Top 3 Microsoft Teams Do’s and Don’ts

Microsoft Teams is fast becoming an invaluable tool as many organisations are facing the need to support home working. Remote working has moved from just a preference of working in a local coffee shop to needing to work in a safe and isolated environment.

Managing a team remotely is always a challenge – the inherent invisibility of team members vs the pass by conversation and catch up element from working together in the same building has made software that allows us to interact completely essential.

Where does email fit in? While there will always be a place for email, (I’ve lost count of the email killers over the years – Yammer, Teams, Basecamp, twitter, etc.) it has shifted to become the more formal of the two formats. Email is the medium for talking to people outside of the organisaiton where conversation or channel posts as they are not termed are the new internal comms tool.

But, there are some rules of engagement in Teams – and I wanted to just make you aware of the top 3 frustrations of Teams users – so you don’t get into a position of behaving like a novice and annoying your team mates 🙂

From personal experience (we’ve been using Microsoft Teams for 3 years now) and from being a prolific Twitter observer there are some Do’s and Don’ts which seem to really frustrate people;

1 – Don’t say Hello

Don’t just say Hi and wait for a response. Posts (previously conversations) are not like the old MSN messenger or IM equivalent.

You don’t send an email just saying hello and wait for a response….

With Teams you can easily ignore all messages and then catch up when you have a chance or even see a message come in and weigh up if its worth being disturbed for.

But if you only said Hi – how will you know how important this is – I guarantee you are going to get ignored until you let the person know what you need.

2 – Do chat in the channel – keep it relevant

If you message someone in the middle of a chat, or just using a chat window with something that is useful, insightful or they will need to refer to again then you just made certain that they will have to search to find that information later and therefore making their life and yours harder.

I know, you have lots of teams with a load of channels and so you don’t want to navigate to the right one just to say one little thing – well do the work once, and up front. Search for the channel (or team name) or a file you know is in the files tab. Go to the channel and start there – it helps us all to put things in the right place and then the right people can consume it – if you need someones attention then by all means @mention to them in the message but lets assume your input is useful and then others will want to see it as well.

(secret item 2a – if your content isn’t useful – DON’T SAY IT)

3 – Attachments (sigh)

Ok – if you put an attachment in a chat it will NEVER be find again or when it does, it cannot be easily move it out and everyone will be muttering your name as they merrily download it and then upload it to where its meant to be – so don’t do it -put it in the channel where it belongs!

So, I’m sure there are loads more of these to add, especially the Do’s like;

  • Do integrated Power Apps into Teams – super useful like the contracts solution I demo here.
  • Do create teams with external advisors – collaboration in Microsoft Teams is like so totally awesome!
  • Do add more apps into your teams experience – OneNote, Google Analytics, PowerBI all have great add ins you can use
  • Do collaborate – while the teams word viewer isn’t the best yet – the inline conversation is SOOO powerful its insane – conversation relative to a document for review, CV comments etc. is so useful
  • Do add in To-Do, Planner and D365 tabs to surface key information where it is needed

I could go on for a while, but I am sure you have work to do 😉

Please add comments of your own favourite Dos and Donts and we can get them together for top tips from top users! Let me know if you can video your own pet peeves and pros or if you like to be part of a teams call to go through some together, that would be great 🙂

Thanks for listening – don’t forget to leave comments below or get in touch with me directly if you’d like to chat about the content posted here or anything to do with the Power Platform – I’m a Business Applications speaker and evangelist with a clear focus on delivering real business value from technology. I speak at least once a month so please find me at an event and #LetsGetCoffee

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