5 things Every End User Should Know about Microsoft Teams

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1) Teams is here to help you

Yet another IT system? Yet another communication platform? Hey I love my WhatsApp and my post it notes! The previous social intranet project was a total failure. I don’t have time for this 💩

Sounds familiar?

Let’s dream a bit. What if all of your information would be logically stored in one environment with correct access rights? What if the only e-mails you’d get would be meeting invites and Starbucks discount coupons? What if there would be no Presentation386_v1_final_FINAL2_2019.pptx? What if action points in meetings would get done in time without reminders?

Haha yes, that’s a utopia – but we all want to get there, right?

Teams is not here to make your workday more difficult. It’s here to help you. Teams offers a single platform – a virtual desktop – to (nearly) all of your knowledge work needs. But it’s not a miracle worker per se. Using Teams takes a human effort. It’s up to you, your team and the resources your company provides to take small steps closer to that utopia.

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2) Teams is yours to modify

Make Teams yours! Yes you can not change the colour theme in Teams. If you have a severe aggression against violet and gray, I’m so sorry. But there are lots of things you CAN modify.

  • Show only the teams you need in everyday work. Hide others.
  • Show only the channels you need in everyday work. Hide others.
  • Pin the channels you really, really need.
  • Pin the chats you need the most.
  • Use that status message.
  • Go through your notification settings (both in computer and your mobile) and make sure they are to your liking.

Do it now. I’m not kidding. Go to Teams and check your notification settings right away.

Done? Okay now you can continue reading this 🔽

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3) Teams is with you when you want

One thing I hear the most when I discuss with people how Teams has made their workday easier is “it’s with me all the time”. The HR manager who tells that she can read the meeting agenda with her mobile from Teams app when sitting on a bus on her way to work. The sales clerk who can get shift change notifications directly to his mobile screen. The team leader who gets a great idea for the next project planning meeting at 11PM – and can scribble that down in Teams channel and have a good night’s sleep.

With Teams thousands of knowledge and first line workers who didn’t have access to any company information outside the physical workplace are now able to ask, comment, attend to meetings, even do their jobs wherever and whenever they are.

That is a possibility – but also a threat. That’s why I want to specify Teams with you when you want it to be. Set up silent hours. Or if you want, disable notifications altogether. Set up screen time limits. Delete work apps when you are on a vacation.

With great possibilities comes great responsibilities. You are in charge of your work. Be a good boss to yourself 🤗

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4) Teams is designed for teamwork

I already gave a little spoiler about this in the first chapter.

Using Teams takes team effort.

It’s hard to collaborate and communicate in a common project alone. If your team members are not using Teams or are not using it effectively, send help. If you don’t have the time, the title or the skills to coach others, ask for your company change agents, IT or HR to come to the rescue. If your company doesn’t provide user adoption and training resources, there are lots of guides and helpful blog posts online.

Teams works the best when everyone are there working with common guidelines towards common goals. 🤝 That requires open discussion about how our team should Teams – and usually also a bit challenging but ever the more important decision to shut down all the comparable shadow IT devices. Yet again we are talking about taking responsibility.

Create together your own team rules and play by them!

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5) Teams is designed for business

You’ve been using Teams for some time already. You know your way around teams and channels, you are a Teams meetings and OneNote pro, have experience in co-authoring and commenting documents, maybe even have Planner in active use. Great! That’s a start 😎

How about taking things to the next level?

I know Power Platform may sound scary. Re-designing your support ticket process with Teams, Power Automate and Adaptive Cards? Maybe you or your organisation is just not there yet. But why not start with something small? Utilise those ready-made connectors to get the latest posts from Twitter or to start a discussion of GitHub pull requests. Set up a sales Power BI report to a channel tab (but make sure everyone has the licence 😉). Have a little courage and test out Forms tweaked with Power Automate the next time you’re doing a questionnaire.

Teams is not only a place to communicate and collaborate – but also a place to run and develop business processes. Start out small, dream big! 🚀

#MicrosoftTeams #UserAdoption #teamwork

About the Author:

Karoliina Kettukari is a user adoption expert who guides organisations through digital transformation by planning the Office 365 user adoption roadmap together with her clients. She works with some of the biggest companies in Finland and helps them to develop modern teamwork and enhance internal communications with the help of Teams and other Office 365 tools. Karoliina is currently a Senior Consultant for Sulava. Karoliina also works closely with the C-level and engages and inspires the managers to the change.

Karoliina loves to share her knowledge with the community and enjoys speaking at conferences and user groups. She is active on LinkedIn and writes regularly posts and articles about user adoption. In her free-time Karoliina is probably somewhere near the sea or reading a book (or both).

Kettukari, Karoliina. (2020). 5 things every end user should know about Microsoft Teams. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-things-every-end-user-should-know-microsoft-teams-kettukari/ [Accessed 11th February 2020].

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