There is so much discussion and focus on Microsoft Teams which is no surprise with the number of organisations globally that will be not only enabling the platform, but also preparing for the move from Skype for Business.
Strategies for Microsoft Teams ranges from ‘turn it all on’ to strict governance and detailed strategy. It is important to decide what suits your organisation and have a plan of attack for this fantastic product.
From my experience to date with small pilots or broader programs, I have compiled what I feel are some key considerations to take into account when planning your Teams journey. Here are my quick and dirty points:
Have a health check
Do your staff grasp foundation Office 365 concepts that they will use in Teams?
Consider where their knowledge is at and the possible challenges they will have in Teams such as document collaboration, sharing, setting rules with links to share outside of the Team etc.
To review your adoption and usage areas:
- Review Office 365 tenant metrics
- Ask your staff what they are still confused about
- Review stop/ start behaviours – create a table across apps and think about what behaviour you want to drive in Teams
- Outline your benchmark for key Office 365 apps/ functions – what are the expectations broadly across the suite for your people?
Consider who is owning your Teams journey
The person or group leading your journey can determine its success. IT can be focused on getting it enabled and that box ticked. They often find Teams features easy to use and make assumptions about user needs or impact that can be misaligned. You need to have representatives from:
Consider consulting with key business areas to gauge their day to day activities and needs to then establish ‘a day in the life’, outlining how Microsoft Teams can support their work.
Making assumptions can mean you don’t really connect with the people and they get left behind in the journey which then impacts adoption and your ROI.
Know your people
As I touched on above, know the needs and work style of your people. To do so, consider reviewing:
- User groups and personas
- How different roles work — meeting heavy, off site, or desk based
- What are their needs — do they collaborate, communicate and what functions support their role
- What is the balance of their work — such as heavy document collaboration vs Chat and calls
- WIIFM!!! Really understand what value Teams brings to their job and adjust the ‘what’s in it for me’ to tailor the journey
Switch it up
Don’t assume it’s ‘OSFA’ (one size fits all) across your people. When you understand the roles and their work you will establish how they will use Teams across their day. Some areas may not even need the team work functionality activated and ‘Teams button’ visible in their platform (did you even know you can disable icons and restrict features in the platform?).
- Tailor features to your rollout — have things ‘turned off’ and activate in stages
- Minimise use for specific groups — only provide Chat and Calls ongoing if it’s all they need
- Drive teamwork features in key business areas — only where valuable and develop context and knowledge to drive understanding
- Don’t overload users — handle in stages
Keep it fresh
Don’t setup and move on. Things will enhance and use can develop further. Consider:
- Be aware of new features and updates on the roadmap
- Repeated short sharp training content to reinforce
- Assess impact of new features
- Make decisions for learning and communication as changes arise
- Make new behaviour stick
- Adapt ways of working as technology advances
It may seem like a lot of work, but a few chunks of time to review your people and discuss or plan is really worth it. Don’t waste this fantastic platform. Understand how it can drive your business and have your people thrive!
About the Author:
Megan Strant leads the Adoption and Change Management area at Insync Technology, an Australian based Microosft Partner. She has been consulting in Change Management in Microosft Office 365 for 8+ years, driving a positive end-user experience during an implementation or broader modern workplace programs, along with creative ways to support people to learn, change behaviour and drive value with the apps.
Strant, M. (2019). Tips for Success with Microsoft Teams. Available at: https://www.meganstrant.com/tips-for-success-with-microsoft-teams/ [Accessed 14th February 2020].