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5 Tips for Increasing User Adoption of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams available in your organisation, you’re providing users with a rich tool-set from Office 365. A tool-set that supports different job roles and tasks, and making the service adoption easier.

From the projects I’ve done with clients who have deployed Microsoft Teams, it appears that this is not always the case. By having discussions with end users, asking them specifically about the barriers to adopt Microsoft Teams, there were five that resonated with many. In Arkadin’s Business Change and Optimisation team, we have since worked on how these barriers can be addressed, thus, support the ongoing adoption of Microsoft Teams and ensuring ROI [for our clients].

Integrations, integrations

As an end user, the amount of integrated applications in Microsoft Teams – from both Office 365 and even third parties – can quickly get overwhelming. Considering communication tools as an example, they not only have Teams, but also Outlook, Yammer (and perhaps still even Skype for Business) available.

You can consider creating a “What/Tool/When” approach, to give the end users some guidance on how they can use the applications differently, the most efficient way, depending on your organisational purpose.

Knowledge and ability

Compared to the previous Unified Communications solutions that we have seen – i.e. Skype for Business – Microsoft Teams is bringing a rich set of features that not only support contacts and instant communication via messages and integrated telephony, but also a complex world of teams, channels, document storage, live collaboration and much more.

When rolling out Microsoft Teams, it might be worth reflecting on whether a feature-based deployment, focusing on functionalities like messaging and conferencing initially followed by telephony; and then address file collaboration at the end. Allowing users to gradually get used to the solution, feature by feature, might help the adoption and uptake of all parts of the tool-set.

Risks of deploying without governance

Is there such thing as too much adoption? We see instances of users creating many teams and channels every day, which is a sign of great uptake of the service. However, the more teams and channels a user has to monitor and collaborate in, the harder it gets to locate what you need. Therefore, it’s vital that we communicate and discuss this topic with the end users to ensure the value of quick location of files and information doesn’t get impacted and diminished.

Deploying Microsoft Teams with governance and policies in place as a business, is one way to address and mitigate a scenario like the above, or consider options like a request-process for creating a team, rather than giving the full rights to all end users.

Security in the cloud

Moving all your data to the cloud improves mobility, flexibility in the workplace, but depending on the technological background and previous data storage, you often experience end users raising concerns around the security of their data.

It’s important that we remind ourselves that “security in the cloud” isn’t just a conversation to be had at business-level, but also with end users. Being transparent by addressing these questions from the beginning of the deployment process, will ensure clarity and reassurance for the end users upon the tool adoption.

Let’s ALL collaborate!

Collaboration between people is at the heart of Microsoft Teams – the more people involved in collaborating and working on documents, the better. Right?

When multiple users are giving their input and editing the same document, it’s not uncommon that important data gets overridden, extra time is spent on recovering that data and combining it with the latest updates.

Therefore, it’s beneficial to communicate and teach to the end users the best practices for file collaboration. It’s easy to assume that with Microsoft Teams, there’s no longer a need for a version 2, 3 or 4 of a document. In certain instances, it might be worth for all of us to consider, whether we actually should create a version 2 of a document, instead of making a lot of changes to a file owned and edited by others and running the risk of impacting the data and the efficiency of collaboration.

Microsoft Teams supports organisations in their journey towards the modern workplace with a rich set of integrations, features, accessibility and increased collaboration.

But sometimes Microsoft Teams’ biggest strengths can become a potential barrier for end users, when they’re to adopt the service and ensure ROI for your organisation.

Do you want learn more about Microsoft Teams? Check out Arkadin’s first podcast hosted by Helen Lancaster, Head of Demand Generation at Arkadin.

About the author

As one of Arkadin's Adoption and OCM professionals Maja works with clients to understand their business objectives and vision for product use within their organisation and is responsible for driving customer adoption and usage by ensuring that end users understand the value of the chosen product to their business as usual activities.  

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