Classroom-based, instructor-led Microsoft Teams for large and dispersed companies

Copper Contributor

We're working to roll out Microsoft Teams across 7k "knowledge workers" in 30+ locations. There has been some discussion about classroom-based, instructor-training, but we're not a point yet where we can mandate people take the training.


How have other large organizations handled this? How much have you leaned on the Microsoft instructor-led training? If you weren't able to require people to attend training, how did you incent them to attend?

10 Replies

@Chris Blackstone we have just rolled Teams out and we have 50+ schools.  I would not rely on the Microsoft trainer.  This is a big change for a school district and I felt their training was too broad.  I would recommend having district staff become Teams experts and then create a training that is very step-by-step and includes all the features like hide/how, bolded teams/channels and at mentioning that keep messaging manageable.  Also create one page How To documents for people that want that physical step-by-step instruction.

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@Chris Blackstone highly recommend a Champions network, built from multiple business units, across all regions, and strong visible leadership support. Microsoft did not have the training we needed, so we have a small in-house adoption team. We got them going with the hands-on training and AMA sessions, built the knowledge, developed use cases per area based on their feedback, and then did a full roll out. We had a learning hub for information which links back to the specific apps which plug into Teams. Teams is intuitive for a jump start, and then you need to Level Up - focus on your use cases and how you can help people solve specific issues, or template things. Depending on your demographic, gamification + swag has worked well.

@Chris Blackstone We have created Digital Champions in house who are based across all offices and can provide 1to1 training for those that require the help. We also do our own webinar training videos and include the bloopers so people can see a real person using teams and how to do it and how to fix it if you click in the wrong bit etc. It seems to work very well and the videos are often looked at numerous times as are always available on our intranet for colleagues to find.

You can also use our on demand training solution called M365 Learning Pathways. It's essentially a SharePoint template that can be installed in your Office 365 tenant and then customized. My team and I have been working on this for some time. We add more content quarterly for all the services but you can turn off different workloads if you aren't using them. You can add your own content as well. This is a good addition to the excellent advice about having Champions within your organization. Check it out at

@Chris Blackstone  we have used online training for our organization (30K) and a site on our Digital Workplace with link to the Microsoft training videos. On this site we have also tried to guide people on how and for what they should use Teams for. The duration of the training's are 1 hour where we go through the basics for app 40 minutes and then people can ask questions in the Skype Chat or Teams Chat depending on where we do the training. If you don't have time for participating we have recording a training and shared it via our site

@Chris Blackstone when we rolled out Teams - our initial focus was on how it replaced Skype.  This is what you did in Skype - this is how you'll do it in Teams. While they still had access to collaboration - we didn't focus on it.  Our reason for doing this is a constant thing we hear from our users is "OMG you are giving me ANOTHER tool I have to go and look at?  I have email, I have file shares, I have skype, I have sharepoint....and you want me to do something else?"  This way we were able to say we aren't adding we are replacing.


Then once we had everyone in Teams and using it every day for communications (chat and meetings) - then we could introduce collaboration and show them all of the extra stuff they could do.  For many the mere concept of collaboration was foreign to them - so it took more to help them to understand that.


For the communication piece - we used written communications, short how to videos for tasks from Brainstorm, for English speakers the Microsoft instructor led sessions on moving from Skype to Teams (Instructor Led Training), and then for non English speakers we partnered with a company to deliver the content in their native language via a webinar.


For the collaboration training - for our larger knowledge base worker locations - we did on site instructor led sessions.  For everywhere else - we did webinars - either using the Microsoft retail store trainers for English - or our partner for the non English speakers.


We also have a strong champions group and a Help O365 user community (within Yammer) where anyone can go and ask questions.


We didn't require anyone to attend training.  For the onsite instructor led collaboration training - we tried to make it fun.  We did Teams Excite Weeks.  Anyone that participated in any of the events during the week was entered into a raffle for prizes.  Events were - Ask Me Anything (we had people from our Microsoft account team on hand for people to stop by and ask questions and get Microsoft swag), we had a professional photographer come on site to take profile pictures for anyone interested, we had cake, and the training.  The prizes we gave away were:

  • Lunch with Roy (Roy is our CEO)
  • 1 extra vacation day (employees only eligible - not contractors)
  • Pirates baseball tickets (we are in Pittsburgh)
  • Teams swag (backpack and some other things)
  • Surface Go - people had to attend one of the training sessions in order to be registered for this prize

Our Microsoft account team submitted into two programs they have available for customers to get us funding to pay for some of the prizes and the swag.


Happy to share any of the content we created for our transition if you're interested.

@Chris BlackstoneIn my experience working in the field of learning and development in large corporates, any classroom training usually falls flat. People simply don't have the time to be removed away from their workplace to attend sessions that they are told by others to attend.  I would consider the use of building a Champions Network inside the company of people who know how to use Teams and who can provide specific use cases depending on their situation, department or use that will engage people with Teams around their particular contexts.  You can also create links and provide resources, checklists etc to the MS Teams should people need specific education or resources if they need it.  

Hi Chris
We have offered classroom or a screen sharing conference call training and then we produced webinars or mini webinars showing how to do each different step so people could look at what they needed to instead of having to sit through the whole lot again and if people couldn't attend they have the webinars to sit and look through when they have the time. It has worked well and the webinars are referred to quite often in the beginning and now by new starters.

@Karuana Gatimu 

What about organisations that are not implementing Sharepoint? Is the on demand training solution called M365 Learning Pathways available some other way?


The content for M365 Learning Pathways is sourced from but its not customizable nor can you add your own playlists.  There's significant advantage to having your own training portal not just for O365 but this solution won't work without SharePoint Online.  @Sharyn_Mayne 


I love all the other suggestions here.  The Champions are they key difference in organizations we see who are successful with their rollouts over time.  This month's Community call focused on that.  The deck and the recording are already posted and you might find it helpful here:  Enjoy