Microsoft Teams Adoption is a multistage process that requires a well-thought strategy and preparation. It consists of various elements which are equally important and developing each of them will ensure a successful and smooth adoption of Teams in your organization.
Previously we listed all the components of Teams Adoption Strategy. Today, let’s delve deeper into Vision and Sponsorship as a foundation of successful Microsoft Teams Adoption. You will learn how to create a great project vision statement that will encourage your employees to make the shift and unify your team. You will also find out about the key roles that you want onboard for your project.
Let’s get started!
Vision of the project
The first step in your Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy will be defining the vision. It answers why – a starting point for any action – and inspires everyone to take that action.
The project vision will serve you as a guide to understand how the technology can be used in your company. It will also give a meaning to the Adoption Strategy and unite all the members of the organization to contribute to the project and achieve a common goal.
The objective of the vision is to:
1.Show the value that the new way of working will bring to the organization
2. Help ensure project membership in the company
3. Facilitate the change management process.
The vision of the project should be aligned with the company’s corporate vision. It will help you identify project’s objectives and then define business scenarios that will correspond to each objective.
All the stakeholders that contribute to the implementation and support of the adoption should be involved in the vision’s definition. This will make sure the organization’s vision is both informed and aligned.
How to create a project vision?
PM Times suggests using the following pattern for creating a project vision: “[Action] a [deliverable] that [criteria]”.
There are certain tips to follow that will allow you to create a truly powerful vision that will impact your end-users.
1.The KISS principle (“keep it simple, stupid”) – in other words, make sure your vision is concise and written in a simple language. If you don’t get it after hearing it once, it is not simple enough.
2. People-oriented message– it’s all about people, so make sure your vision resonates with them on a personal level. It’s not enough to mention the technology – show your end-users how they will benefit from it.
3. Call to action – include a powerful call to action in your vision to inspire people such as ‘bring’, ‘develop’, ‘increase’.
4. Call to cooperation – make sure to stress the importance of joint action in order to achieve the ultimate goal.
Here are some examples of vision statements to fuel your inspiration:
- Better Collaboration, Satisfied Customers
- Teamwork at the heart of digital transformation
- Collaborate better, solve issues faster
- Embrace Teams, Increase Speed, Develop Agility
In order to build your project vision, you would need to gather all the stakeholders, including the executives. Then you would need to set up a workshop to brainstorm and build this vision so that it’s shared with all the stakeholders.
The changing world of work as a key element to support your vision
Why change the way your organization works in the first place? You will need strong arguments in order to support the need for transformation, i.e. your project vision. It is key for convincing your end users to give up their old way of working.
We are already witnessing drastic changes in the way people live and communicate, and they concern all the aspects of our lives. Now, let’s delve into how the world of work is changing across the globe. What shifts has it undergone?
Firstly, the long-term employment and a secured job is no longer a priority in the modern world. We pay more attention now to the flexibility of both the position and the person who is taking it. Responsibilities are more versatile and require knowledge in various fields. As a result, adaptability becomes key in succeeding in any job.
It is no longer about staying in the office from 9 to 6, at least not in the most progressive companies. These days you can successfully work from Bali while your company is based in London. Now it’s rather about the impact that each individual makes as a part of a team.
Teamwork and digital collaboration
Teamwork has become a key element of companies’ success. It helps generate creative ideas, encourages team members to demonstrate their full potential, fosters critical thinking and increases productivity.
Technological advancements allow us to stay connected with our teams no matter if we’re working in the same office or we are thousands of miles away from each other. COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home. As a result, a lot of organizations had to make a shift in the way they operate and adopt a system that would allow their employees to work efficiently outside the office.
In fact, today around the world about 55% of the companies offer some capacity for remote work, and 18% of the workforce are full-time remote workers.
Due to these changes making a transformation towards digital collaboration is more topical now than ever. According to Markets&Markets, digital collaboration market is expected to grow from $31 billion in 2019 to $48.1 billion in 2024. They stress that the adoption rate of enterprise collaboration will grow due to increasing use of social networking tools and rising popularity of mobile devices used for collaboration in the workplace.
How to operate your vision?
You may wonder, after reading this, how do you implement this vision? In this work, oftentimes the vision has been built once, but is not included in all the other aspects of the change management project.
The vision needs to support every piece of the change management project: from internal documentation to communication materials. The vision needs to be explicitly shared and consistent everywhere.
Transforming the way organization works requires a joint effort of different stakeholders who will help drive the adoption in the organization. They must be representative of the company, have a clear understanding of what’s expected from them and be recognized by everyone involved in the project. Each group has to meet regularly to track the progress of the project and find the time to perform their project duties.
First, let’s talk about Executive Sponsors and their role in the Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy.
Involvement of executive members
Executives’ participation in the project is key for its successful implementation. Senior management shape the working culture of the organization and their involvement will motivate the staff to accept the change. They are looked up at by everyone in the company, therefore they provide authority and credibility to the project by explaining why the transformation is necessary.
Executive sponsors set the direction of the project and make sure it’s aligned with company’s business priorities, allocate budget, remove internal roadblocks, and finally evangelize the change at the executive level to ensure senior leadership buy-in.
Companies whose leaders are actively engaged are more successful in rolling out transformation projects.
According to the study conducted by change management consultancy Prosci, active and visible executive sponsorship ranked at the top of the list of key contributors to the success of the company’s initiatives. Meanwhile, the same study suggests that lack of effective sponsorship was one of the greatest obstacles to project’s success.
At the same time, indifferent and uncommitted executive can cause more harm to the project than no executive sponsor at all. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose the right person for this position. So, what are the criteria that you should look at?
Qualities of a great executive sponsor
In addition to the obvious skills that most executives have, such as leadership, communication and problem-solving among others, Forbes pinned down the following qualities of a successful sponsor:
- Business leader – include a business executive as one of the sponsors to ensure that the project is aligned with the company’s needs and will bring maximum business value.
- Primary beneficiary – those executives who will benefit most from profitability of the project will be more invested in its success. Make sure they are onboard.
- Data believer – they will support your vision and potential value of your project.
- Influence and authority – having a charismatic and influential leader onboard will help ensure senior management buy-in and support from the rest of the staff. They will also be able to prioritize different needs and manage intersecting policies.
- Continuity – your executive sponsor has to be committed to the project in the long term. Post-launch phase is just as important and pre- and launch itself.
Keep these criteria in mind when choosing the right executive sponsor for your Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy.
Roles of a Sponsor
Prosci identified three roles of the Sponsor and called them ABCs of effective sponsorship:
A – Active and visible participation over the course of the project.
Being active and visible are considered some of the most important traits of an executive sponsor. That includes various activities such as communicating with employees, regularly participating in project events, allocating funds and others. They cannot disappear after the launch workshop – your staff have to see your sponsor. This will encourage them to follow his/her example and adapt faster to the change.
B – Build a coalition with other executives
The executive sponsor should build an effective coalition with other leaders who support the adoption. By getting the support of other senior members they will be able to lobby for the interests of the project in other parts of the organization.
C – Communicating with all the members of the staff
Communicating why the change is necessary is key to drive adoption among your employees. Meanwhile the messaging should be done by the top leaders of the organization to add more credibility. Through directly communicating with the employees the executive sponsor validates and sets priorities of change.
Executive sponsor example
In order to give you an idea about how executive sponsor’s role and responsibilities are put in practice let us present you an example.
Chief Operating Officer.
Increasing awareness and promoting the use of Microsoft Teams across the organization.
About one hour per week for training, project preparation, and post-launch communication.
- Takes a creative approach to problem-solving;
- Has a strategic thinking mind;
- Promotes the use of Teams across the organization;
- Communicates with other executives about the business value of the project;
- Attends project-related meetings and events;
- Serves as a role model for the staff.
Next steps with Teams:
Communicates with employees and makes all future announcements in the organization through Teams and its apps.
Today we have talked about the significance of a compelling vision as a starting point of your Microsoft Teams Adoption Strategy, as well as the importance of active and committed sponsors for your project success and how to find one.
Stay tuned and find out more about how to make your Microsoft Teams Adoption a success.