Knowledge workers worldwide have experienced the rewards of digital work: flexibility around work and home life, focusing on work without distractions from colleagues, and of course, losing the daily commute. At the same time, we have learned the frustrations of working behind a screen: a child or partner requesting your attention at the moment your colleague calls you, switching between applications for instant messaging, task management and video calls, and failing to remember which platform your colleague sent you that file.
Though many of us have returned to offices, hybrid work means people will continue communicating and collaborating in digital environments. Microsoft Teams is one platform that has solved the challenges of application switching and unified digital work across enterprises. Many people find that Microsoft Teams allows them to work more flexibly as many of the tools they require during their working day are available on a simple ‘Work App’, that looks familiar across all their devices. But, it is not enough to simply roll out the platform; you need a robust Microsoft Teams adoption plan to ensure people get the most from it.
1. Communicate your rollout and adoption plan early
Communicating your Microsoft Teams adoption plan as early as possible is critical. You must notify department managers early and explain why they must use Teams and how they will use it within their department. By having this conversation with them, you can ensure their cooperation and reduce their resistance to adoption when you announce the roll out plan to the rest of the business.
The rollout phase will also require people to take time out of their day to allow IT to set up Teams on their device and prepare for scheduled downtime or any training they need to attend. Some people will appreciate the warning so they can schedule projects and other meetings around any time they need to spend on rollout.
It is important to remember that change will feel difficult for some people. You can alleviate the worries and frustrations of undergoing significant organisational change by clearly communicating and getting people involved and interested from the beginning.
2. Consider your governance strategy from the beginning
Governance policies help ensure that your Microsoft Teams environment is secure and well managed, and your team complies with the standards the administration and leadership teams set.
Governance policies might include the following:
- Guidelines for creating a new team/channel: You might restrict team creation to specific people, and then encourage these people to consider its necessity and whether it should be a private or public channel.
- How you will manage a team: You will want to set policies for adding and removing users, deleting teams, sharing information, external participants, etc.
- Security measures for protecting data: Teams and Microsoft 365 include cyber security measures such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption/protection and single sign-on.
When you enforce governance policies, it prevents Microsoft Teams from becoming a ‘free for all’ where everyone has unlimited access to create teams/channels, add users and share data. However, it is also crucial not to lock down Microsoft Teams to avoid too heavy a burden on your IT department.
3. Provide a comprehensive user training program
Some people will struggle to adopt Microsoft Teams without proper training. While the platform is not difficult to use, people will grow frustrated with it if they need to waste time learning each feature as they need or encounter it, and they may use other communication methods to do something like sending a file.
So, a good Microsoft Teams adoption plan must start with a comprehensive and engaging user training program that covers essential functions, such as setting up chats and teams, scheduling video and voice calls, sending files, managing tasks, etc. Ensure you provide information on security and governance best practices so that people comply with rules set by the organisation. Your training program should also offer material on more advanced features for people to expand their knowledge as they become familiar with the platform.
4. Create Champions to support other users
The selection and involvement of Microsoft Teams Champions can significantly impact the success of your Microsoft Teams adoption plan. These people might have been involved in an early adopters program and are passionate about Microsoft Teams and its benefits to the organisation. They act as evangelists for the platform, spreading the word about its capabilities and helping others to get the most from it.
Champions can be instrumental in helping to overcome any resistance to change within an organisation. They can educate others about the benefits of Microsoft Teams and how it can help them work more effectively. By doing so, they build support for the tool within the organisation.
5. Offer users access to quality support
A successful Microsoft Teams adoption strategy relies on quality user support. You should provide users with the resources they need to get the most out of the platform and ensure someone is available to answer questions and provide technical support when needed.
User support can come in many forms, but it will look different for each business depending on the users’ needs. For example, some users may need more one-on-one support than others. Some may be more comfortable with self-paced learning, where they can learn things in their own time. The Microsoft Learning portal includes short ‘how to’ videos that people can leverage if they get stuck.
You might also decide to have daily tips delivered to users to expand their chances of learning something new.
The key is to find what works best and then provide the necessary support. Without adequate user support, successful Microsoft Teams adoption will be difficult.
6. Review usage analytics to gauge user engagement
You can access usage analytics in the admin centre to view Microsoft Teams adoption statistics and understand how your users have received it and how well they leverage it. You might find features you encouraged during initial training are not being utilised as much, and you might decide to hold a refresher course to ensure everyone feels comfortable using that feature.
Additionally, you can leverage analytics to monitor user adoption and engagement over time. This information can be extremely valuable in determining whether or not Teams is meeting the organisation’s needs.
7. Deliver ongoing training courses
Like any new software or tool, there will always be a learning curve. And as time goes on and people get more comfortable using the new tool, they may start to forget some of the initial training they received. Refresher courses are an excellent way to ensure long-time Microsoft Teams users stay abreast of the latest features and new users get the training they need to make the most of the platform.
In addition to refresher courses, it is a good idea to provide materials that users can access to self-teach, such as videos or written guides. If someone experiences a roadblock because they do not know how to use a specific feature, this method can help them break through and continue with their day.\
How experteq supports Microsoft Teams adoption
Modern workplace success requires you to use the right tools for communication and collaboration. Before you see success, you need to ensure your users have the knowledge and training to get the most from your platforms.
experteq understands that success with Microsoft Teams requires a robust user adoption plan. Please visit our Productivity Apps page to learn how experteq can help you.