Day to Day with DanceofChaos
Hello everyone, how are you doing? I realised, while focussing on gardening and some issues, I hardly write about the day to day stuff anymore. I had made this blog to write about my experience as a working woman, trying to balance it on all fronts, and somehow how I work, what happens there, the going on and experiences miss out a lot. I am trying to improve that and trying to go back to writing about things other than my gardening experiences.
Introduction to MS Teams
The home office new normal in the recent times have mean, companies have embraced some networking and calling tools and software, which they would otherwise not have embraced so readily. My office had changed to the office 365, a few months before and shortly before the home office started with regularity , we got introduced to the MS Teams. As we complete half a year of working from home, I want to look back to my experience on working with MS Teams.
MS Teams is a powerful tool from Microsoft, as a part of its office365 or Microsoft365 package, that offers a collaboration environment. You can only use Teams, if you are a part of an organisation, either professional or as a student. It offered initially group video call, and audio call from a common platform. It has evolved into a fantastic collaboration platform to work together in an environment. I am not going to add any pictures to this article, as Microsoft website already have video demos, and I am not going to post screen shots of my workplace computer.
Features of MS Teams
Teams and channels
Teams not only let’s you do audio and video calls, and have contacts and chat options, it has the option to create working teams. if you are working with Project A and Project B, you can have dedicated teams for each projects, with members who can access their individual teams. The previously existing outlook office group can be imported to teams as a new team. You can still get the notifications bundled in the group, and access the team calendar in Outlook, but the teams interface make it so much better.
Under each team, multiple channels can be created, dedicated to topics , which can either be open to all team members or can be restricted to certain channel members.
I have multiple up and running teams and I find the grouping of communication and task is so well organised now.
As if it is not enough, you can send email to whole team, or to individual channels. You can address the entire Team or individual channel via chat. I use the chat option copiously. Instead of sending meeting Agenda or trivial updates via Email, I just tag the team / channel or members and send them the update.
Calendar and other apps
Each team gets a team calendar, which can be shown in classic outlook, or added on as app of the teams. Other apps like ToDo, Planner, note can be accessed from team. Each team has one Team Site notebook, and additional notebooks per channel is also possible to add. Tabs can be added to team channels, which act as shortcut for different office documents or just a website. That aside, there is the whiteboard option, which is currently in beta test version. This is one of the best Apps for meetings. All those virtual meetings and workshops, are so tedious without the ability to use a whiteboard and write something. Teams whiteboard solves that issue. Now you have an whiteboard to draw on and import/export the information as well. People with touch screen or devices that allow a pen to draw on it, can enjoy the benefit of drawing with hand.
SharePoint and website
By default, The document library of each team, is its own SharePoint. It is created with the team. It is also possible to add cloud storage by linking to some other SharePoint or one drive folder. That takes care of the document library quite well. You can add multiple cloud storage to your team, even to your individual channels. So, those who are already working with SharePoint, do not need to migrate your document to Teams, just add the website.
Another good thing is the website structure of the teams SharePoint. It is not just the Document Library but you can organise multiple sites, with different web parts and design a proper website for your teams including news updates, Team calendars, quick links, countdown and many more readily available web parts. You have a Team about an upcoming product X, and do not want to have introduction meeting with each new member : Just created a Wiki about it.
The website part of teams has so much potential, I haven’t even begun to explore it in details. I should do it, because it is the easiest way to impress new members but I just could not find time to do it.
My personal favourite are the tabs, the pinning options in the files, the planner app and offcourse my super famous notes.
I wish Notes were even more intuitive, have better synchronisation with contacts, can directly assign task to Planner from notes, a girl can only hope. Microsoft are you listening?
My experience so far
I am writing an unpaid, not sponsored post about Teams in my personal blog : so what do you think my dear readers the experience is? It has honestly been great. I wish I get more time to learn about more features of MSTeams and use it more effectively. So far, I found it as an amazing office tool, specially for someone into coordination and management kind of job. MS Teams is really a very good environment for collaborative work.
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