Transition to Microsoft Teams: Your Questions Answered

Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve got the keys to your dream home, and it’s all you could have ever wanted.

But wait – what does this switch do? How do I set the security alarm? How many clicks before the garage door opens? How do we hang the 10,000-piece puzzle that took my family two years to complete? And what does this switch do?

Can we just go back?

Transitions can be difficult. And maybe you’re considering making the transition to Teams. From the outside, it seems to have everything you need. But let’s get a reasonable expectation of what it’s like to live at 365 Teams Way.

First, understand that Teams is a collaboration software designed to centralize business processes, including but not limited to communications, files, and even task management, all made available to the ideal assemblage. However your group gets the work done, Teams can be the integrating hub for that.

Since its launch, Microsoft Teams has become the fastest growing app in Microsoft’s history, with more than 330,000 companies worldwide using it.

If you’re working in one of those companies, then you’re probably finding new ways to use the app on a daily basis. But if you’re not, let’s explore some common questions. I’ll even demonstrate how to access or troubleshoot those questions.

Is Teams compatible with apps outside of Microsoft 365?

Answer: YES!

If you already have a fantastic sales, marketing, or project management tool, bring it over to Teams. Whether an app was built by a 3rd party or in-house, add it to a Team for seamless continuity of work. Productivity improves when your team switches less and focuses more in a central location.

There are many ways to add an app to a Team, but the simplest way is by adding a tab.

Will using Teams improve the organization of our data and documents?

Answer: Yes and No.

Every Team has its own document library hosted by Microsoft SharePoint. Files can be stored, shared, and linked from here. Furthermore, utilize the functionality of SharePoint by creating custom views to see only the documents you need.

However, like the directory on my desktop, it can be the wild west. But in Teams, everyone is their own lawman.

While there is a structure to organize documents, the magic comes from everyone understanding and acting on the storage protocols. This is cultural and, depending on the length of time of this tribal practice, can be challenging to change.

Take the pain-staking but valuable time to brainstorm on file/folder structure with your team. This will create buy-in and more willingness to pivot when the time comes.

Will using Teams reduce email explosion?

Answer: It can.

There should be medals and awards just for cleaning out your inbox. I’m working on my certification.

Teams has a chat feature found in the Posts tab. A best practice would be for all communication around a certain project, account, or topic to happen in the main chat thread. Reply to posts to keep discussions pointed. You can even make announcements with bright colors and bold text. Of course, links to websites, documents, and images are possible. Beware of cat memes.

Consider using the Chats feature when a small group conversation is more appropriate. You can connect one-to-one or one-to-many. Attachments are still available, just like in email.

Going back to the question at hand, it comes down to business culture. Maybe emails are best for your organization. Maybe it’s a drain on your productivity. Making the transition to Teams may not cure the communications overload; a new one might be created. Understand that Teams has features to help your team be more collaborative as defined by business culture.

Will we be better at task management using Teams?

Answer: Highly likely.

Whether sticky notes, software, email, or the palm of your hand, everyone has a system to get tasks done. But are they done with their part so I can start mine? What was the due date again? Who else am I working with on this?

Increase visibility across the project and for all team members by using Tasks by Planner and To Do, a natively embedded app for Teams. Here, your tasks are aggregated from Planner and To Do, both of which are Microsoft apps. Planner boards can be tasks connected to a project phase with many more functions that require party hats and a well-timed video link. To Do tasks descend from Outlook and other self-inflicted assignments.

The success of implementing this app can be elevated with light training for an organization champion and everyone company-wide. Yet, change is a challenge. To reduce the overwhelm factor, present the new workflows in tiny, digestible bites.

Does Teams help with collaboration and workflow?

Answer: This is the right question!

This is the purpose of Teams: the right things in one place for the right people. Do you want to use the legacy website your great-grandad started? Do you want to find related documents? Or centralize communication? Even create visibility of work tasks to just the right people? YES! This is all possible in the blank canvas of your future home in Microsoft Teams.

But signing up for Teams is like buying the house – you still need to make it a home.

Are you ready to transition to Teams?

Overall, Teams makes everything easier. It has an app or an API for almost anything your productivity heart desires. It comes stock with all you need to make your 9-5 happy place.

So now that we’ve highlighted the features and fixtures as well as forethought needed when starting with Teams, are you ready to make the switch?

With some light training and input from the cohort, Teams can be the integration hub of collaboration and workflow of your business dreams.

Our experts are ready to come alongside your organization to get you and your team equipped to take full advantage Teams. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.