Assess organizational change readiness

Upgrade journey diagram, emphasizing the User Readiness stage.

This article is part of the User Readiness stage of your upgrade journey, an activity you complete in parallel with the Technical Readiness stage. Before proceeding, confirm that you've completed these activities from previous stages:

After you've secured your project team and defined your vision, scope, and goals, the next step on your upgrade journey is to ensure that your organization and users are ready for Teams—an activity that you complete in parallel with ensuring your technical readiness. To realize value from Teams, users must actually use it. Simply enabling Teams doesn't guarantee that you achieve your goal. Users have different use cases and varying learning styles, and they adapt to new technology at different speeds. The good news is that managing change isn't all that complicated, but it does take a focused effort. The guided discussions below are designed to help you understand your user base so that you can prepare the right level of education to facilitate and accelerate user adoption. There are two ways you should look at your user base:

  • Organizational change readiness: Understanding how quickly (or not) users typically react to change. This information will help inform the amount of awareness, training, and value-selling you might need to do to drive user adoption.
  • Teamwork scenarios: Understanding how users work will enable you to map Teams to their work activities, accelerating adoption and facilitating the shift away from Skype for Business.


You can adapt the assessment activities given below to any change initiative in your organization. Simply address the questions based on the scope of your project. In the following discussions, "new solution" can apply to audio calling, audio conferencing, or your upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams.

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Decision points
  • What is the culture of your organization when it comes to change?
  • How can the new technology optimize the way users work?
  • Which users are likely to require special attention to get them to change the way they work?
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Next steps
  • Use the following guidance and associated activities to capture your organization's user readiness profile.

Organizational change readiness

By assessing your organization's readiness, you can determine how receptive (or not) your users are likely to be to changing the way they work and adopting new technology. Understanding how users react to change empowers your organization to proactively address concerns, adjust your rollout plan to get optimal buy-in, and identify users who can actually help you facilitate the change with their peers.


Use the following conversation starters to conduct an organizational readiness assessment and document the culture of your organization when it comes to change. This information can help inform how much awareness and training you might need to implement for your project. Don't worry about exact numbers. This exercise represents a general understanding of your organizational culture. If you need help getting started, simply evaluate a past rollout; this can help you anticipate how users might react to change and help you proactively address the reactions you expect.

What percentage of users fall into each bucket?

Early adopters Informed users Laggards
These users request the solution before it's available. These users accept the solution as soon as its value is demonstrated. These users reject the solution, even when pushed into change.


Enlist your early adopters for your pilot testing in addition to serving as peer champions. Champions help evangelize new technology and lead by example to show their peers how to realize value. To learn more about creating a formal champions program, see the Office adoption guide. Your laggards might need more convincing before they adopt a new technology. If more than 20 percent of your organization falls into this bucket, spend more time communicating the value messaging and delivering tailored training. In addition, support them through the change by opening a feedback loop to better understand and address their hesitations.

What percentage of users fall into each competency?

Self-motivated Team players Hand-holding seekers
These learners seek out resources, learn by doing. These users enjoy group and interactive training; they'll go along with coworkers. These users expect "white glove" or one-on-one assistance.


Not everyone learns the same way. For those who are self-motivated, point to Microsoft's online videos and training articles. If 20 percent or more are team players, enlist your training team or a partner to deliver live, interactive training (in person or online). Typically, you'll find executives or targeted roles in the hand-holding category. This is a critical group who would benefit from personalized, short training sessions. Enlist your champions to help deliver training to these users, for an optimal experience.

Assessing teamwork scenarios

Microsoft Teams expands the capabilities of Skype for Business, offering a comprehensive communication and collaboration solution. As you design your plan for upgrading users from Skype for Business to Teams, consider how you can use the power of teamwork collaboration to both excite users and facilitate their transition from Skype for Business to Teams.

At its core, teamwork is how people work together to get things done. It's about aligning the right people with the relevant tools in a way that works for them. Teams brings people, conversations, files, and projects together into one workspace, creating a true hub for teamwork in your organization.

Understanding how user work and how they come together can help users visualize how they can use Teams, facilitating the shift away from Skype for Business. There are two core ways to think about teamwork scenarios: people-centric and project-centric.

  • Project-centric teamwork centers on a specific project or initiative (for example, planning a product launch event). From scope planning to budget management to marketing efforts, project-centric teamwork helps align project workstreams, keeping everyone informed.
  • People-centric teamwork revolves around people with similar responsibilities or attributes who might work on the same team (for example, the sales team, road warriors) or across teams (for example, peer champions). From chatting with a colleague to get an answer to a question to participating in a team meeting, people-centric activities include information sharing and rapport building.

To get the most out of Teams, build a teamwork strategy that includes both scenarios, helping users understand how Teams can work for them.

An icon depicting decision points.
Decision point
  • What relatable teamwork scenarios will you employ to help accelerate user adoption of Teams and facilitate your upgrade from Skype for Business?
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Next steps


Project-centric teamwork: Product launch event (for example: your organization is getting ready to launch a new product to the market and is planning a broad promotional event to drive awareness, generate leads, and encourage sales).

Consideration Notes
Core attributes
  • Cross-team stakeholders with various project workstreams
  • Frequent targeted meetings
  • Lots of pieces/people coming together (budget, schedules, presentations, registration, and so on)
Teamwork challenges today
  • Workstreams are working in silos with limited visibility into overall project status or cross-team efforts:
    • Disconnected conversations and lack of "who's doing what"
    • Information tracked in various places with no cross-team visibility
  • Lost productivity time when bringing a new member on board or catching up from missing a meeting
Teamwork requirements
  • Quick access to project schedule and task assignment
  • Open conversation channel to keep everyone in-the-know
  • Central location for current presentation files and other resources
  • Ability to bring new project team members up-to-speed quickly
  • Way to encourage and support one another to keep momentum
Teamwork in Teams
  • Team/channels to organize project content and threaded conversations
  • SharePoint for hosting PPT files1
  • Planner/Trello for assigning individual project tasks and due dates1
  • Teams for online meetings
  • Teams mobile app for connecting on the go

1 Supporting app integration or alignment in Teams.

People-centric teamwork: Sales team (for example: your regionally-dispersed sales team needs to stay connected from the road, remain aligned on the pipeline, and understand key offers and initiatives that can help drive toward annual quota targets)

Consideration Notes
Core attributes
  • Work remotely (on the road, hotels, customer sites)
  • Relationship-focused – core external
Teamwork challenges today
  • Repeated conversations with multiple field reps (chat, calls, meetings, etc) – can't get everyone together at once
  • Missed opportunities to learn from sales "wins" – word of mouth sharing only
  • Continually shuffling between applications:
    • Sales Pipeline in Excel
    • Trending in Power BI
    • Sales collateral in email
    • Customer demo resources on SharePoint
    • 1:1 chats and point-in-time meetings
    • Sales community outreach in Yammer
Teamwork requirements
  • Quick access to sales collateral
  • Reach an expert quickly
  • Fast turn-around for questions and approvals
  • Sales meetings, pipeline reviews
  • Sales training resources
  • Customer database management
Teamwork in Teams
  • Teams/channels by region or customer designed to focus content and conversations
  • SharePoint for collateral/resources1
  • XLS/Power BI for pipeline and databases1
  • Teams for online meetings
  • Teams mobile app for connecting on the go
  • Teams app integration with CRM system1
  • Yammer for broad-reach SME insights and information sharing*1

1 Supporting app integration or alignment in Teams.

Tips for identifying a "good fit" for your teamwork strategy

It could be easy to get carried away forming a teamwork strategy for every user, every team, and every project. Not every project or team requires a fully defined teamwork strategy. Here are some best practices for getting started:

  • Consider cross-team projects that are just starting out or are upcoming.

    • Event planning – coordination from multiple teams (budget, logistics, presentations, and so on)
    • Pilot new product - share information, gather feedback in a controlled environment
  • Identify user personas and core work groups, connecting the various ways they interact with one another into Teams

    • Sales teams/regions – road warriors, easy access resources, quick turn-around responses
    • HR – standardized processes across all divisions, consistent approach for hiring
    • Frontline workers – connection to their peers/management, access to procedures, NEO
  • Keep these considerations in mind:

    • Start small. Save bigger, more complex projects for after you've vetted the teamwork model.
    • Focus on new projects. Avoid changing an existing project that's well underway as this may disrupt workflow.
    • Consider timing. Rolling out a new teamwork strategy to sales at the end of your fiscal year may not be ideal.
    • Iterate. No need to reinvent the wheel. When you find a teamwork structure that works, repeat it with other workgroups and projects. Define a template team and set guidelines to help users quickly assimilate into Teams and provide consistency.

Use the information you've gathered above to inform your user readiness plan.