Tim Coalson is a Senior Consultant in the Transformation Practice at ThreeWill. Tim has been developing solutions on the SharePoint platform for over 15 years and has been a developer/consultant for over 30 years. Tim has been involved in migrating SharePoint on-premises farms to the Microsoft Cloud, Power Apps, and Power Automate (aka Flow) which are part of the Microsoft no code/low code solutions.
“Build it and they will come” sounds very cool and maybe it works when you are building a Field of Dreams, but this mindset is disastrous when it comes to deploying software. “Deploy it and they will use it” doesn’t work. Resistance is inevitable. Most people want to know “What’s in it for me?” before changing their work habits. And then there’s a simple fact that people need to be trained to use something new. There’s nothing more frustrating than being told to use something and not understanding how to use it. I’ve got important work to get done and a tool is supposed to help me get the work done and not be yet another obstacle in my path. So, what does all of this have to do with Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is the latest collaboration tool that is part of the Microsoft 365 cloud. It’s a great tool, but it can’t be deployed like a “Field of Dreams”; the response will be half-hearted at best. At ThreeWill, we’ve developed a Teams Enablement service to address the challenges in deploying Microsoft Teams. Our goal is to help employees thrive using Microsoft Teams, and we know this is possible through proper Planning, Preparation, Communication, Training, and Guidance.
Planning is our opportunity to get to know your company and your culture so we can fine-tune the Teams Enablement service to best suit your organization. Understanding the types of Teams that are relevant to your organization and coming up with appropriate naming conventions up-front will provide the consistency necessary to provide a smooth transition.
The Teams Admin portal has a number of configurations that can be dialed into the best way to serve your organization. The default configurations are adequate for most organizations, but they can be tweaked to be more or less constraining based on the risk threshold in your organization. Determining the process for how Teams will be requested, created, and retired (where applicable) is an additional outcome of this step.
WIIFM? What’s in it for me? This is one of the key questions everyone wants to know before committing to learning something new and changing their habits. This communication needs to come from the top down to demonstrate an organization’s commitment to using Microsoft Teams as the organization’s collaboration tool.
In this step, we’ll work with you to draft, schedule, and publish communications that will help answer the WIIFM question and lay out a schedule to help guide the organization through the Teams enablement process.
People need hands-on training to be successful. ThreeWill offers each employee training sessions covering the most important aspects of Microsoft Teams. In addition, we meet with several Teams to understand their team-specific goals and help configure their Team with the appropriate Channels and Apps to accomplish their goals.
Most importantly, we are communicating a thought process that will not only help in configuring their current Team but will also help them determine the appropriate configuration for their future Teams.
Lastly, we discuss the concept of a collaboration contract, which is basically an agreement made by each team on how they will use Microsoft Teams to accomplish their goals.
It’s inevitable that as your team begins to work together in their Microsoft Team that they will have questions. ThreeWill provides regular Q&A sessions to allow employees to join and ask questions and share what is working well and maybe what is not working well. Over time as the organization moves past the basic questions, we are able to provide direction on more advanced topics like the use of custom lists in SharePoint and the integration of Power Automate and Power Apps. Employees need to feel supported in this transition and these ongoing question-and-answer sessions are a great platform to accomplish this.
ThreeWill is confident that Microsoft Teams can be a great tool to help your employees thrive. But we also know that it takes proper planning, preparation, communication, training, and guidance to make it happen. If you would like our assistance to successfully deploy Microsoft Teams in your organization, please contact us, and let’s make it happen together!