Microsoft Teams training to drive user adoption


Quality user training can influence successful user adoption. Quality training does not necessarily mean detailed courses or handbooks. Detail can serve to be your enemy in the early stages of user training. Focus on making your program ‘SCIP’ along happily: training should be Simple, Clear, Interesting, and Practical.

 

Traditional approaches are not enough

The traditional method of cramming people into a room and talking at them for some time, giving them a manual and waving them goodbye, never worked – and it does not work now. While you are training your users on the technology, you also need to give them a hook to use the technology in the first days after their onboarding. Finally, you need to be clever about maximising your training efforts.

 

Here are some example training titles that will help you SCIP:

 

  • Have basic and advanced training courses
  • Microsoft Learning Pathways and Microsoft Docs
  • My first ten days in Teams: Tips and tricks
  • Video, video and more video

 

Two key stages of Microsoft Teams user training

In our experience, detailed or advanced training before the rollout is ineffective. However, you will find a sudden demand for further training, about a week post-deployment. A two-stage Microsoft Teams training program to aid smooth initial adoption and enable uptake of advanced features shortly after deployment is most beneficial.

 

Your basic course should:

  • Be as short as possible: ninety minutes is ideal
  • Come bundled with a simple ‘cheat sheet’
  • Focus on the essentials and nothing more
  • Be delivered just before deployment
  • Run as a lecture or ‘town hall‘ style delivery

 

Your advanced courses can:

  • Have different streams for different departments
  • Focus on improving specific business processes
  • Describe use-cases tailored to your organisation
  • Walk through advanced features for power users

 

Creative Ideas for Basic Training

 

Video, video, video

 

The three most useful tactics for Microsoft Teams training are video, video, and video. Chances are, most of your users are remote. This is not a problem. Perhaps your users missed a scheduled session. That is fine too. All you need is short clips of how-to guides, recordings of training sessions, and video guides from Microsoft. If a user wants to understand how to do something quickly, a thirty-second video clip serves the purpose better than reading an entire article. Before you dismiss video as an option because you do not have the right skills or software – you can use Microsoft PowerPoint, Xbox controls (Windows Button + G on Windows 10), and the Photo App in Windows 10 to build professional videos in a few clicks.

 

My First Ten Days: Automate tips and tricks

 

Eventually, watching training videos can become tedious. Also, users mostly do not go to that part of the intranet unless they have to. Automating tips and tricks as part of the post-user onboarding process gives them the ‘white glove’ feeling. Imagine logging onto your machine the day after training and getting an email… ‘Hello, we really hoped you liked your training, here is a quick tip to get you started using Microsoft Teams’… Sounds too good to be true? SharePoint and Power Automate can deliver amazing results in this space without burdening your training or comms teams.

 

Adventurous options for Advanced Training

Once everyone working in the Microsoft Teams environment has attended basic training programs, your focus must move to impart a deeper understanding of Microsoft Teams to groups who need it. Process owners and other power users in the company will need specialised training for you to get a full return on your Microsoft Teams investment. You may leverage authorised Microsoft training partners to deliver advanced training if it is feature-specific training. Business process or use-case specific training are more organisationally intrinsic and should run internally.

 

Tailored courses can help, especially during the Early Adopter Program phase. Microsoft Teams has many features, and making users aware of those will help unlock new use cases. To help drive initial adoption and get the word out that Microsoft Teams solves ‘my’ problem, consider tailoring the courses to the business requirements you discovered during the initial phases.

 

Microsoft Learning Paths and Microsoft Docs

People learn in different ways. Some people prefer hand-holding while others prefer to explore on their own. Microsoft offers us two free training avenues.

 

Microsoft Learning Pathways allows us to embed short training videos regarding Office products (including Microsoft Teams) directly into the SharePoint Online portals. This allows you to quickly access ‘101’ type training for users that want to explore a little. These videos can be embedded in emails, pushed via QR codes etc. It is a tool that immediately unlocks a whole new training avenue for your users.

 

Microsoft Docs is the official be all and end all of Microsoft documentation. It has a dedicated learning portal that gives users exposure to anything from the basics of Microsoft Teams training all the way through to building their own bots. This portal is where Microsoft Professionals go to get certified, so the content is exceptionally good. Users can earn badges and trophies to track their progress.

 

Monitor and close the loop

Microsoft has amazing tools to track usage and adoption of O365. The O365 Power BI pack is a great example. This free analytics tool plugs into your tenant information and helps you monitor who is doing what. Having this dashboard front and centre in your adoption office (and embedded in your adoption Team will help you identify departments that did not quite pick up on the training. There are some interesting APIs available in Microsoft Graph that can pull user-level information to take your reporting to the next level if you need granular reporting.

 

Use these reports to make sure you close the loop with your users. They could simply be busy or may need more training – traditionally, you had no way of knowing.

 

Once you have conducted training, you want to see if it was a good use of time. You want to analyse the impact of your Microsoft Teams training programs on user adoption.

 

For example: let’s assume you set up a business process leveraging Microsoft Teams to speed up your interviewing and onboarding timeline for new staff. In this case, you would measure the average onboarding time for staff for the quarter prior and the quarter following the new process and associated training. Causality is hard to demonstrate, but you can show a strong correlation between training and result.

 

Get started with Microsoft Teams training

Experteq understands that successful Microsoft Teams deployment requires a robust user training program. We leverage Microsoft Teams every day at work and wholly believe in its benefits and capabilities. Please visit our Microsoft Teams solutions page and get in touch to learn how Experteq can help you with Microsoft Teams training.

Frank Mulcahy

frank.mulcahy@experteq.com

Over the last 15 years Frank has been involved in several successful start-up technology companies that solve major business challenges using enterprise technology thinking. Frank is a strategic thinker and is often invited by media and vendors to comment on emerging Industry trends and technology market direction.