Introduction

As most organizations are already familiar with the Office 365, you’ll likely have heard of Microsoft Teams by now. Technology adoption studies show Microsoft Teams is the chosen collaboration platform for more and more companies across the globe. The fact that 70 percent of global professionals work remotely at least one day a week will easily justify the increasing relevance of digital workplaces.

Adapted from Step Two Digital Workplace Radar

 

“Digital workplace as a concept and strategy continues to grow and  should be put on the to-do list for this year (if it’s not there already!)”

- Step Two Digital Workplace Radar

Introducing Microsoft Teams

While it’s not a completely new tool, Teams is actually Microsoft’s most recent addition to the Office 365 ecosystem. From smaller project teams to large departments, it’s the central hub for collaboration and communication in an enterprise context.

Available as both desktop and web app, Microsoft Teams combines shared workspaces with files, team sites, planners and many other productivity apps. To facilitate teamwork, the platform also features extensive communication abilities, from one-on-one chat to group video calls. 

Recently, Microsoft has even announced that Teams has become the primary platform  for intelligent communications in Office 365, and will replace Skype for  Business Online by 2021.

Whether you’re just getting started with Microsoft Teams, already using it alongside  Skype for Business, or ready to upgrade, we’ll cover all you need to navigate a  successful journey to Teams.

Before you head straight into new collaboration territory, check out our tips to plan and implement Microsoft Teams, ensuring user adoption enterprise-wide.

Implementation rollout

1. Plan the implementation rollout

Analyze the different requirements across your organization

While activating and using Microsoft Teams can be easy and straightforward, adjusting your day-to-day processes and ways of working to the platform requires some thought.

Instead of simply replacing Skype for Business and presenting a new file cloud storage, you can get more out of your platform, empowering colleagues and driving efficiency around collaboration.

To begin, it is important to have the necessary stakeholders on board and have the approval of the management in the organization. Introducing Microsoft Teams should not be an IT-only operation. Formulate a workshop for each aspect of the operation to find the optimal approach and requirements for your organization and its needs.

Also, don’t forget about the communication component of the Teams application. Will you keep Skype for Business as your main communication tool while running Teams alongside for all things collaboration? Analyse which setup fits best in your organization: Microsoft offers several possibilities to prepare for the future fade-out of Skype in favor of Teams.

Take a moment to map your current teamwork challenges and the issues you expect to address with your new platform. If you plan ahead, you’ll get a lot more out of your Teams! And if you need support in planning your implementation strategy, don’t hesitate to involve a partner who can provide strategic guidance and technology expertise.

Governance model

2. Create and apply a governance model

Guide team creation and avoid a teams-mess!

Microsoft Teams is designed to ‘take the chaos out of teamwork’. But with teams’ creation and all the collaboration features that are so easy to use, it can quickly lead to “Teams overload”.

The key to avoid confusion and chaos between different Teams in your environment is following a governance model.

Without guidelines, you’ll quickly end up with Teams that have completely different purposes, overlapping goals, confusing names, different Teams containing the word ‘test’ in their title etc.

All this clutter might also make user experience too complex, slowing down user adoption (when it’s actually a simple and intuitive workspace).

In short, don’t neglect the creative guidance of Teams  and avoid a teams-mess.

You might also choose extensive governance  through advanced automation via a third-party  solution. To help customers apply governance  principles more effectively, Amplexor  developed TeamHub.As a user-friendly  layer to Microsoft teams, TeamHub offers  full control over the lifecycle of a team.

Although achieving a sound governance model has a certain level of complexity to it, there are essential recommendations to follow in order to avoid disorder:

  • To begin, you can opt for a simple model, where you work with the off-the-shelf Teams and outline some rules for users to follow. For example, setting up a naming convention for new Teams can go a long way.
  • Take it a step further by listing the available options on the administration pages in Office 365, like the naming settings or your team expiration policy.
  • To enhance the navigation process, you can leverage the configuration possibilities in Office 365. You can create a workflow for new team requests and approvals, for example.

User adoption

3. Unlock user adoption

Help users find their way in the new tool

Almost last, but certainly not least, is getting users on board of the Teams train. If employees, teams, and departments in your organization don’t actually use the platform, it’s dead on arrival (DOA).

Although you probably won’t need to train every user with a Microsoft Teams course, how can you ensure everyone adopts the new tool in the most efficient way?

Communication is the essential ingredient, leveraged with guidance of a fine selection of Teams champions, as part of a well-designed change management strategy. The champions, e.g. project managers, can lead the troops into detailed Microsoft Teams usage.

You should also take advantage of all the existing channels in your organization. Your intranet, newsletters, internal blogs, email announcements, on-site screens, and so on to build your communication plan - they’re all instrumental to let everyone know what is happening when, whom to contact when they’re stuck, or find additional information.

The key to successful user adoption  strategies and team collaboration lies in effective communication. Remember: communicate, communicate, communicate!

Maintenance & monitoring

4. Monitor availability, functionality and user behavior

Follow up on the environment, and act upon the platform’s evolutions

The dust of the rollout has settled, and your now well-informed employees are using Teams to its full potential. But you shouldn’t rest on your laurels just yet! It’s important to follow up on the constantly evolving environment and act upon both the platform’s upgrades and the progression of its usage.

Address questions like “Do team names follow the established naming conventions?”, “Are there key users that could use additional support?” and “Is everyone following the rules for external sharing?”. Share analytics around adoption and usage of Microsoft Teams with team champions and remind them to share feedback from their team members.

Setting up monitoring processes ensure you keep an eye on important aspects of your Teams, anticipate issues and respond at the speed of light. All for an ever-improving digital workplace experience!

Table of Contents

How to build an empire: plan, deploy and adopt Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has been on your radar for a while now and your company is ready to go hands-on. But what should you consider to successfully launch Microsoft Teams?

Our ebook covers all you need to know to plan and implement Microsoft Teams, ensuring user adoption enterprise-wide:

  • Implementation rollout
  • Governance model
  • User adoption
  • Maintenance & monitoring

Get your free copy now