Withum is delighted to be partnering with the profile experts at Hyperfish on this four-part Microsoft Teams series to share with you real world success stories from customers that are already winning with Microsoft Teams; what you need to know and have in place before rolling it out; and the hidden gems of Microsoft Teams.
Continuing on from my Withum teammate, Jill Hannemann, who walked you through planning your Microsoft Teams launch and pilot in Part 2; in Part 3, I will take you through a recent client’s Teams rollout, specifically their Teams management, training, and user adoption considerations. (Missed Part 1? Catch up on your reading here).
This client, like many other organizations that begin using Teams, struggled with when to create a new team versus when to create a new channel.
Our client also had many questions about who can do what in a team. This client is a construction company and was interested in Teams to help streamline their project management collaboration and communication. For them the answer was to create a separate, private team for each construction project. Project Managers and crew members were not permitted to view project content besides their own current project. The decision to create a team for each project was based on the fact that at this time teams are the containers that permissions are based on. Channels fall underneath teams and permissions cannot be restricted at this level. This consideration is crucial when deciding whether to create a team or channel.
For this client to hold conversations and files pertaining to more specific aspects of each project, channels were suggested. For example, channels could be created for electrical engineering and surveying. The client was advised to name teams based on the official project name listed in their contracts. This ensured there are no duplicate names, since they sometimes do multiple projects for the same client.
It is expected that in the future Teams will allow for permissions to be restricted at the channel level, not just the team. This feature has been heavily requested by clients. Microsoft uses user voice to capture community input, and private channels has been marked as being “worked on”.
“We used Microsoft Teams to work together with Withum on this blog series. Moving away from what would traditionally have been done in email with attachments, to a conversation in a channel and co-authored Word document, it makes things so much more efficient. And heck, who doesn’t like a meme GIF every now and again. Right?” – Jeremy Thake, Hyperfish
Our client had a lot of questions about who would be managing teams. There are three roles end users fill in Microsoft Teams; team owner, team member, and guest member. For this client it made sense to have the project managers and their assistants be team owners and the rest of their crew be team members. There wasn’t a need to invite anyone from outside of the company to be part of a team. Team members have the ability to add, edit, and delete channels. They can also add tabs, connectors, and bots to a team. Team owners have the added control over editing the team name and description, team picture, member permissions, guest permissions, notifications, and conversation content.
As with any new technology it can be difficult for organizations to get everyone up and running. We suggest a thorough communications plan that explains the benefits of Teams and outlines expectations, so no one is surprised. For this client we recommended separate in-person training for both team owners and team members. Training the project managers and their assistants first made sense so that they would be available to help team members. Once all employees were trained and using Teams, Office 365 Admins were instructed on how to check user activity on a regular basis so that if usage goals weren’t met, further communications and training could take place to steer the ship back on course.
This client helped us learn a few lessons in regard to Teams training topics. Although we covered the activity feed and how to favorite and follow channels, we did not go in-depth about the notifications that users receive and why. Some crew members were frustrated with the amount of notifications they were getting on their mobile phone and laptops for subjects that were not urgent or important to their work. We corrected this by sending out a guide on notifications in Teams and how to modify your individual settings.
Another training lesson learned was to spend more time on the meeting features in Teams. We became aware that many of the features such as channel meetings were not being taken advantage of because of misunderstandings.
There are many benefits to using the Teams features that you see on the surface when you open the app, but there is also a plethora of hidden gems in Teams just waiting to be uncovered! The next post by Jeremy Thake of Hyperfish will help you take your Teams collaboration to the next level!
Stay tuned for Part 4…
Need help with custom Microsoft Teams integrations? Contact a Teams consultant online today, or give us a call at 240-406-9960.