of Microsoft Office Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, you know how much these programs have changed. The changes make working with the programs easier, faster, and more efficient. To help you get comfortable and productive with the new look of the programs, we've put together a selection of training resources.

These resources include:

  • Video demos to show you how the 2007 programs work.
  • Interactive tools to show you where 2003 commands and buttons appear in the 2007 Ribbon.
  • Free online training courses to help you get the most out of the 2007 programs quickly.
  • You can download a connection to these resources right into the Office ribbon, so it's where you want it when you need it - you'll then have a "Get Started" tab right in the main interface of Office.


Guides to the 2007 Office system user interface

Wondering where your favourite Office 2003 commands are located in the new 2007 Office system interface?

If you want to explore the rich, new design with some guidance, try the interactive guides to help you quickly learn where things are. You can run the guides right from the site, or you can download them to your own computer for use any time you like. Or even include them as part of a desktop image build or custom Office MSI package.

If you prefer to see just a list of all Office 2003 menu and toolbar commands and their locations in the 2007 Office system, open one of the mapping workbooks, which you can browse, customize, print, and save on your computer. Instructions on the first tab of each workbook provide tips for customizing, finding, and printing the lists.


End user training for the ribbon, efficiency tools, MOSS workspaces, collaboration and search


Help prepare employees during deployment with the Enterprise Learning Framework

The Enterprise Learning Framework (ELF) is a tool that helps enterprises develop a training and communication plan for employees during deployment of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The ELF identifies the most relevant learning topics on Microsoft Office Online for different stages of deployment and different types of users.

The Enterprise Learning Framework was developed in response to requests from corporate customers for help with deployment. With the Enterprise Learning Framework you can:

  • Minimize concern by preparing employees before deployment and raising awareness of the benefits of the new Office products.
  • Minimize disruption on deployment day by getting employees quickly up to speed with a short list of "must-know" topics.
  • Gain productivity quickly by identifying the most important learning topics as employees continue to use the 2007 Office release.
  • New topics are added as they become available on Office Online.

Who should use the Enterprise Learning Framework tool?
The ELF is a tool for people in, or associated with, corporate IT departments who are responsible for training end users when desktop products such as the 2007 Office system are deployed. While roles vary by organization, typical titles may be desktop deployment lead, training manager, or communications manager.

You can use the ELF in several ways; for example:

  • As part of your deployment communication and training plan. Select the time frame (for example, a month before deployment, or the day of deployment) and category of employee (for example, information workers) and then generate a sample e-mail message with topic recommendations for your employees.
  • To identify a few key learning topics for a particular area, such as the new user interface for certain Office programs.


Finally - if this is an area that any readers would like more depth on then just leave a comment & I'll set some time aside to put a bigger post together.

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