Tag Archives: Teams

What is Microsoft 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.

Continue reading What is Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams: Knowledge Pack

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.

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  1. What is Microsoft Teams
  2. When to use Microsoft teams
  3. When NOT to use Teams
  4. Notice the notifications
  5. How to reply in Teams – Common Mistake
  6. One person Team – how to use Teams alone!

Microsoft Teams Conversation common mistake

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.

Teams - How to reply

Learn more about Microsoft Teams – Knowledge Pack.

Missing messages in Teams? Follow the channels.

Notification icon animation - showing the number bouncing to attract attention. 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!

 

Three steps

Continue reading Missing messages in Teams? Follow the channels.

When NOT to use Microsoft Teams

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

When to use Microsoft Teams

When to use teams

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 …
  3. Usually there is an end date for such things. But that is not a must.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Creating complex presentations together

We need complex presentations quite often, e.g. Periodic reviews, new projects, planning, and so on. Such complex presentations usually need inputs from multiple persons. Each one sends a small piece of presentation to some central coordinator – not just once, but repeatedly. The central person struggles with copy pasting stuff, fights with formatting and layout conflicts and has a miserable life in general!

complex presentations - editing together

The solution is simple. Store the base presentation on OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams. Share it with all the contributors and let them edit it. Try it out now!

Editing complex presentations together: Benefits

  1. Multiple persons can work on the presentation simultaneously, without confusing each other.
  2. Enormous time saving
  3. There are no copies (CCs) to deal with. The presentation is always a single file.
  4. Past versions are stored automatically so that you can refer to an earlier edit.
  5. You can see if others are editing simultaneously. You can go and look at the slide they are working on.
  6. If required, you can clarify doubts or suggest changes to each other using chat (Skype FB )
  7. If there is a conflict, the owner can resolve it. Conflict occurs when two users change the same item in two different ways.

It is simple, useful and revolutionary. Practice this with your colleagues couple of times and then you will have the confidence and the motivation to use it in real life.

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Productivity Session at CIO meet: Video

I recently spoke at the CIO Powerlist 2017 event which was attended by 100+ CIOs from India.  Watch my session video – 27 min.

Topics covered

  1. Office 365 Secure Score
  2. File storage best practices
  3. Skype FB best practices
  4. Better teamwork using Office 365 Groups
  5. Chat based collaboration using Office 365 Teams
  6. Team Task management using Planner
  7. When NOT to send a mail (because there is a better option available)
  8. Amazing data cleanup using Power Query
  9. Excel Forecasting – new feature
  10. Automated animation using Morph in PowerPoint
  11. Summary Zoom in PowerPoint