How to Successfully Drive the Adoption of Microsoft Technologies – The Neuroscience Behind Adoption

Creating Effective Learning for Microsoft Office 365 by Understanding How Your Brain Works

In order to create the successful adoption of Microsoft technologies we will need our people to learn new features, functions and working practices. Understanding how our brains work is the first and important step to creating learning that turns into knowledge and stays with us for the long haul. This then enables us to create structured learning centred on the required Microsoft technologies that engages the user and consigns the required information to long term memory and enables the adoption of Microsoft solutions.

The first thing to realise is that we are biologically designed to forget more than we are to retain. The graph below represents research carried out by Hermann Ebbinghaus, published first in 1885 and backed up by empirical research ever since.

Forgetting Curve

This research represents what we all know to be common sense - if you learn something and no real conscious effort is placed upon the retention or reinforcement of that knowledge it will melt away quickly, rendering the initial time, effort and investment spent learning almost completely wasted.

This is unfortunately the reality for the vast majority of corporate training that is delivered – employees are corralled into companywide training sessions, which they do because the boss has told them they must, they learn about various Microsoft applications, they tick the box to say they have done it and go back to their day job - we’ve all been there!

So why do we forget so readily? We all like to consider ourselves pretty intelligent beasts and yet it would appear we forget so easily. Let’s look briefly at how our brains are wired in relation to learning and storing information.

Information is stored in the brain, utilising networks of cells called neurons. When you learn or think about a particular ‘thing’ the associated neurons become stimulated. In turn these stimulated neurons grow tentacle like structures called dendrites. Dendrites are the conduit by which neurons receive information. If a dendrite gets near another neuron there can be a connection between the dendrite and the axon of another neuron (the axon is used to send information).

The Important thing here is that the connections allow the sharing of information and so the more you think about a ‘thing’ the more associations you will make to other information, building stronger neuro pathways which enable greater and lasting memory storage and recall.

So how does this relate to creating learning plans for Microsoft technologies that enable information to stay with us – well we need to ensure the learner can make an immediate connection between what they are learning and how it relates to them and builds on relatable knowledge.

This means it is essential to steer away from the generic ‘one size fits all’ approach. We must consider how our people in differing parts of our organisation work and how they will interact with the technology. Key considerations should include:

·       Their job role

·       The current applications they use

·       Requirements of use with these applications

·       How they work – mobile or desk based

·       The devices they use

·       Are they management?

·       Frontline etc


In order to combat ‘The Forgetting Curve’ we need to create the right training for the right people – its important to note this shouldn’t be a hugely time consuming task as we all must be practical and realise that businesses move at pace and have a multitude of priorities of which this must fit as one.


We will cover further topics in future blogs which helps explain practically how we can create effective training, see below for more.

- Driving the Adoption of Microsoft Technologies – The Secret to Effective Learning

- The Adoption of Microsoft Applications - How to create effective training plans





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