Here at Softcat, we know that the modern approach of working anywhere, anytime, from any device can be brilliant for collaboration. Microsoft Teams is a great solution for integrating people, content and tools for organisations to take advantage of flexible working. But for some it presents a completely new and different challenge, with new technology introduced and different expectations set on users. For a successful adoption, it’s important that this change is managed appropriately. ‘Change Management’ combines the process, tools and techniques to manage the ‘people’ side of change to make the transition as smooth as possible and we think it’s a really important strategy to have in place when going through a change, like the adoption of Microsoft Teams.
Why is change management important for successful adoption?
Before rolling out Microsoft Teams to your organisation, it’s important to stop and ask a few basic questions:
- Do your users understand what Microsoft Teams is and what it is capable of?
- Are they ready to adopt a new way of working?
- What impact will this change have on your people?
The answers to these questions will help you form the most suitable approach to managing the change. We often hear customers say that the biggest blocker to a successful technology deployment is people. Having a well thought out and appropriate change management strategy in place, with people as the number one priority, will enable your users to feel empowered and excited about the new technology.
How do organisations successfully adopt new technology?
The change management model I suggest is the ADKAR methodology. Five simple, effective steps to consider when introducing any change to your organisation, not just technology. I’ve shown below how it can be put into practice when rolling out Microsoft Teams.
A – Awareness
Creating awareness within your organisation that you are about to roll out Microsoft Teams is an important first step of your change management strategy. Having an effective communication plan will ensure users feel prepared for new technology. Go back to basics and cover common questions such as:
- What is Microsoft Teams?
- Why is the organisation moving from your existing collaboration platform to Teams?
- When will this change happen?
- What do I need to do to get ready for this change?
D – Desire
Generating desire for your users to want to use Microsoft Teams will help towards a positive outcome. People that are natural early adopters and those that are excited about technology will be great product champions. To create desire, first explain why the change is necessary, highlight the positives and explain the advantages of Teams over other communication and collaboration methods. Creating a pilot group of users and communicating the positive feedback and success stories of those users can also create excitement and a desire to be part of the change.
K – Knowledge
Training is a key step in any successful technology deployment and understanding which methods will work best for your people and organisation is important. You might have a tech savvy workforce that can quickly learn how to use Microsoft Teams, but are they adopting best practices? If users have had effective training and understand best practices, they will feel empowered to work in a different way which will lead to a confident and productive workforce, and no doubt a happier IT team!
A – Ability
Knowing how to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do it in practice. Once you’ve shown your users how the transition will work and what they need to do, the actual performance of each individual needs to be supported. This can take time, with practice, coaching and feedback.
R – Reinforcement
This final stage is essential to sustain the change. Positive feedback, rewards, recognition, measuring performance and taking corrective actions will ensure that changes stay in place and users do not revert to their old ways. This is often the part of change management that is most difficult as organisations are already moving towards the next change or challenge. Continuing a champion programme and ensuring there is still a strong support network in place will help with maintaining the change.
What can Softcat do to help?
Softcat partner with industry leading experts in change management and training and can help you with this very important step of any technology implementation. Speak to your Softcat account manager to find out how we can help, or complete the form below.