Any transformation of the way people work requires training. Training Plan is a compulsory element of Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy. You have to teach your users not only how to use a new technology, but also how to implement it in their work through different use cases. It is also important to provide your employees with different solutions that can improve their collaboration and overall performance.

Previously, we discussed in detail vision and sponsorship, use cases, governance, KPIs and analytics and communication plan as integral part of Microsoft Teams Adoption. In this article we will share with you some tips, best practices, examples and resources that you can use to create a great Training Plan adapted to your audience.

Training plan

Training plan is a detailed document that covers a systematic step-by-step process of delivering instructions to the staff. It is designed to equip employees with necessary skills and knowledge to perform new tasks.  

Training plan is an indispensable component of Microsoft Teams Adoption. You have to make sure that your end-users both understand how to use the new software and how to apply it to their specific job tasks.  

Formats  

Many perceive training as something boring and uninspiring, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a variety of formats that you could try to make your training interesting and engaging. 

Training should be conducted in multiple forms to fit different learning styles, geographical limits and resource constraints. 

Interactive training can be a great option. It involves small group discussions, quizzes, games, role-playing and demonstrations. By encouraging conversations and group interactions you foster the learning process and enthusiasm around the use of technology. 

Also, try combining on-site training with online meetings and sessions at cafes, and even outdoors if the weather allows. Giving the opportunity to your employees to alternate their usual working and learning environment will encourage them to be proactive, support their training process and give a break from their work routine. 

Consider organizing webinars where your remote workers could also learn along with your office staff. 

Some of your employees will struggle more than others to give up their usual style of working and learn how to use Teams instead. To help this groups of users keep up with the rest of the staff, organizing individual coaching sessions for them can be effective. If the organization’s size and budget allow, you can consider coaching all of your employees. 

We’ve already mentioned the high effectiveness of peer learning. Take advantage of that by actively engaging your champions in the training program. You can organize champions-only sessions where they will answer questions and guide their colleagues through various uses of Microsoft Teams. 

Good practices  

Here are some recommendations that you can find helpful for efficient training.  

1. Continuous training 

The learning process doesn’t end at the post-launch stage. New features are offered regularly and if you want to take advantage of all the capabilities that Teams offer, ensure that your users are familiar with all the product’s updates. Consider offering continuous training to your staff. 

2. Executive Sponsor engagement

Make sure you Executive Sponsor takes part in the training process. This will bring additional authority and validation to the project and recall its importance in the company’s vision. 

3. Entertaining formats

Try to make your training resources interactive, fun and personalized for your audience. 

4. Peer learning

 It has proved to be very effective since it creates an environment where everyone feels equal and feels comfortable to freely share their thoughts, experiences as well as ask questions. Set up users’ club and ambassadors where your employees can learn from each other and share their experiences. 

5. New hires’ training

 Make sure that you train your new hires to use Microsoft Teams. Include the training into the onboarding process. 

6. High-value use-cases

Focus on easy-to-implement use cases that will bring higher value when comparing to previously used solutions and communicate them to your staff. 

7. Measuring success

Monitor the areas of success and weaknesses and adapt your Training Strategy according to these findings. 

8. Listening to your audience

Adapt you training content and format to your audience, giving priority to your users’ support preferences. Also take into consideration the company’s culture, previous training methods and complexity of the solution. 

To keep in mind 

There are a few things that you should keep in mind before preparing and implementing your Training Strategy. 

1. Consider the tools that your organization is currently using. If you’re running a different technology in your firm, additional training efforts should be made as it will require behavioral change from end-users’ side. 

2. Estimate how technology-savvy your employees are. The level of computer literacy of your staff will determine how long it will take for them to complete the training and how easy for them it will be to adopt new way of working. 

3. Take account of the programs that your employees are currently using and make sure that your staff are not overwhelmed with multiple software and give them time to absorb new information.  

4. Find out what are your staff’s preferred methods of learning. Is it an online course or on-site training, group or individual sessions, office or offsite meetings? 

5. If your organization has branches in different countries there’s a high possibility you will face language issues when preparing your Training Plan. Anticipate these challenges and make sure to adapt the training to each office’s culture. 

6. The ways of learning are constantly evolving. Follow these trends and keep on improving your training process every step of the way. 

Scaling 

Your Training Strategy should be adapted to your launch plan that consists of various stages that in the end will result in full-scale adoption. Just like with the Communication Plan, you need to target different groups of users at different time for gradual adoption. 

Start with training your Core Team. It consists of key groups involved in preparation and implementation of your Microsoft Teams Adoption strategy: Project Managers, Executive Sponsors, Early Adopters and Champions. 

Next, focus on your IT Preparation. Make sure your technical team has according accreditation and successfully passed administration course. 

Then, you will target specific Business Departments of your organization, following the order specified in your Adoption Plan. Training of this group can be done in many different formats that we mentioned earlier. 

Finally, make sure to organize regular training session for Continuous Learning and staying up to date with the product’s added capabilities.  

Training programs 

Microsoft 

And of course, you can always use a variety of free Microsoft training resources for your Training Plan. They are always free and offer materials in different languages, including English, Spanish, French, German and others. 

Admin training resources give you all the necessary knowledge regarding Teams capabilities and prepare you for teaching others. They include multiple modules on Technical Training, Teams Rooms Foundations for IT & AV Pros, Quick Start Guides, Tutorials and Courses. 

Teams live training comprises of a series of instructor-led live online classes created to teach you everything you need to know about Teams. It’s suitable both for admins/IT professionals and end-users with no knowledge about the software.  

Teams online training offers a series of videos that will teach your end-users how to get the most out of Teams. They can watch at their own pace and time.  

You can find a lot of useful material for preparing your Training strategy on Microsoft website. There are various tips that you can pick up from their resources, that are divided by product, role and task. They offer 13 tips for Teams that you can share directly with your training team to teach your end-users.  

Third-party resources 

LinkedIn Learning 

A great platform that allows you to gain or refresh your knowledge of multiple topics of all possible industries. Needless to say, they also provide courses and learning paths for Microsoft. Besides Teams, you can train yourself how to use many other Microsoft apps that you can incorporate in Teams, such as Excel, Word, Outlook, One Note and others. It’s perfect for getting the basics of Microsoft 365 and then go deeper into specific topics that are of interest to you. 

In order to access these courses you will need a subscription to LinkedIn Learning. 

Mandarine Academy 

Offers numerous Microsoft 365 training courses and learning paths, including for Microsoft Teams. It includes three free courses conducted in two formats: remote e-learning training session and interactive live e-learning session where users can speak directly to the trainer throughout the session. 

Udemy 

Another great platform that offers 150,000 courses on any topic and allows you to learn at your own pace. For your Training Plan you can take their Mastering Office 365 course. It not only familiarizes you with Microsoft products, but also helps you be more efficient by teaching you how to use these tools to be organized and productive. 

KnowledgeWave

Its Office 365 Training for end-users is perfect for enterprise-level learning. It includes on-demand training videos, live online classes as well as coaching of Office 365 Adoption best practices. Additionally, it offers a subscription for ongoing training for your users, which is essential for effective use of Microsoft tools in the organization. 

Global Knowledge 

It allows you to enroll in Office 365 End User Training 7-hour course. However, you’ll need to book a spot in the class. You will learn about Office 365 and how to use its different apps, including Microsoft Teams. 

LMS365 

A digital tool for your end-users’ training. It’s is a learning platform built into Microsoft 365 and Teams. It offers and engaging user experience, allows to track the learner progress and create reports, organize training plans, gives certification and contains many other features. 

Microsoft Teams Training Plan Example 

In order to help you build your own Training Plan, Microsoft prepared an example, describing all the different steps that you should take during different stages of your Microsoft Teams Adoption. 

© Microsoft

These are the fundamentals of a well-thought Training Plan. Now you know which steps you should take in order to train your employees to use Microsoft Teams and transform their way of working.  

Next, you will learn about the final element of Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy – Champions Network. 

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