Teams introduction at the North Rhine-Westphalian family-owned company Thieme

Teams Einführung bei Thieme

Like so many companies, Thieme, a specialist dealer in machining and clamping technology from North Rhine-Westphalia, initially had the standard Office 365 applications in use. Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint from the cloud may be contemporary, but they are still just the beginning. The Microsoft platform holds other, even more important advantages and lets internal and cross-company communication and collaboration arrive in the digital age.

An initial in-house pilot project at Thieme not only revealed the potentials just mentioned, but also one or two knowledge gaps. So Thieme looked for an experienced partner and found what it was looking for at Join.

Step 1: Discovery Workshop

The joint project started with an on-sitem Discovery Workshop

This first step not only serves to show the possibilities of teams, but also to compare these with the requirements. It is important to address the internal processes that are to be mapped. Microsoft offers various tools for similar problems, which could overwhelm some users. During the workshop, an optimal mix of applications can be put together to create a solution that is precisely tailored to the needs of the company.

In addition to the somewhat more general goals in the area of communication and collaboration with teams, company-wide task management with Planner was at the top of the requirements list. In order to be able to view all notes and meeting minutes and transfer knowledge, OneNote was put under the microscope. In addition, Microsoft Dynamics, which was already in use, was to be integrated with Teams so that dashboards could be viewed there directly. The workshop also determined that Thieme could initially do without a classic intranet, since an organisation-wide Teams would suffice for internal communication.

Since Thieme was exceptionally well prepared for the workshop, a technical concept was created in just a few hours, so that the remaining time could be devoted to the Admin Center. In no time at all, settings were made to adapt the environment to the company’s compliance and data protection guidelines.

Step 2: Teams rollout concept

A comprehensive Teams matrix was developed for the rollout of teams. This all-encompassing overview included all team names, associated channels, their owners and members, as well as the apps to be integrated with the corresponding privacy settings. A uniform and standardised naming convention ensures quick orientation for users. This makes it clear at a glance whether the team is a departmental or project team, and whether or not external members can also be invited for smooth collaboration. In addition, all teams follow a uniform scheme in their structure, making it easier for users to navigate through them. But also the administrators benefit from the defined structures, the effort for administration is thus kept in check in the future.

Schritt 3: Employee training and internal communication

The successful introduction of new ways of working requires acceptance throughout the workforce. For this reason, training courses form an integral part of our reworking approach. At Thieme, training sessions were designed for two target groups.

The first was designed to introduce teams to all users and to explain the functions and the concept that had been devised. The second training was aimed at administrators and power users. Here, in-depth Teams knowledge was imparted. The goal was to enable Thieme to further adapt Teams to their specific company requirements in the future.

Now Thieme has a modern working environment and can react flexibly to current and future challenges. The company benefits from this even in the current pandemic and remains productive despite the lockdown regulation.

“The introduction of Teams together with Join was by far the most successful project we have implemented in recent years. Thus, almost half a year after implementation, the internal, cross-interface communication has improved significantly and we can transport information transparently and retrievable at any time. The link to Microsoft Planner is a helpful tool to get an overview of one’s tasks. Employees, both old and young, embrace teams and enjoy working with this extremely helpful tool.”Franka Niepmann, procurator at Thieme