Category: User Adoption

Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams – What do you need to start thinking about now?

Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels) is about to being launched and many are impatiently waiting to use it. I think that Shared Channels will be very useful, and I clearly see its value as you do not have to be a guest in many organizations and change tenant as often as you need today. BUT here is some well-meaning advice in place. You who may think that it is only to activate the functionality and then everyone can use it (just as many did when Private Channels was launched) should stop a bit and think beforehand. If you want this to work well and not lose control (again), then you need to do proper homework with planning, configuration and training before you roll this out in the organization.

“With Microsoft Teams Connect we are making it easier to collaborate with anyone outside your organization. You can use Team’s full suite of collaboration capabilities with external partners in other Azure AD orgs the same way you use them with colleagues from your organization. Shared channels enables people from different orgs to work together as one team in a shared space for a more structured, deeper and longer-term collaboration.”

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap

Some examples of what you need to think about:

  • Just as with Private Channels, each Shared Channel gets its own SharePoint area. How should you have control over this?
  • Is the access for the external users affected if you implement (or have implemented) Conditional Access and MFA?
  • How do Shared Channels work in Teams that are blocked from inviting guests?
  • How to do with Sensitivity Labels? Does it work and when (and where) can you use it?
  • Is it enough that you just configure your organization’s tenant for it to work?
  • When should I use a team of guests, when should I use a Private Channel and when should I use a Shared Channel?
  • How are Shared Channels related to M365 Groups?
  • Do all Apps work the same way as in regular channels?
  • Should everyone be able to create Shared Channels or can I control this with a policy?

I am sure that more questions will arise over time, but these are good to start with finding the answers to.

Strategy, Planning, User adoption and Governance

If you do not do things the right way from the beginning, sooner or later you will have to pay for it afterwards.

To start using Shared Channels is no exception. As always, Strategy, User adoption and Governance are of great importance here too. This time do not make the same mistakes that many others have made by just rolling out new functionality without first familiarizing yourself with both opportunities and challenges. I have seen many examples of this when it comes to rapid implementation of Microsoft Teams and not least when it comes to Private Channels. You must ALWAYS plan for how new functionality will be implemented in the organization and not least how the new functionality will be received and embraced by your end users. What information should be communicated to them, how should you communicate the information and what training do they need to complete.

Even though we do our work in the cloud and Microsoft 365 is our plane, we can not rely on there being any magic cruise control. You actually need Governance on all services and features and Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams are no exception.

I’m really looking forward to the launch of Shared Channels and I will, without a doubt, use it. However, I will spend a lot of time in advance getting to know how it really works and how we will use it in our organization.

If you are curious to know more about Shared Channels, you can read more here:

Tony Redmond’s article “Diving into the Details of Microsoft Teams Shared Channels

AvePoint Blog article “6 Things You Need to Know About Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels)” by Kevin Joy

Good luck and do not forget that with good planning you always get the best result!

/Magnus

Overwhelmed by alerts from Microsoft Teams?

Do you feel overwhelmed by alerts from Microsoft Teams?

That is easy to solve. The reason is, most likely, that you have not customized the alert settings to suit your needs. In the article “Manage notifications in Teams” you get the help you need to customize the settings so that you only get notifications about what you want/need (and also the way you receive notifications).

If you, still after configuring this settings, feel that you are getting too many alerts that are not completely relevant, one solution may be to talk to and educate your colleagues who may “@-mention” you and/or the entire team, all too often, so they only do it when they really need your / their attention.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Additional reading: “Six things to know about notifications

Is it difficult to adapt and to stop sending internal emails?

It is now May in 2020 and spring has come to the Nordic countries. Most of us still work from home. For some it works great and some feel it more cumbersome. For me, it’s more or less Business as usual and the only thing I miss sometimes is meeting my clients and colleagues in real life. Technology is our friend these days, but it is important, of course, to dare to use it and to use it properly.

Just over a year ago I wrote the article “Why do you continue to send (and reply to) email?”

When I wrote the article, I had, for a short time, made a complete conversion and more or less stopped sending internal emails. In the past year, the number of e-mails sent has been a minimum and then limited to responding to e-mails that I have received. Usually when I receive an internal email, I don’t even reply via email, but I continue the conversation in Microsoft Teams instead. Do I miss the internal email? The answer is a resounding NO. I now exclusively use Microsoft Teams and Yammer for collaboration with my colleagues and it flows on incredibly well. Continue reading “Is it difficult to adapt and to stop sending internal emails?”

Why Microsoft Teams is the key to successful collaboration

Collaboration in the past

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”…

david-klein--94oJK3PDQw-unsplash
Photo by David Klein on Unsplash

SharePoint shows up

Continue reading “Why Microsoft Teams is the key to successful collaboration”

Things to Know Before Your Organization Opens Up to Use Private Channels in Microsoft Teams

Let me start by saying that I love new functionality that creates opportunities and solves concrete needs, BUT: Having a holistic perspective when managing your organization’s productivity platform is a puzzle with many pieces. In my opinion, there are mainly three pieces you need to fit together as soon as possible if you are to succeed in introducing new functionality into an organization. These pieces are: Continue reading “Things to Know Before Your Organization Opens Up to Use Private Channels in Microsoft Teams”

Do you use Private chats instead of Channel Conversations? Think about it and do it right.

Private chats in Microsoft Teams is super easy and intuitive to use but are you sure you are using it for the right purpose? When you start a Private Chat and share files in this chat, the files are saved on your OneDrive for Business folder and they are only available to the participants in the chat conversation. Are you sure it is so smart to save these files to your OneDrive? Continue reading “Do you use Private chats instead of Channel Conversations? Think about it and do it right.”

How to get your users to “stay on the path” when it comes to Private channels

Today I was probably a little annoying for my “surroundings” but  I am lucky to have great colleagues who understand the importance of User adoption and the need for Guidelines when working on a platform with so many opportunities (and associated challenges). Continue reading “How to get your users to “stay on the path” when it comes to Private channels”

How to reduce teams sprawl by making the existence of Private Teams visible for all users

As you probably already know, in Microsoft Teams, any user in the organization can sign up for Public Teams while Private teams require the owner of the team to invite members to the team. Unless users know which private teams already exist, the risk of unnecessarily establishing new teams, with the same purpose and similar content, increases. Continue reading “How to reduce teams sprawl by making the existence of Private Teams visible for all users”

How to temporarily disable private channels

Private channels in Microsoft Teams are now launched and rolled out to your tenant. You can create private channels for a specific group of team members in a team. Only those people that are added to the private channel will be able to see and write messages in it.

In my previous blog post “Private channels in Microsoft Teams are here but are you ready to release it in your organization yet?” i wrote about what to think of in order to start using it properly.

Have you informed your users about your guidelines for using this Private channels? If you haven’t done so, now is the time to do it. In the meantime,  you can (read: should) disable Private Channels for a time until everyone knows how it works and how to use it.

How do you do this then? It is easier than you think: Continue reading “How to temporarily disable private channels”

A seemingly never-ending flood of news from Microsoft Ignite is spreading fast

(Photo by Matt Power on Unsplash)

Do you have trouble keeping your nose above the surface of the stream of updates that are now spreading across websites and social platforms? Perhaps you try to keep up with the news/updates that is being launched on Ignite but feel that you have trouble filtering everything? Continue reading “A seemingly never-ending flood of news from Microsoft Ignite is spreading fast”