Hunter Water’s Rapid Teams Adoption

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Short Description
Hunter Water is a State-Owned Corporation (SOC) providing drinking water, wastewater, and recycled water services to a population approaching 600,000 people in homes and businesses across the Lower Hunter. In March 2020, Hunter Water joined many companies who fast-tracked from office to a remote working environment due to the outbreak of COVID19.
Main Features

  • Modern Workplace 
  • Microsoft Teams

01.

About Hunter Water

Hunter water logo

Hunter Water is a State-Owned Corporation (SOC) providing drinking water, wastewater, and recycled water services to a population approaching 600,000 people in homes and businesses across the Lower Hunter. It was formed in 1892, and now as over 600 employees throughout the organisation comprising operations, field engineering and corporate staff.

The Business Need

In March 2020, Hunter Water joined many companies that fast-tracked from office to a remote working environment due to the outbreak of COVID19. Given the complexity and new challenges of a work from home culture their current collaboration program, Cisco WebEx no longer met their business needs.


To ensure a smooth transition and high user adoption rate of 650 users, Hunter Water partnered with Insync Technology to implement Microsoft Teams and an effective training and change management plan that supported the successful transition to work from home.


One of the biggest setbacks working remotely for Hunter Water, whilst using the WebEx communication platform was logging into the organisation via a VPN. Amber Mitchell, Digital Change Lead at Hunter Water says “Logging in to a VPN each time can be tedious, and it often drops out, which means you have to start the process again. Teams enables us to connect easily – securely, and in one step.”

 

The pilot was successful, however, it made it difficult in some ways to collaborate as there is a lot of cross-department collaboration within the organisation. As a result, two more divisions were added to the plot. From there, the adoption plan was reevaluated, and focus testing was conducted to determine the most effective training method and level of skills needed throughout the organisation.

 

Once the level of knowledge required by each section of the business was determined and the best method of delivery, it was rolled out across the business. In this way, Insync could tailor the delivery to a specific business unit and make it more relevant. As an organisation Hunter Water had a strong grasp on virtual and remote communication skills from their experience with WebEx. As a result, most training was focused specifically on optimising business efficiencies through Microsoft Teams and collaboration channels.  

02.

03.

The Challenge

Surveys were conducted with the pilot groups to determine what the organisation thought of the training and how they would like to be trained further – with more material, face to face or online training. There was quite a mix of options, the results concluded that most preferred live or pre-recorded content rather than face to face or classroom style sessions.

As part of the adoption process, a broad communication channel was created and monitored by Insync where employees could ask any questions they had about Teams. In addition to the broad communication channel, ‘drop-in’ training session were run by Insync where employees would have the opportunity to raise any issues, be it functionality, awareness or usability. This approach drove the content of the session and help develop skills in those problem areas, additional training material was also provided to address these scenarios for future staff. The training sessions were very successful with approximately 50 people attending each session.

To prevent employees from hitting the bottom of the “learning pit” and to keep them engaged beyond the initial implementation stage – content was created, which helped employees understand how the program could be used within their specific roles as well as tips on how to effectively use Teams.

4.Key Outcomes

The Learning Pit

The theory of the learning pit is that in order to learn, we first need to be thrown into, what is essentially, a pit of despair. By facing a challenge, staff identify that they may not have the knowledge and competency needed to complete it. This can have a knock-on effect with confidence and a willingness to jump in and give it a go.
To understand more about the “learning pit” and the importance of managed learning check out our “Adoption and learning are ongoing, evolving processes that cannot be confined to a one-hour workshop”

The combination of flexible support and drip-feeding information helped to reinforce Microsoft Teams skills and create a consistent level of knowledge across the organisation.

Since adopting Teams, our meetings have been transformed – now we can more easily share files and work more collaboratively both within the organisation and with external customers, vendors or partners. The training sessions showed us how we can communicate more effectively and get the most out of our meetings.

Amber Mitchell, Digital Change Lead, Hunter Water Corporation



05.

The Future

Hunter Water has begun the process of returning to the office, with many of the meeting spaces optimised for WebEx, the organisation is working with Insync on how they can transition the remaining employees and meeting spaces to Teams. There is also a focus on ongoing support and skill development as more employees are interested in how they can leverage other Microsoft 365 tools to create more efficiencies within their job roles.

In December 2020, Hunter Water subscribed to Insync’s M365 Update Subscription Service which helps organisations combat information overload by panning through over 500 Microsoft updates monthly to deliver relevant and actionable updates to each company.

“We now have monthly meetings with Insync as part of M365 Update. We got a heap out of the first session, and I am looking forward to the next. Staying on top of Microsoft updates is a job in itself – Insync and the teamwork out what’s relevant to us and the practical application for our organisation and then we implement this into our change plan.” Amber Mitchell, Digital Change Lead, Hunter Water Corporation

Are you interested in creating an Adoption and Change Management plan for your business, or need help with an effective, impactful rollout of Microsoft Teams? Get in touch today!