How Do Your Users Use MS Teams?

Occasional Contributor

TL;DR

Which features do your users use? Do some features end up being more of a distraction than actually being helpful, and it ends up not being worth it?

---

My Case:

I am in the IT department in my company and I wanted to hear from people from other companies of their experiences.

 

I noticed my users are not using the "Teams" tab inside of MS Teams. They use the basic chats and meetings, and most other communications still happen over email. My instinct was "Teams has so many useful features, I just need to teach my users about them and their work experience will improve so much!"

So I started figuring out ways to get better adoption in my organization of the "Teams" and "Channels" feature inside of MS Teams with plans to introduce different add-ons etc. And then it hit me that maybe I am trying to push some features that seem cool but in practice just aren't worth it - this is where this post comes in.

 

Personal Experience

Using Slack in the past and Teams now I found that using the different channels is useful for organizing, but I also found that I spend a lot of my time dealing with them, tidying things up, and just generally switching between channels and going between the different add-ons etc. At the end of the day I am not sure the extra organization is worth the time spent on it.

I also noticed that my teammates usually did not participate with me much in using the channels and mostly just stayed in the normal chat. Getting a group of people to participate using all these different collaborative tools was very hard and it usually got abandoned at some point.

 

Being that these are my personal experience as a relatively tech savvy person trying to use these tools with other tech savvy people I figure my user case is probably a relatively favorable one, and even there it never really succeeded. This raises questions.

 

My Questions To You

While understanding that there is some form of bias posting this in the official MS Teams Forums here are my questions:

How are your users using Teams?
Do they use the "Teams" tab and channels etc.?
Have you found that your users think its more hassle than its worth? Is it more hassle than its worth (or just parts of it)?
Generally how has your personal experience been both as a user and (if you are one) as a member of IT?

 

Thank you for your time!

3 Replies

@ohanoch I've helped lots of companies implement Teams, I agree that without inspiration users can get into a rut and just use meetings and chat, but they are missing out.

 

What they are missing is that using the Teams functionality organises their work, self-filling. Conversations, files, tasks etc. are all neatly pre-filed in a the right structure, everything in one place.  Given Shared Channels Public Preview is just round the corner, this fixes so many of the complex structure issues that otherwise create more Teams (although the external access is the headline feature, you can share channels internally between teams and individuals or shared between two teams).

 

The approach I generally take is to design the structure for people, rather than leaving it organically to grow. Create a PMO, have a Team per project/client/supplier, Teams for departments (particularly large ones) make it easy and straight forward for a new user to immediately see where each conversation should go. Giving people a starting point with an empty list of Teams creates an inertia. They will need help with tuning their notifications so they are comfortable that they aren't missing anything, and typically use their activity feed to triage action rather than needing to go and 'read a team' to keep up to date. 

@ohanoch It really is crucial to have a Teams-centric approach to have a meaningful adoption. There's bound to be resistance because your users are used to a certain kind of working, but consistently reminding your users how relevant and convenient Teams is for their work would help them understand the change better.

 

You're going to need a lot of patience and more effective stategy. Here's some resources that can help :) 

8 Tips for Driving Meaningful Microsoft Teams Adoption

- Are Your Users Really Adopting Microsoft Teams?

6 Expert Tips Organizations NEED to Boost Microsoft Teams Adoption

S4 E4: Microsoft Teams Adoption at UF IFAS with Joe Gasper and Dewayne Hyatt

@sherianb thank you so much! I am going through these articles and they make some really good points I did not think of. This is very helpful!
At the same time these article help understand what adoption is and how to grow adoption, but they do not address how actually using the features has specifically improved peoples workflow. I understand the reasons in theory, but there were no practical examples of how it actually works for people.