Microsoft Teams is quickly becoming a go-to platform for online team collaboration. It already has a number of solid features like instant messaging, conversation threads, integration to a myriad of tools both on the Microsoft stack and otherwise and Microsoft is continuing to build it out. That being said, like any great tool, it needs to be set up and used in the right way. This post will give some tips and pointers on how to build your “Team”.
Know What Tools You’re Using
Microsoft Teams is not a one-stop-shop tool but rather a hub where you can link other platforms together to bring about one consolidated contact point where you and your team can see information surfaced from other platforms. And Teams provides great out of the box integrations with other tools but it’s important to plan out what other tools you are going to use and for what purpose. For example, document storage and management ideally would be SharePoint. Now Teams has a canned SharePoint ‘app’ embedded into every team however you also have the ability to directly link your Team to another SharePoint site if you so wish. Decision point here – ensure that you and your team are aligned on how you are going to use the SharePoint document management component. For schedule management, if you are using an online solution for managing your project schedule you can link it to your Team. Teams has a great integration to Smartsheet which allows for direct access to your Smartsheet schedule right from Teams. Again, remember, Teams is a hub, not the source of information.
Teams is super flexible but with that flexibility comes the risk of it getting out of control with addition after addition of tabs and the opportunities for misuse and ultimately decreasing the level of collaboration is something that needs to be mitigated. Having proper governance is a key piece to managing any solution and Teams is no exception. Define with your team what tools and components are to be used, build a governance strategy and stick to it.
Teams is continuing to expand the footprint and it’s a great tool for experimenting with new tools and technologies. Respecting the governance plan, it’s a great opportunity to try new things with your team to see how they fit into your overall delivery strategy and seeing how they can help you collaborate as a team and with your customer.