Business Tech

Team collaboration tools: Managing roll-out of your solution

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You’ve made it through your two-rounds of pilots with your team collaboration tools and are starting wider adoption. You’ve got a feel for what works and where wider issues may be lurking in the shadows and are prepared to “expect the unexpected”. Some final tips as you transition from small-scale pilots to larger organization-wide rollout:

Create a chat-based FAQ space

With your pilot champions help, create a chat-based FAQ space within your team collaboration space. Ask each of the campions to add a few “I wish I knew this” items to the space and offer a few sentences of suggestions for those that are new to the platform. Depending on the platform, pin the FAQ to the favorites or add all new users to the FAQ team. The FAQ group should be one of the first things new users sees when first connecting.

Equip your users with the necessary tools

Many great video and collaboration tools have been ruined by crappy headsets and cameras. Make sure that your users have access to a decent headset and a camera. Don’t be a cheapskate and ruin all your hard work by making your staff use a $1 pair of headphones from their most recent Jetblue flight.

Help with information organization

Dewey was on to something when he created the Dewey Decimal System for information organization – properly organizing information makes it far more valuable. Just because “it’s always been that way”, is not a plan for the future. Help your stake-holders get their information moved to cloud storage in an efficient and easy to navigate structure. Files and information in team collaboration space is often tied to the workspace, not disk space. Do some housekeeping, archiving obsolete information.

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Surveys can tell you a lot about adoption

To report progress, you need some means of measuring and reporting perception by your users. A brief survey that measures confidence in the platform and user experience is a great way to track progress. Use sliders and open-ended questions to measure confidence, perceived efficiency, and comfort with the user experience.

Report the numbers

Select, track and report specific KPIs as part of a periodic reporting process

  • Track and report the number of open tickets and average days to closure.
  • Show your survey results over time and point out trends.
  • Report the number of virtual groups or teams (this should see a steady climb as users create new teams and work groups within the team collaboration space).
  • Track changes in email usage – You should start to see a drop in email usage as users take their communications to the chat environment and adopt file sharing work habits.
  • Changes in travel spending – Depending on the organization, you may be able to report a reduction in travel expenditures as employees use more virtual meetings and less travel.
  • Usage of legacy communications tools – Report any changes in the use of legacy telephone usage, long distance billing, voice mail usage.

Sunset the old tools

Now that the entire organization has access to the team collaboration tools, time to pinch off access to the ad-hoc, consumer or legacy tools. Restricting access to un-managed file-sharing and communications tools is a good way to motivate users to migrate their work to the new team collaboration tools. It may take a few warnings and eventually blocking select sites at the firewall to properly motivate action. As difficult as it sounds, sunsetting the old tools is the only way to ensure conversion.

Share your story

Once you find a chance to catch your breath and have some metrics, it’s time to help others on the same journey. A few posts on appropriate LinkedIn groups, sharing your own challenges and how you overcame them is a great way to help others and gain insight on future challenges. You’ve accomplished a lot on your journey – share your story.

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