Monitor Your Collaboration Maturity Index (CMI) to Measure M365 Success

By Don Koscheka and J. Peter Bruzzese

By integrating capabilities like chat, messaging, voice, tasks, and document management into a single environment, Teams has become Microsoft’s communication, collaboration, and productivity platform for the modern workplace.  Now with over 120 million daily users the facts are clear, organizations large and small are leveraging the features of Teams to work better together. What does appear to be elusive, however, is quantifying the business value and efficiency gains they are receiving.

Many customers we have spoken with over the past year are searching for a way to gauge the effectiveness of their digital transformation with Teams. Measuring the success of M365 adoption often relies on methodologies that seek to correlate platform usage with economic value.  But these methodologies often create more questions than answer.

For example, a White Paper published by Microsoft (Total Economic Impact™ Of using Microsoft Teams as a platform), claims that thirty percent of the total time saved per user is applied directly back to revenue-generating tasks and is therefore included in the benefit calculation. The paper goes on to suggest that this results in direct savings and payback for the organization.

While we don’t attempt to refute this claim, we believe that it puts focus on the wrong metric, namely economics and financial impact. We believe it is the role of the business managers to translate productivity into business value, whether that value is measured as a lower cost per task, increased revenue, or even increased profits.

We believe that the business value of platforms like Teams can be measured by simply asking this question: "Does improved collaboration translate to increased productivity, as defined in our organization?" A recent study on how collaboration powers productivity, says YES.

Then, by measuring collaboration activity and efficiency, it is possible to correlate improved collaboration to increased productivity.  Improved collaboration will meet one or more of the following criteria (Kaplan Balanced Scorecard):

Perspective Collaboration impact on Productivity Potential Business Value
Financial Lower cost per unit of work
More efficient allocation of capital
Increased return on capital employed (ROCE)
Customer Enhanced service delivery
Enhanced customer experience
Customer retention
Revenue per customer
Improved brand
Business Processes Reduced time per task
Reduced errors per task
Increased integration between tasks
Lower costs
Increased asset utilization
Learning and growth Increased employee competency
Increased insights
Capacity to further increase ROCE, Customer experience and business processes

Now, if we embrace the idea that nurturing users toward more advanced features in Teams will correlate into improved collaboration levels, then this should directly translate into increased productivity.

We call this the Collaboration Maturity Index (CMI):

Increased Learning and Growth -> Increased Collaboration -> Increased Productivity

Business managers can then translate this increased productivity into quantitative business value using the table above. But what constitutes a higher level of collaboration?  If the focus is on the end-user, then these three key measurement points would be:

(a) the speed with which a task is completed

(b) a reduction in the error rate per task

and (c) the overall ease of use and simplicity

Teams has proven itself to be the easier, faster solution with a reduction for errors compared to other options for collaboration.  Here is a simple example. Measure the effort and time required to build a PowerPoint slide deck together with your business group. First do it the old way by relying on the back and forth over disjointed emails. Then try it again using a Teams site where you can collaborate over PowerPoint Online. The numbers will showcase an obvious advantage for using Teams.  It’s not that it can’t be done using 20th century technology (email), it simply cannot be done as quickly and efficiently.  So why do users continue to rely on legacy methods for collaboration, when your company has clearly given them modern, better tools?

Familiarity with the old way, and a lack of experience with the new.  They may use Teams, but are they comfortable with it?  They may join meetings, but do they organize, schedule, and record them?  They may find a PowerPoint and download it for editing, but wouldn’t you prefer they work on it collaboratively during authoring and editing?  The more comfortable they are, the more they will accept the new way of working, and subsequently the more productive they will become.  And the key to driving those behavior changes? Well, that’s where training and enablement play a big part.

Using the Microsoft Graph usage data, we’re now able to see how an increase in learning consumption fosters the usage of more advanced M365 technology features by your employees.  By the same token, we can also see how a lack of training leads to lower usage for Teams, lower collaboration and therefore a lower CMI score.

It is our belief that nurturing your employees toward improved collaboration through easy access to training, readily available 24/7, right within Teams, will have a direct impact on your CMI. Over time, those behavior changes will drive the business value that Microsoft has been promising their customers as part of the digital transformation journey.

Stay tuned for more insights on this new CMI model as we continue to deploy the ClipTraining platform around the world and drive digital transformation for Microsoft 365 and specifically TEAMS.

ABOUT the authors:

Don Koscheka is a well-known and distinguished software engineer with credits like Apple Computer and Microsoft (for nearly 20 years). In addition, Don has an acerbic wit, charming personality, and devilishly good looks.

J. Peter Bruzzese, 8-time awarded Microsoft MVP for Exchange and Office Apps and Services, is a co-founder and Chief Content Officer for ClipTraining.  J. Peter is an internationally published tech author and journalist, as well as a global speaker on email cyber security.