in Microsoft Teams (in 360)
Recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with Karuana Gatimu (@karuana on Twitter) – the lead for adoption within the Microsoft Teams team at Microsoft. I recorded our conversation on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond – the highlights of which are shared below (in 360 video).
What exactly are Microsoft Teams?
For those of you new to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft describes it as the hub for teamwork, unifying different services across Microsoft 365 in a conversation based platform. For us at Adopt & Embrace, it is the way we keep our distributed team together and coordinated whilst working on projects.
For others, Teams is a way to help streamline processes, create situational awareness, or simply get conversations out of people’s inboxes and into a place they are more visible.
When I began to discuss user adoption in Microsoft Teams with Karuana, she was quick to emphasise that it’s broader than just Teams. Teams and SharePoint, Planner, Yammer, Power BI and other Office 365 services can come together to make a great collaboration experience.Great discussion about @microsoftteams adoption with @darrellaas and @karuana (in 360 video!) Click To Tweet
Go full screen and adjust the video quality up to 4K, for a crisp viewing experience.
Why is it important to plan for User Adoption when deploying Microsoft Teams?
Karuana say’s it’s extremely important because “people have jobs to do”. They “need help marrying technology to business outcomes they trying to achieve.” Every organisation, division or end user is going to be on a different journey and travelling at a different pace. User Adoption projects are about enabling that journey to continue at whatever point on the journey people happen to be.
So often, IT project’s focus on features before scenarios. It is easy for the IT Pro to talk about features because cloud-based software platforms can change and improve quickly. Microsoft Teams has been releasing features at a steady pace over its first year of general availability. Karuana views the development as “building the connective tissue with Microsoft Teams, to better express the workloads that already exist in Office 365.” The goal is to continue bringing Office 365 workloads together “to provide a high-quality user experience, that lowers the barrier of entry to people.”
However, a good user adoption plan improves the likelihood of aligning usage of Microsoft Teams to business goals. When an organisation wishes to change the way they work with the help of software, they don’t simply roll it out hoping that people will use it the way they intend it to be used. A change in business culture takes place through building a community and conversation about the new way of working. Building a community requires people to champion the change.
Teams Champion Program
Microsoft is launching their Teams Champion Program to provide guidance for people who will be tasked with building community in their organisation that supports using Microsoft Teams. They will be leveraging a space in the Microsoft Tech Community for “Driving Adoption” where you can discuss stories and experiences about user adoption for Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 products. The centre for best practice, resources for rolling out Microsoft Teams or for increasing user adoption is still successwithteams.com. When you have questions, visit the Microsoft Teams space in the Microsoft Tech Community. http://aka.ms/teamstechcommunity.
How can an organisation build an internal community to support Microsoft Teams?
IT Pros have the responsibility of keeping up to date with changes in technology and in the productivity tools. So they need the help of an internal community to provide peer support. Karuana say’s that you need to find the people who are passionate about technology, curious by nature and like to help people. They will be your community champions. Give them a platform to hold a conversation and support each other.
Microsoft used Yammer as a community platform for their deployment of Microsoft Teams, for users to ask their questions and share their stories. In the first few months, Karuana and members of the Teams team spent a lot of time in that Yammer community, encouraging discussion and answering questions. Now the community is supporting itself through its champions. The side benefit of the community is that it builds the collaboration skills of individual employees; champions and end users alike.
What success factor lead the internal community to start supporting themselves?
Karuana identifies three factors:
- The consistency of presence of the community managers – use a schedule to make sure people are present to answer questions and encourage.
- Run a marketing campaign internally, to make people aware of resources and training.
- Reward your champions who are putting the time into helping the community. Recognise their effort in a meaningful way.
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