October 15, 2019

From Slack to Teams: Managing the shift to Microsoft Teams

In just two years, Microsoft Teams has surpassed Slack as the number of daily users has skyrocketed to over 13 million. Over 91% of the Fortune 500 are using Microsoft Teams as their platform of choice for employees to connect, work, communicate and create securely no matter where they are.

Microsoft announced earlier this year that they are focusing on the hub for teamwork with Microsoft Teams by retiring Skype for Business on July 2021. If you enjoy Skype tools, it’s important to start planning your transition to Teams now to keep your workforce productive.

Whether you’re a large or small organization, Microsoft Teams will help you stay collaborative and competitive. Taking those first steps to implement and adopt a new tool can be daunting, so a change management plan is vital to increase usage within your organization.

5 Steps to Managing the Change to Microsoft Teams

Introducing new technologies is a difficult task but getting your employees to embrace and use the new tools and solutions is even tougher.

A formal change management program in parallel with the introduction of a new tool will help you increase user engagement and adoption for a successful rollout of Microsoft Teams Here are 5 key goals to include in your change management strategy.

1. Build a Case for Change

The first step is to identify specific business issues to address. Is data security an issue? Has productivity decreased as your remote workforce increased? Are you adding more locations through mergers? Is there a growing need to be connected with vendors and business partners?  It is vital to document the specific need for change and what success looks like, including KPIs like revenue goals or productivity targets.

2. Select Champions

Senior level support is key to unify the cultural, departmental, financial, and IT resources necessary to successfully deploy Teams within your organization. Champions may range from a single individual to a large council. Experienced consultants like Core BTS can design a roadmap to achieve your goals and support your Champion’s efforts.

Microsoft offers a list of how Champions help the change management process.


3. Identify User Roles

Microsoft Teams allows employees to collaborate no matter what their role, location, or device. Mapping user roles is critical to successful implementation to keep them productive and your data secure. Does your field team need access from a rural environment? Is your sales team constantly traveling both nationally and internationally? Do your customers need access to channels to collaborate with your product development team? By identifying users who will readily adopt Teams, you’ll pave the way for future success.

4. Choose, Administrator, and Promote Awareness

The Microsoft Teams Administrator is the day-to-day owner who identifies user roles, fields questions, oversees users, and helps make Microsoft Teams a success.  Fortunately, there are resources that will help the Administrator understand how Teams works and get up to speed quickly including the Microsoft Success Kit to assist in building organization-wide awareness program that promotes the benefits of Microsoft Teams.

5. Start Small; Go Big

A pilot project is a great way to speed up the learning curve while working on a focused, smaller project. Consider a pilot project in the sales department that focuses on revenue goals, or a new Customer Service initiative to improve collaboration on customer issues. Would your Product Development team benefit by connecting with existing customers?

Choose a pilot program that includes measurable targets to validate your successes so you can ramp up to a company-wide rollout more quickly and effectively.

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