Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The journey to Viva Topics adoption success: Implement

This is the third and final post in our three-part blog series about how to successfully adopt Viva Topics. 


Check out the other two posts:

Part 1: Intro
Part 2: Initiate


In this series I have shared what you need to do to prepare for your implementation. To summarize what this preparation entails leading into launch and post-launch, consider the sample project plan below. Your timeline will be unique to your scope, resourcing, and culture.




In this blog post I will focus on the implementation phase, including running an early adopter program, building your knowledge base, and scaling Viva Topics in your organization.


Early adopter program

The primary purpose of an early adopter program (EAP) is to better understand what works (and what doesn’t work) in terms of knowledge discovery within your organization. Based on the insights collected from your EAP you will be able to refine your adoption plan prior to the broader launch. An EAP should also serve to deliver some quick wins for future influencing efforts and allow you to develop a pool of potential knowledge managers and champions to recruit from. An EAP is not user acceptance testing, you want to dry run some select scenarios in a production environment amongst a select group of EAP participants.


For your EAP we recommend recruiting important influencers, likely champions, leaders who will become advocates and representation across your extended knowledge team, including knowledge managers, champions, and topic contributors. Each of these roles should be filled with people from the different departments and business units of your organization. You want an extended knowledge team that understands the domain area, is connected to internal networks, and has social capital to spend in their respective organizations.


Build knowledge base

A quality knowledge base is critical for Viva Topics adoption. Users need to see value quickly and a quality knowledge base showing up in the flow of work is a quick path to that value.


Building a quality knowledge base consists of knowledge identification, capture (both explicit and tacit knowledge), curation and crowdsourcing. At scale, this can only be accomplished through the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and people. Viva Topics leverages AI to bootstrap your organization’s knowledge base, as well as the power of your people – subject matter experts and the crowd – to curate knowledge. 




As you scale Viva Topics you will want to seed your organization’s knowledge base with some initial, high-quality topics. We recommend prioritizing a subset of important and high visibility topics for human curation prior to launch. This will deliver early value to users and help spark the flywheel of using the knowledge base and contributing to the knowledge base that is necessary to build and sustain it.


After you’ve worked out the kinks of your plan through the EAP, delivered some early success stories and began the ongoing cycle of building and sustaining a knowledge base, you are ready to scale. To scale Viva Topics effectively this means expanding to new stakeholders and scenarios, crawling new sources for knowledge, delivering new types of value and growing user engagement.




There is a snowball effect ready to be put to work. The initial success you achieve through your early adopter program increases buy-in from other leaders, teams, and users. This leads to greater levels of knowledge use and more contributions to your knowledge base, increasing the value of knowledge in your organization. As more and more impact with Viva Topics is demonstrated, more stakeholders will get engaged and the snowball grows bigger and bigger. This is how you go from initial buy-in to the most mature stage where knowledge is embedded into work processes and culture.


As you expand to new stakeholders, business units and departments; it’s critical to enable them to be self-sustainable in their curation, adoption, and culture evolution. They are experts in their knowledge domain and need to be empowered to embed knowledge discovery into everything they do.


Next steps

Now that we’ve reviewed what a successful Viva Topics adoption looks like, what’s next? It’s time to get started. I’d suggest getting your core team onboarded and using the Viva Topics adoption guide to navigate your way through this exciting knowledge journey.


Reach out to us and your peers who are also on this journey by checking out the Microsoft Viva - Microsoft Tech Community. We look forward to hearing about your Viva Topics success story!

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