Don’t Implement Microsoft Teams! (Apply It Instead)

So…you’re not too impressed with how Teams worked out in your company.

The good news is you aren’t alone and all is not lost because the problem isn’t with Teams, it’s with your implementation.

While I can’t say for sure what percentage of executives and business owners are unimpressed with their Teams implementation, I can say for sure that 100% of the clients who call me were disappointed or they wouldn’t have sought my help.

The first thing decision makers need to learn is that you don’t “implement” Teams, you “apply” it. You can’t implement Teams any more than you can implement a hammer!

You can buy the biggest, meanest hammer from the hardware store, but if you don’t apply it strategically to your exact home improvement needs, it will just sit there in your toolbox improving nothing at all.

To get the most out of a hammer, you must plan to use it strategically. You must have a purpose for using it, and you need a nail that is placed in exactly the right place, on the exact right board, in the exact right place in the building project that is most important to you.

In other words, you need an improvement project with a goal and a plan to get the most out of the hammer.

If you treated a hammer as you did Teams, you would have just purchased a hammer without knowing what in the world you would do with it. Yes, you know you’d probably drive a nail sometime, but what nail? For what purpose?

Better goals for the hammer might be:

  1. Build a deck to increase our outdoor living space by 75%.
  2. Replace a damaged piece of trim in the bathroom so there isn’t a gap in the bottom of the wall.
  3. Re-roof the garden shed to keep the lawnmower and tools from rusting.

Think about what your goal was when you brought Teams into your organization.

My guess is that if you had a goal, it was only a vague goal to “Implement Teams” because you or your IT staff innately believed that Teams’ awesome features could help your business. While you were correct in that assumption, that initial feeling is probably the last time you were right about rolling out Teams.

“Let’s implement Teams” is the equivalent of saying, “let’s implement this hammer.”

Wouldn’t it be much better to put a carpenter in charge of improvement with a hammer than someone who is good at swiping credit cards and buying hammers?

Your IT department or MSP is usually quite knowledgeable about licensing Teams and putting it on employees’ computers. Most generally however, they are not experts on analyzing business issues and applying strategic usage of Teams.

Teams success can be achieved by staging a do-over under the leadership of a person who knows the capabilities and process potential of Teams and who can help you set specific goals that address your unique business needs.

Such a person will help you ferret out improvement possibilities with goals such as:

  1. Eliminate internal emails completely and replace them with communications that save at least 30% time and energy while at the same time building a vast knowledge base.
  2. Reduce new employee onboarding time and effort by more than 50%.
  3. Eliminate project oversights due to information that is too deep in the shadows and spread across too many applications.
  4. Reduce the time office personnel spend assisting remote field technicians with information by 80%.
  5. Reduce the time employees spend navigating applications and searching for information by at least 50%.

Once you have such specific goals and plans to measure results, the facilitator will help you customize the entire Microsoft 365 environment to achieve those goals.

If you don’t have access to a process-minded Teams guru internally, consider scheduling a free 1-hour consultation with me. I’ll help you analyze your business needs and work with you to develop goals you can use to “apply” Teams to your business.

When the call is over, you can use those goals for Teams self-implementation or perhaps enlist my help to get you there more quickly.

Regardless how you choose to proceed, set new goals for Teams in your organization and start over!

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