Is it time to implement Microsoft Teams? Here are a few best practices to help you get started and make sure that your employees are on board from day one. That way, you can quickly take advantage of all the possibilities for collaboration and communication that Teams offer!
The majority of the world’s companies already use Office 365 or Windows – meaning that Microsoft already is an internally established interface for most employees. Since Teams is free, the threshold for implementation is even lower. At the same time, there are a lot of things to take into account when launching Teams – especially when integrating the systems you already use.
Two common methods of implementation
There are two main ways to establish new tools and systems in the organisation, and Teams is no exception!
1. Let everyone start at the same time
90% of all companies that start using Teams have no clear plan for the implementation. That way, everyone starts working at the same time and they’re free to set up teams, add files and communicate in different ways. The advantage of this is that it’s easier to get going for the whole company. The downside is that there’s no structure for a common way of working.
2. Set up a structure that you stick to
The second way is to establish work methods from the get-go and to be precise when it comes to structuring folders, teams and projects before you let the whole company start working. The downside with this is that it takes longer to start.
So which method is the best?
It depends. Do you prefer that everyone start simultaneously but run the risk of things being messy initially? Or do you rather want to set up a way of working before launching?
How to launch a successful implementation – step by step
When launching a new system or implementing new features, it’s pertinent to think of the people behind it. Make sure that people are the focal point and that the adoption is the most important part – not the technology!
1. Create a pilot project
Regardless of which method of implementation you choose, it’s essential to start the project by letting a few chosen people try Teams in a pilot project. By picking people with mixed roles from different departments, you’ll see the company’s needs from all possible angles.
Which collaboration tool or means of communication you use in your daily work can vary between organisations – that’s why it’s important to find out what your stakeholders want.
For example, telephony and PBX are fundamental communications channels for the whole company – but how it’s practically used can differ between departments. One group can be completely dependent on having an efficient softphone, while another depends on a chat tool for their internal communication. In Teams, it’s easy to integrate your phone system as well as CRM and other applications. It’s up to the pilot project to weed out the different needs.
2. Prepare your coworkers
The key to whether Teams will succeed in your company or not depends on the willingness to change. When implementing an entirely new way of working, all coworkers have to be informed, educated, and understand why it should be used in the organisation.
A lot of people find it difficult to adapt to new tools and change one’s behaviour. Someone comfortable with mail might not even be interested in using chat messages. If you’ve had a desk phone for 15 years, it might feel weird to have to manage all of your contacts and transfer calls through a mobile phone. Perhaps the most critical aspect of implementing Teams is to prove what will improve for each individual in his or her daily work.
3. Appoint ambassadors
Aside from a pilot project and internal education, it’s also necessary to take hold of the people that are excited about the service. By appointing ambassadors or sponsors, it’ll be both easier and more enjoyable for the rest of the company to learn a thing or two.
These people are available to answer questions, assist and act as a positive force throughout the project. When someone actually grasps the benefits of Teams and how it affects them, they tend to spread a positive attitude.
Tip: The ambassadors should preferably not be bosses or people in command since it can feel forced. It’s best that it’s a person that genuinely likes the solution!
The technology is secondary!
When it comes to implementing Teams in the organisation, the actual IT-project is the simple part. The IT-department really only has to buy the service and activate it. Teams is easy to use from the start since it’s already a part of Microsoft. However, when it comes to integrating other systems, you might need IT to do some manual work so that the tools run smoothly.
For example, to make calls and connect your PBX with Teams, you need to have the right license and configure your users from Microsoft in the system. Other integrations may require more complex processes. In those cases, IT will be a crucial part of making things work.
In the end, Teams is about ways of working. What’s important is the soft values, such as sustainable employees and flexible workplaces. Connecting to a video meeting or transferring a call often happens naturally when the interface and system work seamlessly. Teams is simple – you just have to know how you want to use it!