Adopt faster using Play Sessions

I have always struggled with learning new topics from online videos. Videos are definitively helpful, and I know a lot of people that learn how to cook, earn IT certifications, or even fix a car just by watching videos, but not me.  I prefer classroom training because I get to learn from someone in person and I get the chance to practice, ask questions, and make mistakes.  The more mistakes I make, the more expertise I gain about the topic, because I know what can go wrong and how to troubleshoot when problems arise.  This is why I have always believed that to have better adoption rates employees should become experts in O365 workloads and we should train our people to become trainers and let them train stakeholders or champion groups with practice sessions.


Some time ago, I started an experiment with my colleague to create an adoption whiteboard session for the FastTrack Center in Las Colinas.  We had the idea of having FastTrack Managers and FastTrack Engineers meet in person in a conference room to learn new adoption topics, so we could better explain adoption trends to our customers.  I then mentioned the idea of what we call now Play Sessions.  The name might sound silly but let me explain.


One of the first meetings included a “Play Session” was for MS Teams. We decided to invite a Teams SME to do a demo and an FM to present a customer facing deck for the first half of the session.  People loved it, and although they didn’t ask any questions, they seemed to understand. For the second half of the session we created a game, a Play Session, and that's when things got get interesting.

I created a list of things to complete in 30 minutes, we created a test team in MS Teams, a scoreboard, and then grouped people in pairs.  They had to complete all the tasks from the Play Session, and every time they finished one they had to run to the scoreboard, and they would earn one point. The pair that finished first would win our first Play Session.

Then… something amazing happened!

Everybody started asking questions, talking amongst each other, and running to the scoreboard.  We discovered that even the FastTrack Engineers we thought understood the first half of the meeting didn’t understand how to do some things that the SME talked about in his demo. At the end of the session, everyone was excited to learn more about other workloads in future sessions.   In the survey, participants mentioned that they felt more prepared to talk about MS Teams to customers and do this same session in their demos.  People that were not using Teams started to use it often.   They all practiced, made mistakes, learned, and had fun at the same time.

We have many great resources to share for O365 learning, but some FMs are going an extra mile and generating play sessions with their customers because they want them to adopt more workloads and to adopt them faster.

Here is what we did in the play session:


  1. Navigate to MS Teams.
  2. You are already invited as an owner to our Play Session Team called “ Teams- Play Session.”

Follow these instructions.  Each time your team finishes a task, go to the whiteboard and check the task that you completed.


Task Description
1 Navigate to the Team “Teams- Play SESSION” and show how you feel right now with a GIF.
2 Create a Channel under that Team and name it with an original name.
3 Install these applications:  Polly, Planner, One Note, and Power BI in the Channel that you just created.
 4 Click the Files tab in the Team and edit the document called “TESTING 1 2 3.”  Share with us what you thought about the SME session.
5 Navigate to the team and @mention someone.
6 Navigate to the Store and install the “Growbot” app and send a Kudo to your team member in your Channel.
7 Send a Kudo with Growbot in the Team.
8 Create a poll in the Team using “Polly,” make sure to answer other team polls.
9 Navigate to Outlook and send an e-mail to the Teams e-mail address.
10 Create a Teams meeting from Outlook for today at 9 P.M. and send it to your other Team member.
11 Find for a GIF of your favorite movie and post it in your Team.


Why don’t you try doing an exercise like this for your group or team?  The adoption process will quicken, they will learn about the workload, and will be entertained at the same time.

Collaborators of the play session: Camille Jimenez (Relationship Manager), Priya Vanka (Relationship Manager), Alicia Sanchez (FastTrack Manager), Alejandro Lopez (FastTrack Engineer – Teams SME)