Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Role
Let me start from the beginning. My adventure with Microsoft technologies began in 2013. I started out in the business development area, today I’m a consultant. This transition was fueled by my personal engagement with the Microsoft community (since 2016, I have been organizing SharePoint Saturday Warsaw) as well as the passion for Microsoft solutions this community has and continues to share with me. I strongly believe that technology is created by the people and for the people, and communication between business and IT is possible. That’s why in my work I deal with Office 365 adoption with an emphasis on Microsoft Teams. Currently, I work in the Digital Workplace & Apps Team at Predica company, where I am responsible for Microsoft Teams & Adoption projects.
Where do you look for professional inspiration?
Professional inspiration is about touching different sources. For me, there are two main areas, I call them “static” sources like documentation, webinars, blogs, and “live” sources which are strongly connected with the human factor, what means conversations with customers, exchanging the ideas with other professionals and talking with community folks during conferences. Let me list a few favorite professional inspiration examples: Microsoft documentation, Vesa Nepomen’s blog (https://myteamsday.com/), from where I am getting valuable content and great examples; the webinars around Microsoft Teams topics, Gokan Ozcifci for instance, in my opinion he always brings something new. Besides, I search for news related to Office365 and Microsoft Teams topics on Twitter – I recommend following Microsoft Teams offical Twitter account. And of course, events like European SharePoint, Office365 and Azure conference, which is one of my top events during the year. But also, the smaller events like SharePoint Saturdays, where I can learn a lot and network with professionals in a cozy atmosphere.
In your opinion what is the most exciting thing about working with Microsoft Teams?
Personally, for me, Microsoft Teams is a first application that unites end users and does not frighten them. Looking at my customers and their first feelings in relation to Microsoft Teams, I can easily see that this is the first tool that does not arouse horror in their eyes. Maybe it sounds funny however, trust me that first impression matters. When the user’s first impression is positive, it’s easier to discover the tool and its amazing features in the future. The adoption process goes more smoothly. From my professional perspective, I love the Microsoft Teams concept as a combination of many tools in one hub that takes every organization to the next level in modern collaboration and business development creation.
What is your favorite feature of Microsoft Teams and why?
Frankly speaking, I can list many of them. Let me answer based on my own experience of working with Microsoft Teams at Predica. My team works from different places, we are engaged in different projects, initiatives, and areas. I am a member of many different teams in Microsoft Teams, sometimes it may bring chaos. To control the order and hygiene of work, I greatly appreciate the opportunity of pinning the priority channels and chats. Depending on the project or tasks being carried out at the moment, I pin the most important sections and then I feel that I have not missed any important information. This small feature makes my job easier and more productive. I highly recommend!
What are your TOP 3 Microsoft Teams Tips?
As a best practice, I recommend creating dedicated channels in Teams for team meetings. Thanks to that all meetings are conducted in one place, therefore, the team knows where the team meeting is taking place. Besides all notes done during these appointments, recordings, etc. are in one place, and it’s easier to find them after. The second tip, “save this message” option. In conversations both in the Teams and in the chat, I save messages to remember them later. It passes the exam especially when I am in a hurry and don’t have time to create tasks. Then these saved messages I distribute between Microsoft Planner or Microsoft ToDo. I mentioned above about pinning the channels, developing this thread as another tip, I also recommend explore and to set up channel notifications. It helps to stay updated with all news and channel mentions in addition to that it is possible to define what kind of notifications we wish to get.
What key skills does a Microsoft Teams Expert need to be effective in Industry?
For sure Microsoft Teams Expert need to know the product, follow the news and stay updated with all new features. However, in my opinion, the Microsoft Teams expert should play the role of an observer and look at how the tool is used by users, how it is consumed and how it can be better adapted to the needs of the organization. Only through observation and dialogue with end-users, let create the perfect collaboration space in Microsoft Teams. Do not focus only on the tool and features but on the needs of our organization.
What in your opinion has been the biggest advance in Microsoft Teams in the past 18 months?
I waited a long time for this option, my clients were waiting for it, I would say that all the community was waiting. This functionality takes teamwork to the next level of collaboration. The private channels have resulted in more ideas on how to use Microsoft Teams in project work. I am aware that it has its supporters and opponents, and a few technical limitations (Microsoft Planner doesn’t work in private channels, for instance) but I assume that it is better to have more options than not to have them at all. Therefore, I am private channels supporter. In my opinion, working with private channels is fun, the condition is that we know exactly for what we want to use them and how.
With a wide array of Communication and Collaboration platforms available, why Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is the fastest-growing application in Microsoft history, with over 20 million active users every day, that’s impressive, right? It builds trust in the application, its creators, its support and future development. Moreover, Microsoft Teams changes the way we work and has a big impact on the labor market. It removes communication and collaboration barriers, this new hub for teamwork improves the quality of team and project work. And the last “why”, for me working with Microsoft tools is a guarantee of quality.
How did you become a MVP?
In 2019, I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the field of Microsoft Office Apps and Services. Therefore, I am calling myself a newborn MVP lucky girl. To tell the truth, I didn’t think I would ever get the prize. The fathers of this idea and my motivation are my friends from the community, who gave me a lot of inspiration, support, and opportunities to face this challenge. They noticed my potential, passion, and heart that I put into my work for the community. For me, the MVP award is a great distinction, but it also builds a sense of responsibility for what I say and how I share knowledge with my network.
Do you have suggestions for other community members who hope to become MVP’s?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from current MVPs, they are here to guide you and be your mentors. Show that you are motivated and active in the community. Share your knowledge on technology groups, on Twitter, write a blog (LinkedIn is good enough), share your passion and let yourself know as a person willing to help. Take part in conferences, if you have not been selected as a speaker, do not be discouraged. Start with small steps, sometimes just being somewhere and making new contacts can open the door to something bigger. Remember that the MVP award is also a matter of trust. Trust builds slowly, trust builds value, trust is people.
In the end this trust is rewarded.
About the Author:
Community Lead at Predica, SharePoint Saturday Warsaw Organizer, aoS Ambassador, and Polish ShareCon365 support. But all these positions are not important, it is important to stay human, share good energy and knowledge because it’s all about the people! #SharingIsCaring #Microsoft #CommunityRocks