The sudden onset of hybrid working revealed to companies worldwide the urgency of effective teamwork from home. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams as a powerful online collaboration tool has since safeguarded many businesses’ performances, however, simply booting it up won’t suffice! Below we offer 5 tips for a structured Teams adoption strategy to ensure you get the most out of the software.

Overview: Adoption Strategies and Their Importance 

Adopting any software is a multistage mission, involving optimising processes, removing roadblocks, and forming a framework in line with your company’s goals. Microsoft Teams is no exception, and success is defined by how effectively end-users engage with it. Common challenges include:

  • Work Culture Changes: many teams use Skype or Slack with co-workers. Therefore, it can be complicated to make them give up this past norm and convince them of the benefits of adopting a new application.
  • Poor Technical Expertise: limited knowledge of the scope and capabilities of an application slows the adoption process. For digital transformation of any kind, you will need an expert team.
  • Weak Executive Engagement: an executive’s visibility and active role adds credibility to the adoption, however, if they lack enthusiasm the project lacks sponsorship. The right leader is critical!

Establish an Adoption Framework

Every organisation has different needs, so you must form a framework that works best for yours. The three-phased adoption framework ‘Start, Experiment and Scale’ is recommended by Microsoft and is as follows:

  1. Start: once equipped with the technology and license required for Teams, establish an expert team to assess your business’ readiness both at the user and technical level (note: its insufficient to pilot Teams solely in IT before distributing it widely).
  2. Experiment: with baseline data about your organisation’s readiness and a team, you can now move to piloting Teams to different business units/groups. The right policies and governance models are key at this stage.
  3. Scale: you have now gained experience and skills to broaden your Teams deployment. For the broad roll-out, you should set organisation-wide goals with your team and executive sponsor to identify metrics for measuring success e.g., optimised work rates, reduced time spent joining meetings etc.

Integrate User Adoption in Workgroups

You should begin small and scale up when deploying extensive software like Microsoft Teams. Decide the workgroups that seem appropriate for the early-deployment stage and introduce them first.

From here, you can gather their feedback that provides essential and timely insight into how the application suits your team. You can use this information to correct early issues and revaluate your approach before deploying Teams broadly.

Delegate Governance Appropriately

Teams operates as a hub for collaboration with others, however, without an established governance strategy it can become inundated with content that overwhelms users. Therefore, governance to avoid disarray is vital to the adoption process.

To build an effective structure behind your use of Teams, ensure that you fully understand: which parties have administrative rights, labelling conventions for teams and channels, what’s your external access policy, systems for archiving content, and which third-party apps are beneficial to include for users.

Promote Learning with Training and Self-service

As stated before, the success of your Teams adoption is measured by user engagement i.e., the more, the better. You can entice interest by providing training that allows users to understand the value of the application. If you dedicate time to this, you ensure your team fully appreciates the invaluable suite of services on Teams.

To begin, organise training sessions to raise awareness of key features, you can even use the training videos for Teams that Microsoft offers.

Provide Continued Support for Adoption

To maintain continued engagement of Teams in your organisation, connect end-users to resources with help e.g., links or personnel. This support system is not only useful to making the user experience more straightforward and enjoyable, but also creates a feedback loop allowing you to improve resources and training in the future.

Ensure your organisation is making the most of your investment in Microsoft Teams. It is a leading collaboration tool that invigorates a business’ efficiency and productivity. What more can Teams offer your business? Are enough of your staff using the software effectively? Would additional training and learning further improve efficiencies and engagement? Implementing an effective adoption strategy is strongly advised to ensure long-term engagement by your workforce.

ThinkShare can help you review current adoption levels and provide training workshops that not only increase the usage of Microsoft Teams, but the usage of all tools within Microsoft 365 . Learn more about the benefits of Teams here or book a call with one of our consultants for support in forming an adoption strategy for your business.