Why Microsoft Teams is the ultimate user adoption catalyst

User Adoption is greatly impacted by the magnitude of the change and number of systems / apps involved. Microsoft Teams positions itself as the greatest user adoption tool I’ve seen in years.

Catalyst

/ˈkat(ə)lɪst/

noun

a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

To understand why I say that Microsoft Teams is the ultimate user adoption catalyst, we need to take a step back and look at what is required to achieve user adoption and also at some of the main barriers.

User Adoption

A very good friend of mine, Kate Elphick sums it up perfectly. “People will adopt systems when they:

  1. see the point,
  2. it’s easy to use and
  3. it makes them look & feel good.”

That statement is fully supported by the main reasons listed as barriers to user adoption:

  • Lack of management support
  • Too much change
  • Not enough training
  • Performance / technical shortcomings
  • Systems aren’t easy to use

New systems should make users’ lives easier, not complicate it or slow the process down. Even though we implement systems that should improve work environments, they very often do exactly the opposite.

To illustrate this, I’ll sketch a scenario:

Company X is using File Shares and have decided to purchase SharePoint for improved document management. This is SharePoint 2013 which is approximately 5BC (5 years before Cloud). Users now need to move most of their documents to SharePoint and learn how to collaborate as this is a new way of working.

The new environment includes Outlook for mails, their own C: Drive (more likely the desktop) for personal or draft documents, Microsoft Word for meeting minutes etc and Microsoft Excel for managing tasks or projects. Documents previously stored in File Shares now need to be loaded somewhere in SharePoint in a library. This is where users struggle and start resisting the new way of working. They have to leave their comfortable desktop environments, open a web browser, navigate through various SharePoint sites to find the library where they have to upload their documents.

I absolutely love SharePoint, but that will make me stubborn as well. AND the above is a typical example of the environments we were using for many years.

Microsoft Teams

This brings me to Microsoft Teams, the magic blue and red pill. It’s the ‘gateway drug’ that leads to the consumption of the other Office 365 ‘drugs’. Can you believe that there’s an App that actually makes it easier for users to use the other complimentary Apps? Initially when launched, we saw it as the Slack equivalent for Microsoft users, but it quickly became much more than that.

What is Microsoft Teams?

“Teams is a complete chat and online meetings solution. Host audio, video, and web conferences, and chat with anyone inside or outside your organization. Co-author and share files with popular Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, and Power BI.”

When a Team is built, it creates an Office 365 Group automatically.

This group (created from Microsoft Teams) then gives me a common SharePoint site, OneNote, Power BI workspace, Plan(ner), shared Mailbox & Calendar and a Group in Stream to apply permissions with. Note that it does not automatically create a Stream Channel.

In a nutshell, a Team gives me most of the tools I need to collaborate automatically.

Why does Teams make it easier?

If I can get my work done, and be more efficient, without leaving my “Desktop” then I’ll adopt a system. No longer do I have to go to SharePoint to upload a document or save an attachment from an email to another location. I can manage my tasks and notes in one place. Teams is also available on my mobile and in the web, so I’m not ‘chained to my desktop” anymore.

Everything I need in one place

In Teams I can focus my conversations and content by creating Channels (1). Think of these as folders. On each of these Channels I have the ability to add Tabs (2). As you can see by the below screenshot, this lets you add links to other resources, documents, tools and websites etc. that you might use.

No longer do you need to navigate away from where you are working, to open a browser, look for a document or navigate to another app that you need.

Teams won’t replace Outlook, but it does eliminate the bulk of emails sent between team members. Less noise where it’s needed.

If your company has not started using / adopted OneDrive, SharePoint, OneNote or even Skype, then Teams is the perfect starting point. From a Change Management perspective, it’s one App being introduced (even though it includes many).

I’m sure you’ll love Microsoft Teams as much as I do. Please help your users become more efficient and less frustrated by introducing Teams in your company.

Extra resources:

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