MS Teams: Open-Source Tool for Remote Team Management?

Konstantinos Anastasiadis @ SCALEUP | Dec 31, 2020

It has already been two years since the first steps of MS Teams in the project management area, since then the software has been adapted by 500,000+ organizations and 91 of the Fortune 100 companies now use it. Microsoft Teams features have clearly made it a big success story.

What are the features that made it a success & how can today’s business maximize it’s benefits during Covid-19?

Before we dive deep into the hacks and best practices, let us really quick cover some of the basics of MS Teams.

#1. What is MS Teams & How does it work?

It is a chat based solution in Office 365, the answer of Microsoft to Google’s GSuite, and although there has been a long debate over each softwares capabilities there are some important areas to clarify at first.

When you form a Team in Microsoft Teams, the software will create the following:

  • A new Office 365 group (security)
  • A SharePoint Site (Files)
  • A shared mailbox and calendar (email)
  • A Notebook
  • Planner Plan

With the core features of the platform let us explore the best practices and key features that can easily be leveraged by the platform.

#2. Meeting Whiteboards (Brainstorm, 121s, Hackathons)

Any meeting in Microsoft Teams has a dedicated whiteboard, where the participants can draft their ideas, put together they plan and easily interact with each other beyond the usual documents.

The main difference with “sharing your screen” and “Whiteboard sketching” is that when you share your screen attendees can only watch what you show. On the other hand, with ‘Whiteboard’, there is the opportunity for real collaboration. Attendees can sketch and actively participate in the meeting.

Additional Resources: Tutorial on Microsoft Whiteboards

#3. Add Chatbots to your FAQs, Web Support or Even Project & Organizational Information

Within Microsoft Teams, all bots are created via the Microsoft Bot Framework, Teams App Studio is free and simple tool that does not require any coding skills to setup. Requests gathering on mail concerning the same request, need for constant report on your project, Teams App Studion has all the tools need to complete easily your automation solution easily.

Turn the repetitive Tasks into autopilot mode. Not sure how?

At SCALEUP we have built, trained and published sophisticated bots using FAQ pages, support websites, product manuals, SharePoint documents or editorial content through easy-to-use UI or via REST APIs. Our Client’s goals, in the E-Commerce, Marketing and B.I sector, where to automate their HR and Business Processes.

Not only via MS Teams, but also with RPA Uipath we ensured project delivery and continuous support along the process as well as training on the application.

#4. Wiki Setup for All Workplace & Project Info

Since everyone is working from home, it’s harder to set rules and ensure work etiquette is followed. Set up a team wiki within Microsoft Teams, letting your team know the dos and don’ts of working remotely.

For example, on the ‘General’ Channel you can cover all important to know information for your workplace, need-to-know information for your project team as well as any other guidelines. Each channel can use the wiki tab to add guidelines relevant to the department or project they are working on. You can define the general process for that channel, ensuring everyone is aware of how work is approved.

Additional Resources: Microsoft’s Guide to Remote Team Management

#5. Attendance & Calendar Tracking with AttendanceBot

One of the common issues that remote teams tend to face is time tracking, with the traditional time-tracking tools put on the sidelines due to today’s remote setup Attendancebot is the easy to setup and free solution to this.

The bot allows you to automate time tracking right within Microsoft Teams. Employees just need to check-in and out of work during the start and end of their workday. AttendanceBot records this in the backend and generates timesheets for you.

But wait there's more, the bot also manages leave approvals, moving such conversations out of the mailbox. Your team members can simply sent a message to the bot asking for leave for the specific number of days. The approval request is sent to the employee’s manager. Once approved, the bot sends a notification to you, informing you about this leave approval. It also records the leave in the backend, simplifying how employees can take leaves.

Additional Resources: Guide to AttendanceBot for MS Teams

Want to shift your team to the course of Performance Optimization & Automation?

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