Defeat to West Brom on Saturday left Norwich five points above the relegation places with five games remaining - four of them against top-six clubs - and late on Sunday Chris Hughton's departure was announced.
Adams has been promoted from his role as youth team coach having led them to the FA Youth Cup last season, and his immediate brief is to keep Norwich in the top division.
But also on the agenda is a change to Hughton's tactics, which yielded just 26 goals in 33 league games this season despite the summer recruitment of three strikers and two attacking midfielders.
Addressing the media at his first press conference, Adams said: "Every coach has a different philosophy and of course I will put my mark on certain things. We will set the system up accordingly."
Norwich remain outsiders for relegation with the bookmakers, and Adams is convinced he can preserve their Premier League status despite impending meetings with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
"We feel we can take the necessary points from the remaining games," said Adams, who revealed it took him just "two seconds" to accept the job offer.
His first task is to prepare a team for Saturday's trip to Fulham, who will move to within two points of their visitors if they win.
"I don't think it is a must win," Adams said. "If we win on Saturday it helps our cause, but there are four other games and we can win against the bigger teams.
"But we're going to Saturday's game to win it and we will deal with the consequences afterwards."
Alongside the new man at Craven Cottage will be coaches Mark Robson and Paul Nevin, who step up following the departures of Hughton's assistants - Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope.
Club captain Russell Martin, sitting alongside Adams at the press conference, said: "We are disappointed to say goodbye to three men we respected, but we are looking forward now at the remaining games with focus.
"We take responsibility for our performances, but there is no major crisis and we have full belief we can secure Premier League survival."
Chief executive David McNally, meanwhile, made no apologies for axing Hughton after just three wins since December 7.
He said: "We are sad to see Chris go, but our form generally, and away from home, has been poor and this is a results business.
"Neil is an experienced coach at this club who has done very well for us. He has a strong tactical understanding of the game.
"We firmly believe we are going to stay up and we have made this managerial change with that goal in mind."