my world of work and user experiences

January 31, 2022

Using Teams to help people adopt Teams

Filed under: Adoption,Digital Workplace — Tags: — frederique @ 21:35

Recently I was talking to a group of people who do not use Microsoft Teams much. They do some basic Teams Meetings, but they do not use any of the other options in Teams to work more smartly. Ok, we can help them adopt Microsoft Teams more fully. And Teams is actually a great tool to help them adopt Teams itself to make their lives easier!

Microsoft Teams helped me help them to become aware of the possibilities of collaborating more smartly using Teams, to realise what’s in it for them, to gain knowledge on how it works and develop the ability to really use it themselves. And I also plan on using Teams to reinforce the change to working in Teams 🙂 See also ADKAR: are our users ready to adopt our solutions?

Richer Team Meetings

They have been conducting online meetings, like everyone else who had to switch to working from home when the pandemic hit us. They had conversations using their microphones and webcams, and usually somebody shared a presentation. So they were pleasantly surprised when I held a meeting with them to talk about Teams and we used some of the other features:

  • PowerPoint Live, where they could navigate back to a previous slide and forward. I know, sometimes you don’t want that, but this was a rather open session and they loved this feature. And you can even ask for a translation of the slides. (See also Microsoft’s instructions Share PowerPoint slides in a Teams meeting)
  • Sharing their own screen. A few times, a participant mentioned some specific issue or example and I asked them to share their screen with us, so that we could discuss it together. It turned out that many of them did not know how to do share their screen. But it is not rocket science, so I could simply explain which button to press and it worked. Quite an eye opener for them and very useful to know. (see also Microsoft’s instructions Share content in a meeting in Teams)
Sharing your screen or other content in a Teams Meeting
  • Emoticons to express their opinion. Not everybody could or would unmute their microphone and they were very pleased to see that they could communicate simple things such as ‘Like’ using the emoticons button we nowadays have.
  • Polls have become available in Teams Meeting last year and we can use them to ask multiple choice questions or do multiple choice quizzes. And I have had some very enthusiastic response to the option to generate a word cloud based on words the participants enter. (See also Microsoft’s instructions Poll attendees during a Teams meeting)
Using a poll in a Teams Meeting: the participants vote and then see the results

A Teams environment as our “digital office”

When people say they use Microsoft Teams, they often mean that they use online meetings. Maybe they also use the chat, but don’t count on it… And only a few teams use Teams as their “digital office””: the online environment where they can share and collaborate easily in channels, using the relevant apps made available in the tabs.

So I set up a Team for the group of people with whom I wanted to discuss Teams. Because I wanted to show them what a Teams environment is and does. But also because I needed a place to share information and collaborate with them. Of course I introduced them to their new Teams environment in our Teams Meeting.

  • Share files. I had some presentations, recordings and other information to share, and that Team was a great place to do so, once I had invited them all to join as a member. When I showed them how easy it is to add a colleague to the Team, they were very happy. (See also Microsoft’s instructions Collaborate on files in Microsoft Teams)
  • Share notes. A Team always contains a OneNote notebook, even if it is not visible by default. News for the group, as most of them only used a personal notebook. So that was the place where I put my notes. Again, this was a killer app for them: shared notes that they could all see and add to, by simply following my link – I sent them a link to the relevant page in the notebook.
  • Shared conversations. In our session, we discussed Teams and how it can help us communicate and collaborate more smartly. But the discussion does not have to end after we close the meeting. In their new Teams environment, we can share tips, ask questions and discuss the best way to make our lives easier with the help of Teams. And yes, they did see the advantage of having the conversation here instead of in an email thread. I did stress the importance of @-mentioning the people or group you want to involve directly (see Microsoft’s instructions Use @mentions to get someone’s attention in Teams).
Teams are like “digital offices”, structured with channels that each have tabs with apps relevant in that context.

Ok, I already knew this, but once again I saw how useful Microsoft Teams can be when it comes to the user adoption of tools like… Microsoft Teams.

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