As the recent international pandemic has painfully illustrated, internet communications and related computing is no longer optional. This is true for my industry: planning, design, and construction of buildings.
At this writing The Wilkinson Project Group (soon be dba Wilkinson Building Advisors) is providing complimentary support to persons and companies in our industry who are trying to get started and invest wisely (money and time) in the Office 365 suite of tools. We are NOT developers but rather so-called “knowledge workers” according to the MicroSoft hierarchy of learners. We are practitioners who have learned a lot over several years by trying and self-teaching. Thus, this initiative is named
In my estimation, MicroSoft has done a good job bringing us useful and affordable tools over the past several years. The tools are deeply integrated to web commerce and be bought (and turned off) as needed. In particular, spreadsheets are now better than ever; something very helpful to this industry. In fact, spreadsheets now can engage analytics and be a robust part of company operations (PowerBI)
All is not rosy however, here are a few recommendations and cautions
- TEAMS is a big deal to get rid of the tyranny of eMail. With a little setup help, it can bring organizational efficiency
- Monthly subscriptions can add up; take what you need and start slowly.
- Own the MS Office tool chest by subscription (Word, Excel….); everything stays current.
- If your business is spreadsheet based (such as estimates and budget reporting), PowerBI can be a game-changer. It’s worth getting some mastery.
- SharePoint is useful for content management (i.e. documents) but has a steep learning curve. The underlying logic is complex and usefulness can fall away quickly; get some professional help to get started.
- As you move forward from “newby” to User to Knowledge Worker, know when to get help rather than bury endless hours looking for that “unpublished” feature. Google is a gateway to a wealth of knowledge but be careful of the source date; 12 months is an eternity in the software world. MicroSoft has substantially ramped up its online documentation.
- LinkedIn Learning is also good; Genny
- Finally, MicroSoft phone support is world’s better than it was just a few years ago. Once again, reaching out often saves the day
My firm is here to help. I hope we do business in the future but for now the support is FREE. So, let’s all get through this together. A big dose of community will make a big difference as we all work to get to the other side of this pandemic. These forced learning times will transform ourindustry.
If you have read this post and find it useful, please pass it on to colleagues, workmates, and subcontractor. Let’s whack the virus, grow the learning tree, and celebrate American ingenuity.