Microsoft Teams - Managing communication internally

Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

As one of the senior developers and project managers at Village, it's my responsibility to make sure our customers have the best end-to-end experience possible. Projects need to run to budget, on time and to specification, but none of this is possible without good communication. 

Clear and friendly communication with our customers is at the forefront of our ethos, but how do we communicate internally to make sure we work efficiently? 

Here comes Microsoft Teams... 

We recently migrated to the Microsoft Office 365 eco-system, which includes a wealth of productivity tools at our disposal. The main benefit of using Microsoft's tools is that there is great synergy between all of the systems, so flowing between one application to another is seamless and helps us remain productive for longer than ever before. 

Teams is Microsoft's communication tool on offer, which is essentially a centralised communication hub to allow teams (hence the name) to keep everything in one place. It links nicely with other tools such as Outlook for mailing, Sharepoint for file sharing, Wikis for documentation and also provides an instant messenger for quick discussions with colleagues. 

So how does it work? 

As you might expect, each project we work on has its own designated team members who are a part of the full project lifecycle. In Teams, we can configure a separate communication channel for each project and assign our Office 365 members to them, allowing them to access the chats, files and other information on offer. The great benefit of this tools is that it keeps everything in one place, and due to its design, a consistent feeling across projects. 

Prior to using Teams, we used a combination of cloud-based file sharing applications (e.g Google Drive, Dropbox etc.), email and instant messaging. Don’t get me wrong, these tools work well in their own right, but they lack the harmony that comes with having it all under one roof. 

It's relatively early days in terms of using Microsoft Teams, but so far we've had some great use out of it. Team members keep others up to date in the chat, share files and even share new ideas as Microsoft Teams is a great central hub to store this information to look back on. 

Things get even better when you link it with Microsoft Flow, a tool which allows you to schedule an action when a trigger is fired. This means I can automatically send an instant message to my team members whenever I update a certain file (e.g. project record), or let people know I've added a task to JIRA. 

Author: Michael Banner