5 minute read

Enabling Rapid Platform Adoption

To really get going with Stack Overflow for Teams, there are certain steps you should take in those critical first few weeks. These steps revolve around 3 key factors: change management, community growth, and community health measurement.

How can I ensure my team will adopt Teams? 

Bringing a new tool onto your team always feels like a risk. You want new tools to make life easier, not more complicated. Catalyzing rapid adoption is not easy. Only incredibly useful tools overcome your team’s reluctance to change the status quo. 

Stack Overflow for Teams is one tool that is uniquely equipped to spark successful communities. Technologists are already familiar with Stack Overflow: to date we see 100 million users visit our site annually, and we’ve spent over 13 years growing our community. 

To really get going with Stack Overflow for Teams, there are certain steps you should take in those critical first few weeks. These steps revolve around 3 key factors: change management, community growth, and community health measurement. 

Pre-Launch

1. Start with “Why?”

Communities are a mechanism for meaningful, connected work that has an impact. A good place to start is your executive “Why?” Why are you on Teams, and what will your organization accomplish when everyone gets active? Having this “north star” answer can help guide reluctant users to push through and make Teams a habit. 

2. Use change management to overcome common objections

In Stack Overflow’s Spring 2021 TechValidate study, 40% of respondents said "Internal evangelism from key teammates" and/or "Senior leadership support" were most valuable in gaining adoption of Teams. 

There are plenty of good reasons to convince your team to adopt Teams. Whether it’s fewer interruptions, quicker onboarding, or better asynchronous communication, most of these reasons relate back to your business objectives. 

Find those early adopters in your organization. Give general users an example to follow while making it easy and fun to contribute. Once you identify subject matter experts at your company to provide valuable content, you’re well on your way to impactful change management. Have them contribute key information before launch, so that your Teams instance is already a useful place to be on Day One. 

3. Have a timeline 

We’ve written a lot about planning a successful launch for Teams instances. Whether you’re on an Enterprise plan or something else, it’s important to set up timelines. Consider factors like finalizing your deployment, identifying community leaders and experts. training your community, and monitoring experiments. How many weeks ahead do you have planned to make sure Teams gets off to a good start? Make sure you’re creating enthusiasm and awareness even before the tool is implemented. 

4. Designate specific community builders.

Don’t leave community-building to chance. In addition to identifying great subject matter experts who can contribute to your community, designate specific community builders. These could be operations people who serve as custodians for the growth, diversity, inclusion, and frequency of the activity on Teams. Whoever they are, their driving purpose should be to continually pull people from across your organization into the community. 

Post-Launch

1. Boost engagement with in-product education and incentives. 

Your users need to be educated in order to stay active on Teams. So once you’ve recruited subject matter expert early adopters, start sharing what they know. You could use newsletters, internal success stories, automations, or bounties and rewards. Design incentive programs and competitions for people who share the most. Call out active users and thank them for their participation. Anything that gets users excited, and gets them to the “aha moment” faster. 

2. Set specific engagement, adoption, and knowledge sharing objectives 

How will you know when you’ve hit that rapid adoption threshold? You’ll have set objectives and metrics that will tell you. These objectives can include things like: 

  • Knowledge reuse - site visitors who don’t ask a question or write anything (this assumes they found what they needed and reused information from the knowledge base)
  • Number of new questions
  • Number of new answers
  • Median time to answer questions
  • Engagement metrics - unique daily visitors, votes, searches, comments, and edits

3. Set up integrations

Another way to encourage rapid platform adoption is through useful integrations. Activate ChatOps and other integrations that can help your team bring new habits into old, familiar workflows. There are plenty of ways to link to other internal tools or external resources. 

4. Keep tabs on community health. 

After launch, it’s important to take the pulse of your community health on an ongoing basis. You can read about checking on your community’s health in detail, and make sure you’re educated on what the dashboard is telling you, as well as your read/write API.

Additionally, develop a program for collecting feedback via ongoing check-ins and regular goal setting to ensure the community doesn’t go stale. Leverage surveys that will help you discover new ways to expand the community within your organization. 

Finally, one of the best indicators of community health and success is knowledge reuse. Aka, how many times does the answer to a question get reused? How many people are logging in, taking a look at something, and logging back out again with new information and an answered question? Knowledge reuse is the central value of the Teams platform. 

The bottom line 

Through these adoption strategies,  75% of customers see full adoption in the first 8 weeks of implementing Stack Overflow for Teams. For some more inspiration, read about companies who have successfully adopted Teams and how they did it. 

Teams like Microsoft are case studies of rapid adoption, with thousands of users and thousands of questions answered.

Sitting on a larger team? 

For teams of 300+, additional support is available. Using our decade-plus as a leading digital community, we’ve developed an experience-based 6 step adoption strategy and program with personalized guidance from an assigned Customer Success Manager.

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