How to Approach an Internal Implementation of Microsoft Teams

How to Approach an Internal Implementation of Microsoft Teams

by Emily Carlson, Principal Consultant

When utilized to its full potential, Teams integrates the ease of Skype, the organization of SharePoint and the potential for endless collaborating. Sounds great, right?! Even so, getting your entire team on board can be difficult.

The “fear of the unknown” that often accompanies the implementation of a new technology application brings challenges that can make even an IT consulting firm stress.

Intimidation, fear, and reluctance for change all can play a role when introducing a new technology.

Our company is remote in nature, which means the ability to be onsite as a team, isn’t always possible. Between client demands and traveling, most weeks we are left facing the need for collaboration on the go. Using an all-in-one tool like Teams is quickly becoming a part of our daily work flow.

Through socialization, collaboration and lots of training we are approaching our implementation like we would want to with any client… one small, palatable piece at a time. The following have been key to our tactic:

Consistency | Maintain current applications! What does that look like for us? We had co-existing models of Skype, SharePoint, and OneNote that were left in place for one month.
Communication | Open lines of communication from IT and Leadership ensured team members were aware of the changes, dates and impacts.
Early Adoption | That’s right …we asked people to integrate to Teams early and share their pain points with the transition.
Transparency | We guaranteed that our workflows would have the ability to work together eliminating the need for endless asynchronous communication (emails) and phone tag.
Training | We trained. And trained. And, well, trained a bit more. And, honestly, we are still going! Weekly webinars are being hosted to cover high level features of Teams… and, we have great goals of showing the many bells and whistles of using Teams internally.

One month into the transition, we are fully embracing the capacities of Teams and are using it to enhance our collaboration on each project. Internal acceptance is a work in progress as the small palatable bites of new technology are working for some, while others are still adjusting! We continue to socialize the changes with a communication and training approach that will help ease the transition for all our team members.

More to come! Keep an eye out for Part II of How to Approach an Internal Implementation of Microsoft Teams where I will cover “Lessons Learned” and share how we utilized Teams to handle a recent urgent client request.

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