You might be worried about #UserAdoption, your users are not using the technologies available to them, but there’s something that’s MUCH scarier. And that’s “Over-Adoption”. And it’s not a new thing, we’ve suffered from this for years without knowing it. Think I’m crazy, let me tell you what I think “Over-Adoption” is, and how you can prevent it.

Let’s first create some awareness. I have way to many awesome men in my life that I want to be around when I grow old.

More about Movember:


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By now we know that Successful User Adoption implies that users have started using a new system efficiently.

  • in a way that achieves maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
  • in a well-organized and competent way.

In simple language “without resistance an without waste”. This is only possible if a system does not slow them down, is easy to use and they still get the job done.

Over-Adoption is something I see on a regular basis in companies. This happens when new technology is pushed out without the proper guidance & training in place.

An example would be the multiple folders users have in Outlook (Inbox and Archived folders). What seemed like a good idea initially, became a nightmare.

Or the hundreds of nested folders they navigate through in their file shares. If these users were taught better naming conventions or how incredible search is in Outlook / Explorer – they would not have gone that far. By creating logical systems for themselves, they’ve created further nightmares that actually slow them down.

For example, this folder structure:

Marketing > Johannesburg > 2018 > March > Draft Reports > First Quarter > Document Name V02.xlsx

Using a document name that starts with  “JHB201803” already eliminates three folder levels. Version history in OneDrive and SharePoint means we no longer have to add versions to the file name.

Microsoft Teams

Teams is the new ‘blue-eyed-boy’, and I have to admit, I’ve never seen adoption of a technology at this level. But I am concerned. Companies are pushing out Teams without having the necessary guidance or training in place.

Firstly – not everyone should be creating Teams. If you weren’t allowed to create SharePoint Site Collections before, you shouldn’t be creating Teams. User who do not understand the technical impact in the background, are creating Teams without thinking or knowing what really happens. See my resources below to give some background.

So there’s a social get together this weekend, let’s create a Team. Someones birthday on Tuesday, let’s create a Team. Without proper guidance from IT, people will be creating Teams and eventually end up with too many Teams and then start hating it.

The same goes for number of channels in a Team. I can’t tell you how many is too much, but I recognize it when I see it.

Example – Finance:

Here’s a typical example of a Team for a Finance department. Now depending on the size of your organization, each of those channels could be a department on its own, and then I suppose a Team for each would make sense. But imagine a smaller company where each of those “sub processes” have 2 or 3 people in it, and on a lot of them, you have people working in multiple areas, across process. So someone has gotten trigger happy with creating Teams and you’ve ended up with a Team for each. Which means the management has a Team for each as well. That’s just painful. Why would you do that? The answer is always security. In each of those areas there are sensitive documents shared that not everyone should see. (Yes I know, private channels is a possibility in the future, but let’s deal with that later, because of course I have an opinion on that).

Now instead of creating a Team for each, create one big team and a separate Team for the sensitive “management type stuff”. Or… share the exception sensitive stuff through OneDrive if you don’t have to collaborate on it.

See below to illustrate:

“We are building complicated environments because we don’t trust technology / people and because we can’t search.”

Too many Teams with too many channels is “Over-Adoption”. This is a typical example of navigating to stuff, instead of searching.

You want extra Teams cause you’re scared people are going to edit or delete stuff that’s not relevant to them? Trust the technology. Look at Alerts & Version Histories to let you know when something goes wrong.

Building separate Teams with way too many channels cause you’re worried you can’t find your stuff, learn to search better. I can promise you that less is more, that goes for folders in OneDrive, Outlook and Channels in your Teams.

Please teach your users better naming conventions and how to rock at search. It will change their lives. See my blog about the Evolution of Finding Stuff and Supercharging your Search Skills below to help with that.


Image credits:  I found this banner image on Gratisography: Cowboy & Moustache Free Photo —By Ryan McGuire

I’ll be speaking at The European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference in Copenhagen, 26 – 29th of November. #ESPC18 @EuropeanSP Also honored to be a community reporter at the event. Hoping to see you there!

“You can also find me contributing to REgarding 365. I’m a member of a group of enthusiasts, sharing their stories, thoughts and opinions about Microsoft 365. Catch us at | @regarding365 on Twitter and regarding365 on YouTube

Disclaimer:  I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines.

New Initiative:

Every couple of months I’m going to travel to a new country, rent a motorcycle, and travel to as many communities as possible, for 15.2 days. Purpose would be to create awareness around Digital Literacy and give users an overview of Office 365 Apps and Services and how it can transform their lives. I’ll do video and written blogs to capture and share my journey and experiences.

Feedback would be crucial, and I’ll be using Microsoft Forms & Flow to gather valuable feedback for myself and Microsoft. I will be inviting other community members to join me on my journey when I’m in their respective areas.

Of course it wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship to help support this cause. Reach out if you’re interested on getting involved in any way, here’s a link to a Microsoft Form that can be completed: