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Boost Project Engagement & Productivity By Leveraging MS Teams

By Cindy Foellmer posted 02-15-2022 12:10


By: Cindy Foellmer - Sidley Austin LLP, Parita Kanevskiy - Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP and Dawn Sheridan -
Thompson Coburn LLP

Teams is integrated with Microsoft 365, which means it is tied to other Microsoft Office services, such as Word and
Excel, as well as its cloud storage and sharing services such as SharePoint, PowerPoint, OneNote, Tasks by Planner and
To do (formerly referred to as Planner), and Power BI.

Since we have started using Teams, the amount of email traffic within our departments has decreased significantly. Here
are some ways we were able to achieve this outcome:

a. Create a Teams site for each project.

b. Provide awareness to those on the project team that may not have been cc'd on an email.  For example, can you imagine cc'ing a CIO on every email?  Our CIO is a member of most Teams and even if he isn't tagged, he has a peek into the project without waiting for a status update.

c. Use Teams’ conversations to streamline communication and reduce the confusion of someone responding to an email that isn't the most recent. From the Posts tab, click New Conversation to get the discussion started. Through format feature, add a bold subject line for quick recognition within Posts. By the very nature, conversations via Posts invites channel members to participate.

d. Save project artifacts under "Files" for easier document collaboration. A particular file can be easily be pinned to the channel as a "tab" for easy access by anyone on the project team.  As you add files to conversations, they are automatically added to Files.  It is helpful to review the organization of your Files tab periodically and move the files to the desired location.

e. Conduct scheduled or meet now video meetings or simply call right from Teams.

f. Add a Notebook (aka OneNote) for each project. Add your notebook as a tab on the site for easier access.  If you haven’t already incorporated this tool to your workflow, we highly recommend it.  A shared OneNote notebook adds a layer of collaboration that is unmatched in one application (e.g., storing critical project communications, emails, and meeting notes for review and reference, research). You can also standardize the tabs in the Notebook for your projects, see screenshot, for easier viewing and consistency across your projects.

g. Access the full power of SharePoint Online from Teams, in the upper right-hand corner of the Team, click the ellipses and choose Open in SharePoint. Because Teams is built on the SharePoint online platform, there are many things you can do behind the scenes.

         a. Create a custom list (e.g. RAID, Lessons Learned) by selecting Site Contents, create a custom list or choose from a template.

         b. Utilize the site calendar to track team resource outages and key dates.

Standardizing Teams creation and content will help your project teams acclimate more quickly. Watch for a future blog that will cover how we achieved this.

    1 comment



    02-15-2022 12:37

    Please enjoy another blog post entitled "Tips and Tricks Using Microsoft Teams for Project Collaboration."