Teams Roadshows

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March 2020 changed our lives forever, in lots of different ways. We all had to adapt to a new way of working and learn new technologies with limited support and time to do so. Microsoft Teams allowed us to keep working and to stay connected as we shifted to working from home. However nearly 3 years on, as we shift to a new normal of hybrid work are we really making the most of the benefits of Microsoft Teams or are we still in the mindset that Teams is just for meetings?

User Research

We carried out some user research and our findings indicated that whilst the majority of employees were familiar with attending meetings via Microsoft Teams only 62% were using it to make internal calls and chat, and 50% of these said they had either basic or no experience with the majority of the calling and chat features. This also meant that 35% of employees were still using Skype for Business to make all their internal calls and chat. Given the fact that Microsoft have announced the end of life program for Skype for business, we need to make sure our employees are confident with all the features and benefits of calling and chat in Microsoft Teams before we make the transition later this year. And so the Teams Roadshow project was launched.

So what has the Teams Roadshow project done so far? 

Over a period of 3 months the Service Design team visited every service area across the council and supported employees to use Microsoft Teams for internal calls and chat. We ran bitesize group sessions, attended departmental team meetings as well as giving 1:1 support at employees desks. We were able to identify common barriers to using Teams as well as establishing potential risk factors that need consideration before the transition. Some of those barriers included:

  • Having to have two platforms open due to Skype being our current external calls option
  • Not having the experience or time to learn new skills
  • Prefer to stick with what they know
  • Fear of breaking it

Some of the features we looked at where:

  • Navigating the calls tab
  • Various ways to start an internal call
  • Starting a chat in calls
  • Contacts and call groups
  • Sharing and working on a live document in chat
  • Pin, hide and delete a chat
  • Save, reply and format a message in chat
  • Schedule a meeting from chat

It was really encouraging to see that by the end of each session over 90% of employees were excited with all the features they had learned and could already see the savings on time for many day to day procedures. Employees were grateful to learn about the bank of resources they could access via the Digital Skills Hub to help support their continued learning of Teams features.

Impact of the Teams Roadshows

In the 70 days after the first Teams Roadshow our data showed that internal calls made in Teams had increased by 37% and chats had increased by 31%. Site visits to the Digital Skills Hub had increased by 45% and unique user visits had risen by 36%. We received lots of really positive feedback, lets have a look at a few snippets:

"Wow thank you for this. I didn't realise there was so much help available"

"A quick message to say thank you for the Teams Roadshow yesterday. Staff I've talked to found it really useful and excellently delivered. It was paced really well and just enough to challenge everyone's tech skills."

"This is a life saver, I feel like crying, it's going to save me so much time. Thank you."

Next Steps

To engage with the 38% of employees who have still never made a Teams call and the 28% who have never used chat.

New Roadshows across the council for understanding how to use Teams Sites - including features such as internal and external file sharing in the cloud, working within channels and using planners for projects and workloads.

Attend whole team meetings across the service areas to explain the benefits of using the Digital Skills Hub to develop their digital skills with the on-demand content and resources available.

By Lara Lowe on 13th Feb 2023
Lara is an assistant Service Designer at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.