How do you use Microsoft Teams? Let’s start with Teams and Channels.

teamsandchannelsHow do you use Microsoft Teams?  Do you find it effective?  Are you getting the level of adoption you planned for? Do you use it for temporary projects? Long term central communications?  Are you fumbling around, lost seeking value?  I have planned A good number of blogs this summer will demonstrate value I have found and define a simple map on how you could use Microsoft Teams for your organization.

The first step is to create a team, then one or more channels.  What is the difference between the two? Let’s get started by using the definitions Microsoft has provided for us:

  • Teams are a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization.
    • Teams can be created to be private to only invited users.
    • Teams can also be created to be public and open and anyone within the organization can join.
  • Channels are dedicated sections within a team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, disciplines—-whatever works for your team!
    • Team channels are places where everyone on the team can openly have conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.
    • Channels are most valuable when extended with Apps that include Tabs, Connectors, and Bots that increase their value to the members of the team.

So using the definitions provided above? How are you setting up your teams?  For our organization we have a mixture of long-term that follow our Active Directory Groups and then a couple more project or idea based.  Some may find it useful to follow their business organizational chart for long-term teams, then create channels built around organization topics such as:

Sales / Marketing Team

  • Annual Sales Conference
  • Quarterly Sales Meetings
  • Product and Service Catalog
  • Potential Client Leads

How do you set up the management roles across the teams?  Do you have a loose control method and allow everyone (or many) to add, remove and modify anything with the team?  Although this seems chaotic, which it is a little, it is a great to introduce the business to Microsoft Teams and just allow everyone to explore!  My organization has one or two teams where this is the case.  We monitor what is occurring and convert the good ideas into shared ideas to others and clean off any old vacated ideas out there.

Do you have a tight control on the administration?  Allowing one or a small group to administer all of the teams throughout the organization?  This works for keeping a clean map with dedicated paths and stores where someone can depend on the content they are seeking.  Our organization  has set most of our teams and channels in this format.   It takes about the same amount of energy to spotlight these areas across the organization as it does to manage the chaos in an open resource.  We just feel that some areas need to be tightly organized in order to allow for quick reference in a dependable manner.

Microsoft released a document (Overview of teams and channels in Microsoft Teams) in September of 2017 showing functional examples of how different types of users may approach setting up their teams, channels and apps (tabs/connectors/bots) – this may be useful to help kick off a conversation about Microsoft Teams with your user community. As you think about how to implement Microsoft Teams in your organization, remember that you can provide guidance on how to structure their teams, however users have control of how they can self-organize. These are just examples to help get teams to start thinking through the possibilities.

Microsoft Teams is great at breaking down organizational silos and promoting cross-functional teams, so encourage your users to think about this as functional teams and not organizational silos.

Types of Teams Potential Channels Apps (Tabs Tabs icon./Connectors Connectors icon./Bots Bots icon.)
Sales Annual Sales Meeting
Quarterly Business Review
Monthly Sales Pipeline Review
Sales Playbook
Power BI
Summarize Bot
Public Relations Press Releases
News and Updates
Fact Checking
RSS Feed
Event Planning Marketing
Logistics and Scheduling
Marketing/Go to Market Market Research
Messaging Pillars
Communications Plan
Marketing Bill of Materials
Microsoft Stream
Technical Operations Incident Management
Sprint Planning
Work Items
Infrastructure and Operations
Team Services
Product Team Strategy
Services & Support
Power BI
Team Services
Finance Current Fiscal
FY Planning
Accounts Receivable
Accounts Payable
Power BI
Google Analytics
Logistics Warehouse Operations
Vehicle Maintenance
Driver Rosters
Weather Service
Travel / Road Disruptions
HR Talent Management
Performance Review Planning
HR Tools
External Job Posting Sites
Virtual Team
Workforce Development
Compete & Research
Power BI
Microsoft Stream

I hope you found this posting useful?  Next I will dig into the contents within a team and channel, such as tabs, wiki, files, bots, etc.

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