Behind the Scenes on Goodyear’s Drive to the Cloud (Part 2)

This article excerpt, by Jim McKinnon, originally appeared here:
Jim McKinnon joined Goodyear as an IT intern for the company’s England subsidiary and spent the next four decades working his way up to vice president and CIO. McKinnon, who retires this month, isn’t ending his 40-year career on cruise control—instead he’s been in a pedal-to-the-metal drive to change IT at Goodyear.
The transition to Office 365 coincided with our move to a new world headquarters and an increasingly more collaborative company culture. We wanted IT to help enable that culture change. But updating the toolset doesn’t drive behavior modification. If you want projects to succeed, change management is very important.
At Goodyear, we have a mature, externally recognized project management process that delivers results. That process includes change management.
Our Office 365 change process began with executive sponsorship: essential support from the top to ensure proper governance. We established a steering committee of leaders from all business units, representing the key functions of human resources, communications, legal, project management, research and development, and engineering. We laid out the road map for detailed implementation. Very early, we had nearly 2,000 people involved—early adopters and change agents.
We also created a support network of approximately 100 IT professionals who provided online support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From anywhere in the world, our employees could ask a question via live chat and someone would pop up and answer it.
There were a few bumps, but Microsoft was a good partner and helped us along the way.
So far, the new tools are already making a big difference. Some of them are simple changes: working in the same document instead of passing files around, accessing documents from the web, a significant increase in instant messaging instead of emailing, more sophisticated calendaring and booking of conference rooms. We are using Lync Online for video chat, and soon we will ramp up with Skype for Business. We are also developing plans for how to leverage Yammer more to support our collaboration agenda.
Change is not just about data, processes, and systems—it’s also about people. I take great pleasure in developing teams and individuals, and since I joined Goodyear, we’ve started an IT development program to focus on emerging talent, leadership, and employees with a high level of potential. I wanted to build a great global team top to bottom: a group that works as a team, partners well with the business, and has the respect of the business. I think we’ve done that.
We’ve supported a number of business objectives during my time here, but employees are saying the move to Office 365 is one of the most visible changes for IT and the business. It’s truly a global project—it touched all our office workers, and it’s foundational for the future. 
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