What is the interesting new conundrum of Microsoft Teams?

Recently, several highly reputable independent studies have revealed a worrying potential aftereffect of the Covid19 crisis on your organisation and possibly your team.

  1. Before the Covid crisis, SWOOP Analytics released the most significant benchmarking study of Microsoft Teams ever undertaken. 57,000 people in 50 organisations. The results show that 83% of teams within Microsoft Teams are private; people on average are members of 4 teams and post once or twice in each of four channels per day. This is best practice.

  2. Next, Microsoft reported a significant uptake in usage of Microsoft Teams across all sectors, specifically related to working from home during the Covid crisis. Perhaps you’re a new user on Microsoft Teams?

  3. Then, after the start of the Covid crisis, ADAPT released a survey of over 200 senior technology leaders across Australia. The results predict the likely continued investment in collaboration and video systems, like Microsoft Teams, as significant for over 75% of respondents.

  4. Finally, in a recent webinar, SWOOP Analytics reported that Microsoft Teams’ uptake and participation have grown over 200% during the Covid crisis AND innovation. However, collaboration and diversity of exchange have dropped significantly. New users of Microsoft Teams are not engaging like the early adopters and best practice results before Covid. The average user is in fewer teams, asks fewer questions and posts less than pre-Covid.
The conundrum: The increased use of Microsoft Teams is helping those working from home complete daily work and simple tasks by connecting by video, meetings, sharing documents, and information transfer with their primary team.
The increased use of Microsoft Teams during Covid is building silos, reducing innovation, collaboration, and diversity of exchange at the very time when transformation and new ways of working are critical to the future success of both teams and organisations.

In your remote workday, are you: 

  • Spending hours trying to find files – too many places, too many versions, so you end up making a guess.
  • Chasing conversations and people across multiple communication channels.
  • Not sure who to ask or where to start.
  • In the dark on what peers are doing.
  • Wasting hours in endless, irrelevant video meetings.
  • Either left out or copied in – to everything.
  • Being broadcast to but not listened to.
  • Having to consult everyone, but no one is making decisions.

Or perhaps all of the above!

If this is happening to you and your team, what can you do?

Start with a Collaboration Touchpoint exercise.

(Extracted from Designing Collaboration by Alister Webb and Andrew Pope from Innosis)

  1. You do not work in isolation. You work in a team or teams. Start by defining your team. Which process (or processes) is your team part of? What is your function in the process? What are you expected to deliver, and why?

  2. Who do you NEED to collaborate with? Here you begin to identify and list your collaboration touchpoints. The other teams or entities that you interact with. For each touchpoint, complete the statement:

    As …(your role), I need to collaborate with … (people, roles) in order to … (for what outcomes).

  3. What is the profile of each collaboration touchpoint? What is the work you need to do for each touchpoint?

  4. What is the best-fit collaboration toolset to serve your touchpoints?
Finally, do a reality check and involve your team in the process.

Where do you start?

From our research, online meetings keep us connected, but many of these meetings aren’t productive. To help, we’ve developed tools and interactive online events to support leaders and build thriving remote teams.

  • Connect and explore ideas and best practice by joining our DIY online community.
  • Learn how to facilitate interactive online problem-solving, team-building and brainstorming using our Firebox methodology.
  • Download the free Digital Team Builder Intro Pack to learn how to maximise the impact of existing digital collaboration tools.

(Feature image by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash)

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