Defining your technology roadmap with Office 365 – part 3
Microsoft Teams provides a collection of tools under one roof, enabling users to work more proactively towards their end goals. In this episode, Project Manager Lyndsay Ansell talks about how it differs from Skype for Business and helps her keep on top of her daily tasks.
“Everything you need to work towards an outcome can happen inside of Teams. It’s much more than Skype for Business.”
- Lyndsay Ansell, Project Manager, Modality Systems
Watch the video below for more, with Global Head of Strategy Justin Morris.
More in this series:
Part 1 - Digital disruption in the modern business with CTO Nick Seagrave
Part 2 - Top considerations for addressing business change with Head of Global Marketing Ian Guest
Part 4 - Supporting user experience with ongoing measurement with Principal Solutions Architect Tom Arbuthnot
Justin: We know that Skype for business has been used by organisations around the world for a long time now for their communications needs. How is it different from Microsoft Teams?
Lyndsay: That’s a really good question. I guess a lot of people are familiar with Skype for Business and probably not so much with Teams. People are using Skype for Business at the moment for their calls and their chats. The first thing to say in comparison is that Teams does all of those things as well. You can still do your calling and your chats within Teams – in fact the video calling experience is a lot better – but it goes further than that. It actually provides a space and a collection of tools under one roof to allow teams of people to work productively towards their outcomes and end goals. It’s bringing together all sorts of Office 365 tools like files, chat and just general collaboration. Everything you need to work towards an outcome can happen inside of Teams. It’s much more than Skype for Business.
Justin: It’s more centred around the people...
Lyndsay: Absolutely. It’s really focused on bringing people and getting them to work together in a space that will help them to achieve what is they’re trying to do.
Justin: Are there some examples of uses of Microsoft Teams you can share?
Lyndsay: From my perspective, with a history as a project manager, I’ve used it for lots of projects. It’s really suited to projects because you do tend to have a group of people who are working towards something specific - so you can have your chat about the project within a team, you can have a channel set up for that area of the project, and all the progress is tracked in the channel chat. It’s really useful for me as a project manager if I’ve asked some of my resources to do things. I can see if they’re doing it and ask for updates in there. It will also pull together useful tools that I use such as Planner and Trello. You can easily link those into Teams to keep track of tasks and timelines.
Another use case that I’ve seen, particularly in Modality Systems, is our development team out in Norwich. They mainly work out of Teams day-to-day now with project managers and product owners. We’re not all co-located so it bridges that gap between geographies and makes it easy for us to feel like we’re all one team working together.
Justin: There are a few I’ve observed myself, particularly in the HR and recruitment teams. They’ve been using Microsoft Teams quite actively for candidate management. Whenever a new candidate has come through for a job opening, they can quickly scan through that application and work out if they’re the right fit to pass on to the hiring manager. They’ve got all their assets and resources in one place to work with and bring through the right stakeholders. There are countless other examples we’ve had within our company where we’ve been able to bridge geographical boundaries in a much better way with Microsoft Teams.
If organisations wanted to take this journey, how would they get started?
Lyndsay: One of the biggest joys and challenges with Teams is there are various different approaches to getting started. What we did here at Modality Systems was turn it on to see what would happen, which is great in many ways because you get people trying it out, experimenting with it and finding their own value from it. Then they’re much more likely to hero the benefits of it across the rest of the organisation – that can be really useful.
What you can also find is that while people are experimenting with it and seeing how it benefits them, you can get a raft of Teams channels that were set up with good intentions but become dead space. They’re not needed anymore or they didn’t work quite as expected. They just clog up the Teams area and you get what we call a ‘Teams sprawl’, which can make things look a bit messy. That’s just a question of tidying up really. If organisations are willing to take that on as a future state after they’ve turned it on, then that’s a great way of approaching it.
There are a lot of things we can lock down with Teams. You can specify that particular people are allowed to set up teams and channels. That would be something that a large organisation might want to do to have a bit more governance around it. It’s all about what the organisation is trying to achieve.
Justin: Sounds like there’s some practical guidance required to start off with?
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely best practices. Users really appreciate those, particularly those who are not used to technology anyway. Pointers in the right direction in terms of ‘why should I set up a team?’ and even ‘when wouldn’t I set up a team’, because a team’s a team and a channel isn’t applicable to every situation. Also, ‘how can I share a document with someone without having to add them to the team just for that one task?’. All of those things are really worth thinking about and giving to people as a ‘how do I do this?’. From our experience, that’s what people like and tend to gravitate towards.
Looking to scale Teams in a large enterprise? Watch our webinar, hosted by Principal Solutions Architect Tom Arbuthnot.
- Technical and end user considerations.
- Practical steps for applying the right governance and control.
- How to sustain the momentum and ensure it becomes a valuable business tool.
- The possibilities of using bots to automate processes.
- The use of data intelligence to help reduce negative factors, such as content sprawl, and drive positive engagement and adoption.