Running a champions program,especially during an implementation of new services and tools, is a great way of spreading information, enthusiasm and knowledge to users. It also helps drive engagement and business transformation as well as gives a great way to collect feedback from users all over your organization.
Microsoft provides you with tons of content for running your own program as well as running their own for you to join. See links below:
- Information about running a Champions program: https://adoption.microsoft.com/become-a-champion/
- Join Microsoft’s program: https://adoption.microsoft.com/roles/champion/
Recently Microsoft released a toolkit called Champions Management Platform (CMP). It’s a solution that is leveraging the SharePoint framework and can be installed as an app in Microsoft Teams. From here you can manage your champions, inspire them to do their role even better by utilizing gamification, as well as a place to find champions within certain topics or geographical areas in your organization.
It will not replace any existing champion platform used for communication, training, feedback etc. The app can be used as an add-on to your existing or upcoming Champions program.
Content of the app
The CMP app includes three parts:
- Program management – From here you can add champions from your tenant, including adding attributes like location, and focus area. These attributes can be edited for your own preferences.
- Leaderboard – Who’s the champ of Champions? Champions can add activities related to the program to earn points, competing to get the highest rank. The app uses gamification to drive champions to engage more.
- Digital Badge – Add a champions badge to your user profile picture. This let’s people in your organization know who are champions.
How do I get it?
Go to below site:
Download the ZIP file to your computer.
From here, follow the installation guidelines on the download page. The steps are described in good detail with example images, so I’ll just list the steps in short!
- Permissions required:
– Permission to load application package into SharePoint Online
-Permission to approve API requests in SharePoint Online
-Ability to create a site in SharePoint Online
- Deploy the package in SharePoint via “Distribute apps for SharePoint” in the App Catalog
- Approve API access requests
- Configure the app for Microsoft Teams via “Sync to Teams” within the App Catalog
- Add the app from the Teams app store to a team or as a personal app. When it runs the first time, a SharePoint site gets provisioned with three SharePoint Lists
- Grant permissions to the SharePoint site to users
Above are the steps for a default installation. If you require customization for installation location, please follow the steps for “Customized Installation” on github.
After you’ve completed all steps in the installation guide, you’re ready to start using the app.
As mentioned, you can add the app as a tab in a Champion’s team or as a personal app in the left hand rail in Teams. You can also use App Setup Policies to distribute the app to your users.
Make sure to grant permissions to the SharePoint site to everyone you want using the app!
Behind the scenes
When the admin add the app for the first time, a SharePoint site gets created and it will take a few minutes to provision. Included in the site are three SharePoint lists:
- Champions List
- Event List
- Event Track List
We will look into these a bit more later. Now, let’s open up the app in Teams. If you want to use it in a team, choose “Add to Team”:
The user installing the app in Teams (first run) will automatically get the role “manager”, and have the following view and options:
This view differs from what others see, much in regards to the bottom icons. As a manager you have access to the SharePoint lists created, and a link to each is added from within the app itself. The “Manage Approvals” icon is used for managers to approve/reject requests to join the champions program (from an app perspective). A request can be made from other champions or tenant users. ( If they have access to the app)
Click “Add members”
Here you can search for any user in your organization to add as a Champion, including adding attributes to the user:
The default attributes are:
- Focus Area
Managers can add Champions without approval
By going back to the app start page and click the link to the “Champions List”, you will see a list showing all added users including the the users installing the app:
As seen, the admin gets the role “Manager” automatically. If you need additional managers you can change the “role” value for any user in the list.
You might also add or edit any of the columns in the list to fit your organizational or Champion program needs:
Above, I added a new choice (UK) for the “Country” column. Now, when adding new program members from the app in Teams, we can see the new options:
At the top there is three columns:
Global – The default view. Here you can view the top ranking Champions in your entire organization
Near me – Shows the top ranking Champions in near you. This is based on column values in the “Champion List”
By specialty – Top Champions by topics. (Based on column values in the “Champion List”)
On the Champion cards, there’s buttons to quickly send an email or start a Teams chat with the user.
The “View Dashboard” part shows you what activities you have added (performed), what date, type and how many points you earned by completing it:
“Record Event” is where you add your activities in order to earn points.
Select a date and a type of activity/event. There are a few pre-populated values.
Let’s add a new one. In order to do this we need to go back to the start page and click the link to the “Event List”
Going back to “Record Event” to add an activity, we can now see the new option:
I will now also earn 5 new points, as configured!
By looking at the third SharePoint list “Event Track List”, you can view all activities/events recorded, by whom and when. You can see the custom created “Answered Question” activity I recorded previously as well:
As a Champion you can apply a badge icon to your Microsoft 365 profile picture. You will see a preview of your picture with the badge included. Click “Apply image” to change your picture. It can take a while to propagate through all Microsoft services. An option to download your profile picture with the added badge is there as well.
This feature can be used as a standalone compenent in order to highlight you champions throughout the organization
From a Champion’s perspective
When an Champion has been added and opens the app, their view will look like this:
- Champions can access the Leaderboard to record events/activities, see theirs and others current ranking and number of points earned. As mentioned before, the leaderboard can also be used to track down other Champions based on location and speciality
- They can also add other Champions to the program via “Add Members”. Program managers then get to approve/reject the request. (Decribed in detail further down)
- Champions can add the digital badge to their profile picture as previously explained
From a user’s perspective
If a user opens the CMP app in Teams (given they are granted permissions) they will see this:
Users in your organization can view all Champions in the program and use the action buttons to get in touch with them quickly by email or chat. There’s also a search bar at the top in case your program includes a large number Champions. On the left hand side, users have the possibility to apply for the Champions program. Let’s select “Become a Champion”:
To apply, fill in all the fields. These are the corresponding columns from the Champions list in SharePoint, so if you’ve edited those, they might be different. Clicking “Submit” will add the user to the list and if approved by a program manager, the user is now part of the program as a Champion.
An approval is created when:
- a Champion add a member from the app
- a user requests to join the program from the app
As a program manager, click “Manage Access” from the start page. Here you will see all users waiting for a manager’s approval:
Click “Approve” or “Reject”.
The CMP toolkit gives you tools to help increase Champion activities and engagement. It won’t replace or reduce the work you need to put in creating and maintaning a Champions program, but is rather an add-on in the form of an app in Teams. If you have a Champions Teams team, you can add the app to it directly for easy access. The app adds a layer of gamification and awareness to the program, while end-users can use it to search for Champions within the organization, as well as apply to the program themselves.
Admins, adoption responsibles or Champion program managers can also use the SharePoint lists to gain information about members and champion activites /events. Since SharePoint lists are very easy to work with, customizations are done quickly. Also, if you integrate Lists with the Power Platform tools, you can add automations and vizualisations based on list actions and list data.