4 Steps in Developing a Change Management Strategy for Microsoft Teams

management-strategy-microsoft-teamsCollaboration is a hot topic among businesses and organizations seeking to positively impact business outcomes – and for good reason. Collaboration is more than just a buzzword; the quest for a teamwork-driven workforce lies in the numerous advantages that come along with a more collaborative work environment. Forward-thinking businesses are adopting modern collaborative tools to boost performance and set themselves apart from competitors. Collaborative hubs, like Microsoft’s Teams, have the potential to generate a significant competitive advantage due to their ability to increase productivity, foster innovation, and enhance communication among both internal teams and external partners. While the adoption of modern collaboration tools is a giant leap in the right direction, in order to truly maximize the potential of tools like Teams, an effective enterprise change management strategy for end-user awareness and adoption is critical.

The Long-term Success of Adopting a Collaboration Solution Hinges on Employee Adoption

A truly transformative implementation of collaborative tools starts with a strategy that determines the most effective way to engage users early on to increase adoption. Regardless of the benefits that come along with implementing new workplace solutions, there will always be hurdles to overcome during periods of transition – even when implementing solutions designed to make life easier. Microsoft Teams, for example, makes workplace collaboration easier because it simplifies and streamlines communication and workflow by centralizing numerous tools in one user interface, but implementation is still a big change for employees that have grown accustomed to managing day-to-day activities with multiple tools and processes. And, despite being incredibly user-friendly, Teams is jam-packed with features and capabilities for users to discover. To ensure successful adoption of collaboration tools and hubs like Teams, developing a change management strategy is crucial. Some of the key steps in a change management strategy for the implementation of Teams are:

1. Recruiting Your Organization’s Key Stakeholders

To ensure successful adoption of Teams, it’s important to identify and recruit committed people in your organization who can help drive change. Key stakeholders include executive sponsors, service owners and champions. Executive sponsors, leaders within your organization that have a major impact on company culture, play a critical role with regard to successful adoption of IT initiatives. When executives go beyond merely approving an initiative to actually sponsoring it, they can more effectively communicate its benefits and value. Service owners are responsible for managing the technical aspects of an IT project – they own services end-to-end. Their role is critical because it optimizes the value a service delivers by ensuring people are actually using the service and that improvements are constantly being made. Champions are those people in your organization who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and committed to the implementation of a new tool or initiative. Champions are not necessarily technology experts, but they are confident with their computer skills and looking to further their expertise by assisting peers throughout the adoption process. Holding regular meetings among these key stakeholders is a great way to keep them up to date on the progress of the project and to gain insight and feedback.

2. Identifying and Selecting Your Business Scenarios

After you’ve identified your key stakeholders, you’ll want to determine your business scenarios. Business scenarios are the different ways people and groups in your organization can use the capabilities of Teams to achieve their goals. For example, do you want to simplify the sales process? Are you looking to increase employee engagement? Are you aiming to increase the speed of resolving customer issues? By determining what your business priorities are and how to accomplish them with Teams, you’ll have a higher chance of success when it comes to realizing important business outcomes.

3. Designing, Launching, and Managing Your Adoption Campaign

Effective and frequent internal communication regarding your organization’s adoption of Teams should be a priority. To ensure employees are aware of the upcoming changes and resources available to them, you’ll want to use a variety of outreach and communication methods during both the initial pilot phase and during the company-wide roll out. Communication methods include posters, digital signage, events, self-help documents and product videos. During the pilot phase, regularly scheduled meetings with stakeholders and a kick-off meeting with pilot users can help boost enthusiasm and create a sense of community. In addition, you’ll want to determine a method for gathering feedback from employees participating in the pilot. The success of your adoption campaign can be determined by measuring things like attendance at learning events, views of training videos, and number of active users.

4. Measuring and Sharing Success

Measuring and sharing the success of your Teams implementation is key because it will help you to fine-tune your approach going forward. By consolidating feedback and assessing success you’ll gain concrete insight into the impact the implementation has on your organization. In addition, you can continue to encourage adoption by sharing success in the form of facts and figures and highlighting positive changes that were brought about by the implementation.

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Whether you’re looking to implement Teams to solve productivity challenges or to drive lasting organizational growth, SADA’s customized, data-driven solutions can help ensure your Teams implementation is successful in the long-term.

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Blog post by:
Jason Price | Practice Lead, Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness

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