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3 Best Practices for Driving User Engagement & Adoption of Microsoft Teams

More than many other applications, and specifically, more than the other Microsoft tools, implementing Microsoft Teams is a bigger challenge people-wise than technology-wise. Sure, there are absolutely technical aspects for an implementation that should not be taken lightly, including configuration, file migration, and security, to name a few, but frankly, and with no disrespect to my technology friends, that’s the easy part.

The harder part is getting the desired adoption by the targeted user base(s). Ironically, Microsoft Teams is an intuitive application that is not only beautiful but user-friendly. That doesn’t make adoption sound challenging, does it?

What’s hard is that Teams is not designed to introduce massive amounts of new functionality, but rather to provide a consolidated platform leveraging existing technologies to improve collaboration within an organization.

This presents one of the biggest challenges we have as Adoption & Change Management (ACM) professionals – getting people off of the old and onto the new without having a ton of new bells and whistles to offer. We have to convince users that chat and conferencing on Teams is better than Skype. Fortunately, Microsoft is actually helping with this by sunsetting Skype in July 2021. Similarly, we want users to share and store files in Teams rather than going to the native SharePoint or OneDrive applications, even though Teams is supported on the back end by both SharePoint and OneDrive. When people are used to working certain ways (i.e., using the “old” applications), shifting gears isn’t easy. Change never is.

Having performed a number of transitions to Microsoft Teams over the past eighteen months, we’ve identified many best-practice tactics that will help drive Teams adoption. Highlighted here are three of the most important:

  1. Create a compelling Case for Change that will resonate with the user base. Why are we doing this? Why will this be GREAT for you? Why should you care and go along?
  2. Perform a Stakeholder Assessment early in the project and iterate throughout. You will not want to assume that a one-size-fits-all approach will meet address user concerns and identifying potential resistance points will allow
  3. Establish a robust user support process, not only during the transition but afterward as well. As users start using Teams, they will increase their proficiency daily, tapping into new and exciting collaboration features that make Teams the awesome application that it is.

Perficient will be partnering with Microsoft over the coming months to host Teams workshops, where we will be sharing best practices for leveraging Teams to build a modern workplace that drives teamwork and collaboration, along with change management to ensure end-user engagement and adoption.

The first event is scheduled for October 23rd in Irvine, CA. Dates and locations for future workshops will be released shortly. If you’re in the Irvine area, please join us to learn more about how to make the best use of Teams and drive user engagement. Or look for future dates to be announced soon.

Register here for the October 23rd event in Irvine, CA

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David Chapman

David is the General Manager for Perficient's Organizational Change Management practice, part of the Strategic Advisors Team. He has over twenty years of consulting experience and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Be sure to also check out David’s personal blog. It focuses on collaboratively building the breadth and depth of our collective change management knowledge based on insights and experiences shared to help one another grow.

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