Pivot for driving adoption: Build it around Team Site

Occasional Contributor

Like in most successful endeavors, we need something to build driving adoption around.

For Office 365 adoption, my idea is to build it around Team Sites - where the prompts for harmonized use of the tools in Office 365 suite can be effectively triggered.

One important requirement though is clear vision of the organizational change scope as we move to Office 365 - based on this vision, the structured implementation is pivoted on Team sites.

Systematic approach, pivoted to Teams and guided by the clear scope under organizational change vision to promote boundless and free flowing adoption must result to unlimited opportunities for success!


I am counting others can share insights to keep improving this approach.

12 Replies
best response confirmed by Leon Como (Occasional Contributor)

In a perfct world I would generally use the following stages: 


  • What's the pitch (communicate the 'why'; align the stakeholders)
  • What's in it for me (define new ways of working, end-user journey, candidate environment)
  • Business architecture (technology alignment, planning and measures of success, governance) - this is where you can strategically look at which tool to deploy first (unless you are giving everyone, everything at once) and which brings most value. In my opinion if you are looking at changing the way an oranisation works it's a 'Yammer First' approach. Get that right and everything else becomes easier)
  • Business Engagement (leadership engagement, use cases, stakeholder management)
  • Adoption Services (coaching and training, advocates, events, communications)
  • Sustaining Usage (this is the psychological aspects where we introduce behavioural economic techniques, nudging, social norms etc)
Thank you Mark. Yes, the approach should be simple but correct rather than do too much with some items that might become counter productive.

I concur with Mark's response, and the order he suggests, particularly in the "What's in it for me" statement. If you want users to work differently, meeting them where they are to understand the challenges they face then propose a solution that addresses them is the best way to go IMO, particularly if that can be tied to a measurable business outcome. I'd expand the "What's the pitch" part to identify the target user communities the solution is intended for. that way, the WIIFM message is aligned.


The only other thing I'd add below is managing resistance. People naturally resist change and being vigilant in looking for places where users or departments are resisting the change need to be addressed directly.


Finally, from a purely technical perspective (assuming all the stuff we just covered is in effect) I'd consider looking at Outlook Groups. In addition to team sites, having groups gives you

  • A distribution group for team communications
  • A OneNote notebook
  • A team site for collaborating

Great discussion!


Thank you Mark.

Indeed, Groups plays a big part.

The integration of group options is still evolving though - main concern is we may need to have groups as well structured as possible, Yammer and Planner groups comes into play and we do not want to end up with confusing groups particularly for large Organizations as ours.


One of the key documents in any adoption / change campaign is 'what goes where' or 'which tool when' - if you leave people too many options they will just avid using them so clarity around this is important to give people confidence. 

The coming together of O365 Groups and SharePoint teams will have a major impact over the next 12 months and will help hugely with adoption. Throw in Planner and you have a great working space for teams. It might be a case of trying to show: 'Team site first with Groups added in' or 'Groups first with a team site added in'.  What will also be important is defining clearly where a user starts when they log in. Is it Groups or is it SharePoint? They won't care either way. They just want to get stuff done and see their content.


Me, I'm a SharePointer so I prefer the structure of a team site but some might want the conversations and/or planner view first so go right to Groups from Outlook. The landing page will be very important and the changes announced look promising from that point of view. Where will users start and how to manage that will be our next adoption challenge.

Thank you Andrew... I agree O365 seems evolving in the right way.

When groups become centralized, here's how I see it:

Groups build team sites that house library, group calendar, group planner, group OnenNote and links to Yammer.

That is one single big chunk of challenges we have to face - the overlapping functionalities.

Where the groups go, individual users must go - so indeed it is really pointing into pivoting from Team Sites that has to  be managed / administered well.

When I go on a pivot table settings on the field does not appear to me: the value field settings

Thank you all for this excellant discussion.


We have recently migrated to 365 and I have been tasked with it's long term adoption. Despite deploying the entire product all in one go, usage is currently limited to Email, OneDrive and Skype. Formal SharePoint deployment was intended as a phase 2, but I am reading great things about Office Groups and Team Sites making deployment (and adoption) less confusing. Several previous replies specifically mention user perception when driving adoption, and I am concerned that unless I am able to present (at least) like for like functionality in certain key areas such as file sharing (think mapped Network drives), any attempt to promote the new envrionment will fail miserably.


Does anyone have any further advice, and I appreciate slightly off topic with regards to using a migration of file server data to SharePoint as a adoption driver.





Alle, I think you talk about Excel Pivot when opened in browser - this may need a separate topic. Pivot tables is indeed still got view mode only in Excel online.

Yours sounds like the situation we are also into on O365. At the moment then I can only give insights based on a relative knowledge coming from previous experiences of implementing couple of hardsells and few softsell ones.

Groups is just a notion, but this rides/creeps into existing organizational and technical structures and feeds pre-existing needs, hence a lot of opportunities for Softsells when it comes to actual uses of the tool suite. Just letting them start with it will naturally start the steady adoption and may even surprise with quick wins that can trigger adoption frenzy if we make things fall into place e.g. easier compliance on QMS for control of documents and information and centralized maintenance and global accessibility of most used templates.


Trying to present a like for like functionality can easily become a lot of hardwork for frustration. For us, I am just taking notes of whatever shortcomings of what they currently use and then excite them on how these can be finally solved. Keep of course a subtle caveat about pains of going through the change.


File servers - to be honest at least on most file servers I have seen is over 90% virtual dump site or paranoia placebo for not losing anything we might need in the future whereas in fact we go back and re-use only about 1 to 5 % of the files we have ever stored there if not way less. Therefore, if migration will be painful and expensive due to the scary size and magnitude, I would never recommend migrating all contents over. Instead, I would offer a more organized flow and structure into OneDrive and document libraries of Sharepoint starting only on most used contents - the rest can follow as needed.