Any type of change can represent challenges and could feel unpredictable. However, the Adoption and Change Management team’s efforts can foster new ways of working and can help users move to a new hub for collaboration and communications successfully.
In this blog, you’ll get an overview of the discipline of Microsoft Teams adoption and change management and how you can optimize results following our recommended Teams best practices.
A change management strategy for end-user awareness and adoption of new technologies is critical to the successful rollout of any new technology in an organization. Successful completion of this effort will ensure user adoption and satisfaction of the new experience. Numerous lessons learned and best practices—related to engaging users, training teams, and raising awareness—have emerged from these efforts to drive adoption.
1. Executive sponsorship is critical to adoption. Because Microsoft Teams enhances collaboration and communications within a team, adoption success can be facilitated by engaging the head of the team. A simple message from a manager or leader within an organization saying that they’re using Teams for their communications and meetings can be a powerful cue to the members of that organization that they should use it as well.
2. Engaging an executive’s administrative assistant furthers the effectiveness of executive sponsorship ensures that any of the executive’s direct reports who want to participate in the executive’s meetings and calls will themselves become adept at using Teams.
3. Create a product champions community to increase the momentum of user adoption. Early on, Microsoft engaged employees who were clearly passionate about using Teams. Their passion and their ability to influence and teach others played a crucial role in generating excitement for Teams—not just among the immediate peers of these champions but also within the facility in which they work.
1. Microsoft Teams training programs had both direct and indirect benefits. Employees who took or watched the Art of Teamwork training programs were more adept at working with Teams and quicker to adopt all the communications features that they had previously relied on Skype for Business to provide.
2. It’s important to become aware of what people do within an organization and how they use technology to meet their goals. In training, the team found greater success when employees learned how they could use Teams to accomplish their goals—not just how the chat or channel functions worked.
3. Create prescriptive guidance around best practices, tips and tricks, and how-to scenarios that people can access at any time. The team learned how important it is to evolve help and training offerings in response to questions and issues that arose. For example, the “snackable” videos have proven helpful at Microsoft.
4. Finally, the team learned how important it is to develop multimodal training options from the start. No one training mode will suit all users. Some learn best by reading, others through video or audible training, and still others through hands-on training.
- When creating a communications plan to encourage adoption, the team found it valuable to target messaging by audience segment. They also found it useful to take advantage of all available communication channels when reaching out to audiences.
- As the adoption drive progresses, the messaging must evolve. The story changes as users grow more adept at using Teams, and the team managing the transition needs to re-evaluate and iterate to ensure the delivery of the right messages at the right place and time.
- Identify Best Ways to Communicate the Message: Based on the targeted audience, identify ways to communicate the message while building excitement and hype around the adoption change.
- Virtual Communication: Utilizing e-mail, newsletters or other already established means of communication to begin spreading your message is a GREAT place to start. Using the questions offered in step 2 will assist in creating your message.
- “Teasers”: Offer snippets of information regarding the change weekly, to build momentum and excitement about the adoption change. Messages and teasers should be simple statements that build to answering the questions outlined in creating a message.
- Scavenger Hunts: Once your application is up and running, create a “Discovery Course” that walks users through a guided tour, while asking them to find key items (Content, Quizzes, Discussions, etc.).
- Champions Program: Identifying individuals who have found early success at your institution around adopting Teams and use them to “Spread the Word”.
Don’t expect your employees to adjust to the change right away. Make it clear that there is a learning curve, and that you are open to questions, concerns, and suggestions. Accept course corrections. Remember that being flexible and collaborative will help you perfect the change even if you take a slightly different route to your goal.
Did you enjoy the blog series on driving successful adoption and change management with Microsoft Teams? Let us know in the comments section below how our change management specialist helped with these ideas.
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