If there is one thing remote working has taught us, it’s that there needn’t be any barriers to collaboration and teamwork when you’re not in the same room. Accenture introduced the platform Microsoft Teams as early as 2017 to help our people work in a modern, smart way. I’m sure you’re familiar with this chat-centered business collaboration platform—and probably also aware that rolling out new technology isn’t always the end game. This is where having a robust change and adoption strategy really makes its mark.


Put employees first

We targeted our employee-centric efforts on the new behaviors necessary to adopt and realize the benefits of Teams. Rather than focusing on the technology and how to do something in the tool, we talked about the way people worked, like whiteboarding and collaborating, increasing team engagement and being truly human along the way.

We took a three-staged approach to getting Teams accepted by our more than 500,000 people. The first stage was crawl, where most people were at when we shifted to a virtual work environment. They’d been using Skype for Business, so we helped them understand how Teams could offer a personalized, unified experience.

Then we moved to the walk stage. This is where people were comfortable with the basics and we could show them how to work together in real time in the cloud—with advanced features such as meeting notes and using channels to co-create and co-collaborate.

Finally, we entered the run stage, where people make full use of Teams and it has become a digital workspace to manage work centrally. It’s the stage our change and adoption team enjoys the most as we see people supercharged by the benefits.

Of course, change management doesn’t end even after those three stages. To help our people get the most value from Teams, we guide them to work in a new way. Let me give you an example; the concept of creating a private or public “team” and inviting individual members was new so we helped people understand why, when or how to best create one and use this feature.

Connect and collaborate

We now have 494,000 active users in Teams, sharing 1.1 billion minutes of audio per month and 107 million minutes of video conferences per month.

If you’re planning new tech adoption soon, there’s some fundamentals I’d recommend to ease the process:

  • Get your leaders on board first: Active use and endorsement by your senior leaders makes all the difference. Offer one-to-one training and tech support so they feel comfortable championing the changes.
  • Think gamification: One of the ways we used to create grass roots change with Teams was developing Team Stars—early adopters of the platform—and offering them incentives, such as early access to features.
  • Encourage changemakers: Adoption doesn’t end with roll out. Ongoing support and guidance and releasing new capabilities are ways you can help your users to make the change—and enjoy the change—to a new solution.

If you’d like to know more about the change and adoption strategy around our Teams deployment, you can read the full case study here. Or take a look at our full Teams journey.

Sarah Dugan

Managing Director – Global IT, Journey & Change Management

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