What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a communications and collaboration platform that combines instant chat and video meetings with quick access to storage, document collaboration, and, as a truly modern way of working, comes with application integration. It’s a new smart way of working and a great alternative to Skype for Business (that will be officially retired in 2021).
Microsoft Teams allows you to share workspace with your coworkers at multiple locations in real time. You can live stream, create channel and thread-based conversations, collaborate on multiple Microsoft Office apps such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Planner, OneNote, SharePoint etc. It’s an easy to use tool (once setup properly) that connects your employees and contractors across all your sites and makes project management easy.
If it’s such a brilliant platform, why doesn’t everyone use it already?
Because there is more to deploying Teams than just switching it on. You will need to have a plan in place: determine how to handle the creation of Office 365 Groups, agree on naming conventions, prepare for managing the Teams that may become irrelevant to your organization. You will also need to get end-users actually using Teams.
Tips for the adoption of Microsoft Teams
Asses your user base
An important part of your Teams Adoption Programme is creating personas (representative samples of users from across your organisation, including factors like different job roles and seniority). Assess the activities, demographics, problems experienced, interests, and motivators of your end users and create a few personas (not more than 8) – dependending on the size of your organisation – so you have a good view of your user base. Once you create your personas and consider your general user population to understand the cross-team scenarios, you can start mapping specific functionality to help solve specific pain points.
Specific users will find different features of Microsoft Teams useful. Your marketing team will want to make use of third-party app integration with their CRM application or have video chats with the contractor responsible for your website; your project teams will want to create project-specific workspaces and channels so that they can collaborate, prioritise tasks, and store documents.
After you understand who your users are and how they’ll work within the new solution, you can design your action plan incorporates how you’ll communicate, train, and support your users as you pilot, onboard, and operate the new solution.
Assess your technical readiness
Technical readiness assessment is critical in the process of adoption of Microsoft Teams, it will also help you understand how the platform will meet the needs of your end-users. You should test the network, check the firewall and proxy requirements. Are you already using Office365? What licences have you got? If you already have Skype for Business, unless you want to completely replace it, you’ll need to assess how you want to handle co-existence with Microsoft Teams. You should also check what kinds of online meeting capabilities do you need – audio, video, web? Test chat, calling, channels and meetings functionality. Once you have this information, you can then expand out your requirements in your pilot phase.
Create a variety of different types of training materials
In the modern age, people engage with content in different ways. Some prefer audio, some visual, some would rather deal with manuals and text. You will need to take this into account when adapting your Microsoft Teams training programme. Physical training days are the best idea (create scenario-based training sessions in which people will deal with problems relevant to their roles) but don’t forget about other ways of delivering training. Short scenario-based videos will work well here. Make sure you apply the previously created personas to present your employees with relevant materials.
Regularly assess levels of engagement of users
You should create regular feedback sessions for your user base. Listen to the end users, afterall they are the ones using the technology. Raise awareness of this feedback. Without the data you can’t expect users to embrace the change.
Pay attention to accessibility
More than one billion people around the world need assistive products to enable independence and productivity. Microsoft 365 brings multiple features and functionality that are designed to empower those with disabilities in the workplace. These also work for Microsoft Teams:
– Screen readers to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams
– High contrast mode for Teams
– Dictation for Microsoft Teams meetings that automatically upload meeting transcripts to Stream
– Integration with Office 365 accessibility tools
– Eye controls for Windows 10
Measure and benchmark your success
Use data within the Microsoft 365 Content Adoption Pack to find out the value from Teams being rolled out. This data will tell you exactly which workloads are being used and which are not. You’ll be able to get detailed information here, with the ability to view information sorted by role type, department, or location. Using analytics you’ll be able to adjust training or adoption activities in the areas of your business that aren’t keeping pace.ALL ARTICLES