From MVA Studios: Yammer Administration and Power User Best Practices


As promised, here is the last installment from my Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) sessions in March, with the videos now available through Microsoft’s Channel 9, and soon to be available for MVA users. In fact, I just sent off the end of session survey questions to Chris Norred at Microsoft, and so am officially done. This final session, with its 8 modules, was recorded with John Westworth (@palymoth), one of two dozen Office 365 Customer Success Managers (CSM) worldwide, who came as a recommendation from my good friend and CSM Noah Sparks (@noahsparks), who couldn’t make it back to town to participate. But it was great to meet John, and it was a fun session. Also come to find out, John is from the same town in the UK as my good friend and fellow MVP Liam Cleary (@helloitsliam). Small world.

I believe this is the first Yammer content to be added to the MVA catalog! Nice. Happy to help expand the portfolio. Our session was entitled “Yammer Administration and Power User Best Practices.” What is included in this session? Well, here is our abstract:

If you’re a Network Admin curious about Yammer, this is your course! Explore basic Yammer capabilities, and get a detailed description of the admin roles, an outline of the steps to get you up and running, and best practices to help you make the most of the platform.
Explore the history of Yammer and social collaboration with Christian Buckley, Managing Director for the Americas at GTconsult, and John Westworth, Office 365 Customer Success Manager at Microsoft. Look at basic navigation, see how to add users, and plan for the future. Check it out, and find your voice!

As with the two sessions I recorded with GTconsult co-founder and COO Craig Tarr (@Craig_Tarr) — Managing SharePoint On Prem vs Online, and SharePoint Online Migration Planning –  the modules break down a complex topic into consumable segments. You can watch them in order, or watch them out of sequence. A few of them refer to other modules, but for the most part they are standalone.

Of course, this content fits right into the book that I am currently writing for APress with co-authors Ruven Gotz, Michelle Caldwell, and Naomi Moneypenny. Unfortunately, with Ruven moving from Canada to NYC, my move from imageMetalogix to GTconsult, and all of our busy travel schedules, the book time table has been pushed back, but our plan is to have it out this summer.

Some people have asked why we would include power user tips with an admin topic. Well, John and I try to address that within a couple of the modules. If you ever went through the Yammer certification programs (they no longer exist, but their content is available for free) then you’ll recognize that the technical training was always blended with tips on cultural change, as well as marketing messaging. This makes total sense, as the hardest part of any social implementation has more to do with a cultural change than it does with the technology. As such, John and I talked at length about how one important role of a Yammer admin (or a SharePoint admin, for that matter) is to encourage adoption and, more importantly, engagement within the platform: educate people, help them to understand how to use the platform, and help develop advocacy. As as admin, your role does not end with activating a new user’s profile.

I’ve had a few people reach out about the lack of regular content this past month. Blogging and feature articles took a backseat to these 3 MVA sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and hope to more in the future. Until then, back to normal….whatever that means.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.