Microsoft Teams – Planning Considerations for Optimizing Worker Experiences (eBook)

Topics in this article

For the last decade many organizations have used Microsoft SharePoint as their hub for teamwork, however the way people work is changing. Modern tools like Microsoft Teams were built to allow the workforce to shift from a document and email-centric workstyle to one that fosters fast-paced, contextual communication and sharing between workers – no matter where they’re located for seamless productivity. Teams is the new hub for teamwork.

What Are Some Common Mistakes Organizations Make When Planning Their Move to Teams?

You can’t assume Teams is like any other workload. Its effectiveness is dependent upon the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem being available – Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, One Note and Planner. The power of Teams is that it comes pre-integrated with most of the Microsoft Office 365 suite as well as hundreds of third-party apps and platforms. The challenge with that is figuring out what’s essential to succeed and ensuring proper configuration and setup.

What Should Organizations Consider as They Plan Their Path to Microsoft Teams – Where Do They Start?

There are 2 ways to approach Teams:

  • IT-centric is about lighting up features, establishing controls and turning Teams on
  • Business-centric is all about engaging one group at a time, identifying workforce personas, user journeys, piloting and driving adoption

We typically see organizations who are doing one of these, but not the other. We believe it’s ideal to do both.

Teams is probably one of the more complex Office 365 apps in terms of planning considerations and the impact it will have on the workforce. It’s important to have a well thought out adoption and change management plan that includes how you’ll manage communications, create excitement and drive adoption with your workforce. Developing workforce personas and user journeys with worker research is the best way to ensure a successful implementation.

Microsoft Teams – The Top 10 planning considerations for optimizing worker experiences.

While Teams does have some of its own settings, it also leverages settings from the other Office 365 Services. Teams relies on Office 365 Groups for piecing together membership and applications, which means configuration, naming convention and management of Groups should be in place. The Teams operating model, including lifecycle management will change compared to SharePoint.

The ideal worker experience is to pre-populate each Teams workspace with content migrated from existing repositories to ease the transition for the workforce. And when it comes to migrating content, you’ll want to decide if it will be IT- or worker-driven.

How Can Teams Easily Be Set Up for a New Team, Yet Also Be Tailored to Address the Unique Experiences for the Groups Using It?

Teams Templates allows the setup of Teams with pre-defined layouts, channels and apps. Templates are a great way to take a proven, successful configuration and make it available to multiple teams. It’s ideal to configure templates department by department as you work through the roll-out.

Teams apps, whether from the Teams store or internally developed, can be used to personalize and extend each Teams workspace to fit the specific needs of each organization.

Deploying the Teams Client

There are several Teams clients – the internet browser, mobile app, and the full Microsoft Teams desktop client. It’s important to think through deployment and control of each client so that you can optimize usage while also meeting any security requirements. We believe the desktop client and mobile app provide superior experiences and should be a foundational requirement before turning on Teams.

Managing Change and Driving Adoption

For many organizations SharePoint and Skype will still be components of their collaboration strategy. This leaves many workers wondering why they should pay attention to Teams when IT sends the usual communication email congratulating them for now having Teams. After getting that infamous communication email from IT, workers often feel like they’re left hanging, wondering if they need to take action and end up having more of questions as a result such as:

  • Why should I care?
  • How does this impact my job?
  • Am I supposed to stop using something?
  • What’s different about this new tool?
  • Where do I go for more information?

Ultimately the reason adoption and change management programs (ACM) are critical is because they can make a difference between the worker feeling fully informed about why the change is happening and what it means to them or simply just ignoring it all together.

The key to successfully transitioning your workforce to Teams is by developing a persona-centric approach to adoption and change management. The foundation of any ACM program are workforce personas which are based on an in-depth understanding of how your workforce works today and how they’ll use Teams moving forward.

You’ll want to design an ACM program that will help workers navigate through the change journey and gain their buy-in to embrace new services with enthusiasm. This is especially true for Teams given the potentially dramatic way it changes how workers collaborate and engage one another.

The right content is key. You’ll want to explore creative ways to communicate, amp up the buzz and generate excitement for what’s to come through videos, posters, genius bars, etc. The best ACM programs engage workers with a continuous trickle of promotional campaigns to generate interest and excitement. Learn more by reading our perspective on ACM planning in the eBook ‘Take a Personalized Approach to The Human Side of Technology Change’.

Where Do You Start?

Making the move to Teams can be a huge productivity boost for your organization, but there’s a lot to navigate through. Dell Technologies Consulting Services can help. We have services for Office 365 and Teams to help organizations like yours plan, design and execute your Teams initiatives. Learn more about our perspective by reading our new eBook ‘Microsoft Teams Considerations for Optimizing Worker Experiences’.How is your organization currently managing change and driving adoption of new technologies?

About the Author: Matthew Roberts

Matt Roberts has been with Consulting Services since 2006. Collaborating with customers for so many years to enable their employees to just get work done, he has a unique perspective on how best to leverage technology that spans Dell’s strategically aligned businesses, the Microsoft ecosystem, and other third party software to achieve real workforce transformations for clients. Matt is passionate about digital transformation, modernizing digital app experiences and developing solutions that make the digital workplace as productive, engaged, and connected as possible. With 20+ years of software and consulting experience, his career has focused on Digital and Web/App Development. He has broad digital strategy, solution and technology architecture expertise; with specific depth in portal, collaboration, digital/web, content mgmt., search, and ITSM solutions.
Topics in this article