City of Port Phillip Yammer and Teams transformation

Microsoft Teams and Yammer are hot topics at the moment. At the Microsoft 365 Adoption User Group in Melbourne, Kate Raulings shared her experience with both tools in local government.

I’m fortunate to have known Kate for a number of years in the Intranet and Digital Workplace community. She has extensive experience with culture, communications and change, innovation and digital technologies.  For the last 20 years she has worked in global and multinational corporations across diverse industries. She is currently the Head of IT Strategy, responsible for the development and execution of strategy for information, digital and technology services at the City of Port Phillip.

Kate has been driving digital transformation at the City of Port Phillip, including the use of Microsoft Teams and Yammer. Here are some highlights from her presentation at the Melbourne Microsoft 365 User Group in September 2019.


The City of Port Phillip were an unintentional early adopter of Microsoft Teams. After attempts at managing the councillor briefings in a cumbersome portal they made an assessment of Teams, which they already had license for. It is now successfully being used, but there were lessons along the way

  • Design limitations have unintended consequences
  • You need to understand the WiiFM (What’s in it for me) for all of your stakeholders
  • Structure your Team for scale (over time)
  • Expect content sprawl.
  • Consider what controls you need and your security needs.
  • Leverage your executive team, and support your supporters.
  • Give high-touch to people who need it.

I really liked Kate’s point that success means people don’t remember there being a different way of working. A truly great solution will become part of the day-to-day and then you can move on to the next step.

Note worthy quote:

“We’ll just buy whatever they’re using, it must be good”

Just because something is working for another organisation, doesn’t mean it will work for you. This is a message that your executives may need to hear.


Stemming from a need to break down silos and encourage a sharing culture across the organisation, the City of Port Phillip looked to Yammer as the technical solution to allow them to drive that change. Yammer and Teams do have some functional cross over, but they are different tools. Here are some tips from Kate on approaching Yammer adoption.

  • Look at your Yammer content. What type of information is it?
  • Then consider, how does this affect your Intranet and other channels.
  • Recognise that people will not just share work related posts.
  • Work with your executive team to get their comfort and support in how Yammer will be used.
  • Empower your executive team and inform them about expected behaviour.
  • Just because something feels organic, doesn’t mean it’s not carefully orchestrated behind the scenes.

The key take-away from this session is that there is going to be cross-over between tools. The important bit is helping your team to understand what is fit for purpose.

Kate’s full slide deck is available for you to peruse, as is the Microsoft 365 Melbourne monthly round up:

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