The Back Yard​

Thoughts, tips & tricks
from the Lemonheads

How to get Patrick Stewart to like Microsoft Teams

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it”  (Simon Sinek)

Many of us are familiar with Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ framework made popular in 2009 with his now infamous Ted Talk and subsequent best-seller ‘Start with why’.

Simon speaks to the notion that to be successful in business; we should first understand why we are in business, our core, our reason for existing. He then asks us to look at ‘how’ we stay true to our ‘why’ and finally, ‘what’ we do as a business. It’s a compelling ethos that asks us to look deeply within before we look outward.

We can easily apply this to our world of IT professional services. If we can’t explain why people need new technology, how can we sincerely articulate how we’re going to deliver it and what our clients might want to do with it?

This is Patrick.

You don’t know Patrick personally, but you’re about to.

You are about to move his cheese. Whether he wants it moved or not. 

Over the next few days, while he’s at the resort, his comfort zone of desktop applications, local files and shortcut icons will become Microsoft 365, with a Microsoft Teams strategy at the centrepiece.

Despite the fun poster headlines and encouraging communications, Patrick is not likely to care too much for the productivity benefits, teamwork and collaboration opportunities you’re going to bestow upon him. Patrick is busy. Patrick just wants to do his job.

Patrick is not going to like it – and he is not going to like you.

Most people are like Patrick.

Most people are unenthusiastic technologists. Not always inclined to keep up with a relentless diet of innovation, not always interested in new updates and features.

Most people are just doing their job.

If you spend any amount of time on LinkedIn, you will know there’s a considerable push from IT services companies (like Lemonyard) toward helping business find more agile and collaborative ways of working with the help of Microsoft Teams.

We understand that Microsoft Teams really can be a collaboration, communication and productivity panacea for an increasingly dispersed and disconnected workforce. And, as service providers, we promote our skills to help businesses jump on the Microsoft Teams productivity ride.

Despite our deep awareness of the benefits, it’s not always the case that everyone out there is as invested. We’re often talking in a vacuum.

Do people need all the rich features that Microsoft Teams comes with? Did we ask?

Let’s ask Patrick:

Hmmm he seems busy…

Perhaps we should explain to Patrick how Microsoft teams can be used: to ‘Send an email to a Teams channel’, ‘hook up Delve’, ‘create a Poll’, ‘publish an RSS feed as a Card’, run a ‘/whatsnew’ command, build a no-code Power Automate workflow to auto alert his team, add a Custom Stickers app. 

Create a Wiki for his team…

No, he does not need to do these things.

And, to suggest to Patrick that he could or should be more productive with Teams – is probably not going to be helpful.

Patrick doesn’t know why you’re giving him Microsoft Teams.

It’s time to change the proposition.

Instead of promoting what Microsoft Teams can do and how Microsoft Teams can do it – let’s start with why use Microsoft Teams at all?  

How can we help Patrick to see the benefit for him?

There’s a ton of easy read articles discussing the broad range of things Teams can do. A quick Google search will give you everything you need to know. There is so much – no point in me repeating it here.

Let’s look at three specific reasons why Microsoft Teams is a good idea:

Teams is going to significantly reduce Patrick’s internal email. 

All those unnecessary ‘ok’, ‘thanks’, and ‘cheers’ emails will vanish. Short-form email conversations will cease, reply-all emails will stop, email attachments will be a thing of the past. All replaced by Teams Chat.

Patrick’s email will be reduced to the meaningful repository of worthy, findable content it always should have been.

Teams will replace several of Patrick’s desktop tools.

Skype for business or any other chat application – gone. Outlook meetings – not gone – but synchronised in Teams and nicely embedded with Teams Calls and Video Meetings. Zoom, Blue Jeans, whatever – all gone – not needed.

Apart from essential applications for specific business needs (your DMS etc.), Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams will be all Patrick needs to do his work.

Patrick will be more able to work from anywhere, on anything – with one login.

Patrick won’t need to log in with Citrix anymore. He won’t need a VPN tool on his home PC or an RSA token handy wherever he goes. He won’t be restricted to using a company laptop for company business. Patrick can work from any device – anywhere.

Patrick is interested.

For a new technology to succeed – the language we use with clients needs to align with tangible expectations – actual user need and user experience.

Professional Service providers understand the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’. Average (respectfully) users mostly don’t, and neither should they be expected to.

They’re busy.

It’s a big reason why Zoom is kicking Teams’ derriere right now. Because Zoom does the one thing that most users want to do in this space – video conferencing.  Zoom is easy, very good and serves a direct user need.

Microsoft Teams does video conferencing – also very well. Teams is embedded in the Microsoft 365 stack and benefits from the robust security model that comes with 365. Teams  is feature-rich, packed with collaboration, integration and productivity extensibility. And Teams is cheaper than Zoom.

Microsoft Teams is a better investment than Zoom.

But most users don’t need most of what Teams comes with.

They need a reason to use it.

They need a ‘why’.

After our carefully worded pitch – Patrick (sort of) gets it now. He’s keen to get Microsoft Teams set up and give it a go.

He might even like it.

And he’s also a little sorry for being ‘abrupt’ earlier.

Animated gifs sourced from https://giphy.com