When I started working at Microsoft, I hadn’t been in such an open, technology rich culture before. And with so many IT systems around, and so many different software resources, my head was buzzing. In fact, I remember that at the end of the first week, the number of links in my Favourites was massive – just to internal websites.
I’d never used internet telephony, encryption, instant messaging, live meeting or SharePoint before, so I was all at sea until I could play around and work out how they were supposed to operate. Meanwhile, people who’d been at Microsoft for a while were metaphorically whizzing past me, as they collaborated, shared, published and distributed information. Whilst I was trying to work out how to answer my desk phone.
As our IT team describe it, Work Smart Guides bridge the gap between technology and users. Work Smart guides provide employees with scenario-based, best-use productivity aids on Microsoft products and technologies.
We produce them because we expect to see more consistent, productive, and cost-effective use of products and technologies across the company – which helps the business ROI on IT investments, as well as helping people to understand the benefit the IT team deliver to users.
Updated ready-made IT guides
The Microsoft IT Team have just updated the published versions that you could modify and publish for your users. This is a great step – I’m guessing that lots of schools, TAFEs and Universities are either producing user documentation for staff, or want to. And I bet that 80-90% of the content is identical in each institution. So these guides would make a good starter for 10, either for the format, or the instructions, or simply the screenshots. As an example, here’s the Email Basics one.
The subjects covered in the step-by-step guides for users include:
- Protecting data with BitLocker
- Getting started with email
- Transfer files and settings to a new computer
- Collaborating with SharePoint
- An overview of collaboration tools
- Customising SharePoint sites
- SharePoint workspaces
- Integrating Outlook with SharePoint
- Basics of managing email (Are you a stacker or a filer?)
- Office tips for Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word
- Outlook email signatures
- New features for users in Windows 7
- Securing Windows Phone
- Get started with Outlook Web Access
- Successful meetings with Lync
Download the Work Smart Guides
There are 36 of them, and they come in one big Zip file for you to play with:
Download the customisable versions of Work Smart materials.