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Ensuring Successful Microsoft Teams User Adoption

Katie Fisher
July 30, 2020

There's a step in the process of deploying Microsoft Teams that organizations often overlook. Even if you roll out Teams successfully, negative user experiences can drive people away from the solution and hinder your ROI. User adoption is an integral part of making Teams work, and it isn't something your users can do on their own.

Resistance to Change and User Adoption

Poor user adoption will dramatically reduce the value of a Teams solution. As your users lose enthusiasm, your solution will lose efficiency. Low enthusiasm alone will reduce your ROI dramatically. The potential rise of Shadow IT purchased with company funds without IT oversight will make it even worse.

Cases of poor user adoption are bad for everyone involved. However, most are not strictly the users' fault. However resistant to change your users may appear, it's generally not that they don't want to adopt Teams.

Instead, these cases tend to emerge from organizations prioritizing the technical aspects of the migration while neglecting the human element. Adopting Teams isn't as simple as flipping a switch. Your users will need help if they're going to get the most out of it.

How to Increase User Adoption for Microsoft Teams

When you switch your users to a system like Teams, you need to ensure they know the reason for change. The system needs to be simple to operate. You need to also enable them to use the system in a way where they quickly see the benefit.

it requires you to help them see the reason for change, ensure the system is simple to operate, and help them use it in a way that makes them look and feel good. Starting with a clearly articulated vision and a clear understanding of your user base will make the adoption journey much more successful.

Approach chart

Adoption and change management plans are crucial to making the change. In fact, businesses that deploy a change management strategy are six times more likely to have successful projects than those that don’t.

Phases of the User Adoption Process

Our Teams adoption process can be broken down into three phases: Design, Deploy, and Manage.

Design

The Design Phase is where we work with you to begin building a structured adoption program. In this stage, our main goal is to figure out what you want Teams to do for you. We'll also help you identify your Teams "champions." They will evangelize the new system by driving awareness across your organization.

Deploy

The Deploy Phase is when the plans from the Design Phase come into action. As your champions go out and spread the word about Teams, you'll be able to speak with your users to fill them in on the benefits Teams can provide them. We'll also help you pick an executive sponsor to make sure enthusiasm remains high.

Manage

Finally, we come to the Manage Phase. Now that your users are hopefully on board with Teams and have gained enough technical knowledge of the platform to effectively use it, your job is done. However, Continuant will continue as we keep a close eye on analytics. We'll monitor adoption rates and make ongoing plans as the adoption process continues.

Throughout the adoption process, it's a good idea to benchmark success and celebrate whatever little victories you achieve as more and more users make use of Teams.

Other Tools and Tips for User Adoption

Celebrate wins and ROI benchmarks throughout the adoption process by sharing success stories. As small groups demonstrate their ability to save time and streamline the collaboration process, others will hear and share in the excitement.

With Microsoft Teams, information workers save 4 hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing*

*Forrester: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Teams

Monitoring user engagement and collecting feedback will also ensure success. Users with disabilities and differing levels of technical expertise will be able to provide insight into how to make the system work for them.

Teams is an ever-evolving platform, gaining new features and functionality throughout a long-term growth cycle. As Teams evolves, you'll want to make sure you and your users are ready for changes. The best way to prepare is to follow the Microsoft 365 Roadmap and create ongoing adoption plans.

User Adoption: Do it Early, Make it Easy, Make it Effective

To drive adoption with Microsoft Teams is to make sure it's easy to use and effective. Furthermore, it's best to begin the process as early as possible. Teams is a solution that will help empower your users and create a truly modern workplace. You shouldn't lose the benefits this solution provides to poor user adoption.

Fortunately, you don't have to do this alone. At Continuant, we've been helping organizations make the most of their communication technology for more than 25 years. We even won the 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Calling and Meetings.

Schedule a free 30-minute technology assessment to find out what the journey to Microsoft Teams could look like for your organization.

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* Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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