In my daily work, I meet far too many companies and organizations that take the information structure too lightly. Sometimes due to lack of time, but sometimes due to carelessness. Either reason will sooner or later lead to chaos and irritated users. In the best case scenario, one has in any case gotten away from storing files on file servers and instead got over to Microsoft 365 with Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive as storage areas. BUT Unfortunately, it is far too common to just dump the files where you see that it is possible.
Here are some examples of Basic misuse (which many actually do).
Put all files on OneDrive
Put all files in one Document Library on a SharePoint Site
Put all files in the General channel in a Team
The reason for this blog post
On the first of September 2022, I will participate in Kai Stenberg’s PodCast “Teams Cast away“. There we will talk about information structure in Microsoft Teams. This blog post is written with the aim of sharing some tips with others who might wonder how to build a smart and logical structure in the simplest possible way so that you know where documents belong and can easily find them again when working in Microsoft Teams.
“Create and store documents in their logical/intuitive context. Then you and your colleagues don’t need to waste time searching for them later”
A golden rule in the handling of documents in Microsoft Teams is that the documents must always be created and stored in their relevant context. In my world, there should always be a relevant channel where a document fits. If you have relevant channels, you store documents and conversations in a relevant/logical context, and thus you don’t have to look for them. They simply have a natural place where they belong and your other team members should know (and practice) that too.
Below I will give you some simple and basic tips on what to keep in mind when you have a document that you are wondering where it belongs.
“Your new Teams are set up and configured with the structures that are suitable for your business. All employees have received the training needed to be able to work in the right way and in the same way. Now all that remains is the fun of moving in.
In my session you will get some good tips on how you and your colleagues can migrate files from “old sources” to your new Teams (and in the right way). You will also get tips on when you need to use migration tools.”
The scenarios we are going to go through are the following:
Move documents from OneDrive for Business to Microsoft Teams.
Move documents from existing sites in SharePoint Online to Microsoft Teams.
Move documents from existing sites in SharePoint On premise to Microsoft Teams.
Move documents from file shares to Microsoft Teams.
Everyone is welcome to this event which has many great sessions and many topics so there is something of interest for everyone. Hope to see you there!
Microsoft Ignite is in full swing with almost limitless amounts of information about news regarding improvements and new functionality we can soon expect to be served on our table.
I must say that it has never been so inspiring and exciting to work with collaboration solutions from Microsoft. The toolbox grows and grows and I can, with a clear conscience, say that now we probably have everything (or at least most) we need in Microsoft Teams. It has really and finally become a workspace where you can make all your tools and all your information available in the right context.
“Everything in one place!”
Here is a selection of some important building blocks that we can use to achieve this:
All tasks in one app (Tasks)
Build workflows with the new “Power Automate app” in Teams
Build your own company-specific apps with integrations with your business systems with Power Platform and make these apps available to your teams.
Use Power BI to visualize your data in dashboards and reports.
Use the new “Home Site App” app to link your Modern SharePoint Intranet to teams and get an overview of news, links, quality systems, handbooks, etc.
Use the Yammer app to integrate relevant Yammer networks into different Teams
The possibilities do not stop here. For me, however, this is the most relevant functionality (for the moment) I need in my toolbox to help companies and organizations work in a smooth and modern way.
While Ignite is going virtual this year, Microsoft are still conducting research sessions, virtually of course, and they want to hear from you! If your organization uses SharePoint and/ or OneDrive and you’re interested talking to the product team we have several sessions lined up, so please take the survey linked above to tell them about your preferences.
I think most of us, at some point, have missed the opportunity to add and use document templates in Microsoft Teams. It would have been great if, in “Files”, you could just click “New” and then choose an Office template that you want to start from when creating a new document.
I want to start this article by making it clear that I am a big fan of “Modern Experience” in SharePoint Online. I sincerely love the SharePoint we currently have to work with. It has never been easier to build modern portals and areas that are integrated with the other services in Microsoft 365. What you put together also works on mobile devices and everything is intuitive and clear. With Communication Sites and Hub sites you can build a good intranet in a few days (assuming you have done a good planning in advance). New features and further improvements are being rolled out continuously and what is not available today may already be tomorrow.
Working as an Office 365 consultant is now a delight as long as you are able to keep up to date with what is now and what is coming. With that knowledge you are equipped to give your clients the necessary tips and advice.
Brief introductory summary
The functionality and working method I describe below was simpler in the past but otherwise everything is much better nowadays” 🙂
They often show up if you are using Edge Chromium as your browser and, from the Microsoft Teams client, open a file in “Files”or if you try to open the Team SharePoint site. (and also sometimes when You open a tab that shows a file).
I would like to start by telling you how i went from Lotus Notes, via SharePoint to Microsoft Teams.
Since 1997 I have been working on building systems for “collaboration”. The first few years I worked as a Lotus Notes-developer. Lotus Notes was at that time, in my personal opinion, the most effective platform for building good collaboration solutions. With Lotus Notes, i built document management solutions, good process support with automated workflows, ordering and booking systems, intranets and HR solutions. You could basically build most of it.
Best of all was that once you had built a good solution you could save it as a template. This template could then be used to quickly build the same, or similar solution elsewhere.
The replication in Lotus Notes means that you can distribute the load over different servers and you as a user can also replicate the databases so that you can work offline on your local computer when you do not have access to the Internet (this was during the time you did not always have access to fast internet everywhere and all the time).
Files were attached to Notes documents and you could use the email to attach links to the Notes documents which in turn contained those files. That’s how you (or at least i) did it “at that time”…