Recently a customer asked me to compare SharePoint vs. Teams. Customer found my reply clear and concise explanation of the key points. Therefore, I am posting it as an article. (Reading time 4 min) Continue reading SharePoint vs. Teams
May be you already know this. But still, read for just 2 minutes more to clarify your thoughts. Teams is an app which streamlines teamwork. That is the obvious definition. But this is an incomplete description.
Coordinating with multiple persons is Teamwork. Agreed. But there are a plethora of apps available to collaborate with others. What is special about Teams?
Teams is an app which helps you work with all types of Technologies. So it is not just teamwork with other people, it is with multiple technologies as well.
Of course. The name of the product suggests that it should be used when you are working with others. You + one or more other people makes a team. Agreed. We should use Teams when working with others.
Can I use the Teams app to work only with myself? The answer is YES.
Here is a list of articles I have written so far about effective usage of Microsoft Teams.
If you would like me to cover some missing topic or a specific area of your interest, please post it as a comment. This is a live book. As I add more articles about Teams, this list will be updated.
Microsoft Teams is a convenient way of working with colleagues without cluttering mailboxes. You post a conversation inside the Teams app and others can reply to it.
The common mistake is that instead of replying to your question, people start a new discussion. Here is how you prevent the mistake. Click on the Reply button.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams – Knowledge Pack.
If you are trying to use Microsoft Teams, you will face this practical problem. The problem is that all your team members must notice the messages that are posted in the Teams app. Nothing is visible in the Inbox. This may lead to missed messages and delayed responses. Start noticing the notification!
See this article to know When to use Microsoft Teams first. This article lists scenarios where using Teams is counterproductive or plain simple wrong!
Do not use teams if one or more of the items listed below are true.
- If there are too many people involved, do not use Teams. Technically, the limit is 2500. But you decide practically. Teams is designed for extensive interaction between team members. If there are lot of people, you cannot expect extensive interaction. Think about using Yammer. It is good for predominantly push and interaction-on-demand kind of functionality.
- If the team means the whole department and you already have a departmental Team Site in SharePoint. Use that site. Do not use Teams to create another Team. Why? Because, behind-the-scenes it creates another SharePoint site. Defeats the purpose.
- This one is obvious but still makes sense to mention it: If all team members do not have access to the Teams app, do not use Teams. In this case, you will need to do double communication manually. I will not call it inefficient usage – it is misuse.
- If the communication and coordination with the team is required but not critical, do not use Teams. Non-critical, but functionally necessary stuff can continue using traditional email.
- Do NOT use Teams unless every member is aware about its actual benefits. If you try to force it on ignorant people (Ignorant about Teams, I mean!) , it will not work. Educate them first. The best way is to show a nice and compelling demo.
If only few people in the team use the Teams app and others do not, it defeats the purpose.
- If all members have not understood that they have to check the Teams app as frequently as they check for mails in the Inbox.
The benefit of Teams is that it does not send anything to your inbox. Conversations and communication happens within the Teams app. If some members forget to see the activity in the app, they are effectively not working as a team.
That is all I can think of as of now. If you know more scenarios where Microsoft Teams is contraindicated, post them as comments.
Testing Quiz Feature. Pls Ignore.
The obvious answer is – “whenever you want to work with your team”. But that is not enough. Here is a more precise answer. If all (or most) of the requirements listed below are true, you should use Microsoft Teams.
- Your organization has Office 365 Teams license available for all the people whom you intend to work with as a team.
As on Jan 2018, if you intend to work with people in another organization, they also need to have Office 365 license.
- The kind of work you do with the selected team members has to be specific to a common topic of interest. It could be a project, a new initiative, a deliverable, an outcome …
- Usually there is an end date for such things. But that is not a must.
- The work being done is not just about sending messages and informing each other. You need to keep track of who said what, need files, images, notes, collaterals and so on.
- The kind of work you do is frequent. For infrequent work, just use email.
Yes. That’s it.
You can create a new team even for just you and someone else. Remember to create multiple teams for multiple contexts, even if some members may be common. More on that later.
Finally, DO NOT create too many Teams in the app. You will need another team to manage all these Teams.. ha ha!
Good to know When NOT to use Microsoft Teams as well.
Here is a list of When NOT to send a mail … in no particular order.
For decades, mail was the only method of collaboration. Not any longer. Now with so many available options, we must choose the right tool for the right purpose. Continue reading When NOT to send a mail
This is just a quick best practice. I learnt it while conducting a webinar on Thursday using Skype for Business (SFB). During webinars, you have two options, just show a presentation and explain it or demonstrate something on your screen – typically some software product. Screen sharing is used to broadcast your desktop.
Often, I need some live input from the audience. For example, what is their profile? Which product / feature is more important for them? Have they understood the topic or not?