The Status Quo

Remote working is rapidly becoming the status quo. Over the past few years, ActionPoint has helped hundreds of organisations transition to a mobile workplace and become remote-ready. One of the main tools we champion is Microsoft Teams. In this article, we answer all your questions about Teams and introduce you to a series of training videos direct from Microsoft that will help you to get started. With every link, be sure to watch the video and read the description underneath. Some links contain multiple videos for you to check out.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a hub for teamwork. Teams is a collaboration app that lets you pull together team members who can chat, securely edit and collaborate on files, video conference, set up meetings, and share ideas – all in one place. Based entirely in the Azure Cloud, Microsoft Teams is the perfect collaboration tool for remote teams.

Check out this Introduction to Microsoft Teams

How do you get your organisation up and running on Microsoft Teams?

To get your team up and running in Microsoft Teams, create a team, add people, and add channels. Creating a team and adding members can be done in 7 easy steps.

  1. Select Teams then Join or create a team.
  2. Select Create a new team, and then select Build a team from scratch or select Create from… to build an all-new team or create from an existing group respectively.
  3. Select Private if you’d like people to request permission to join or select Public if anyone in your org can join.
  4. Give the team a name and add a short description if you’d like.
  5. Select Create.
  6. Add members.
  7. When you’re done adding members, select Add and then Close.

What are Teams and Channels?

Teams and channels are the very heart of Microsoft Teams. Teams are groups of people brought together for work or common interests. These could be specific departments, a group working on the same project, a company-wide team or something smaller like an event planning team. Each team is made up of channels, which are built around specific topics. For example, in the ‘Events’ team, you might have channels such as ‘Christmas Party’, ‘February Networking Event’ or ‘Monthly Seminar’. Channels are where you hold meetings, have conversations, and work on files together.

To better understand teams and channels check out this video.

What is the best way to roll out Microsoft Teams?

To get started quickly on Teams, we recommend starting small and slowly rolling out Teams company wide. Start with two or three teams and channels for a select group of early adopters. By first rolling out Teams on a small scale, you’ll learn by using and gain valuable insights to inform how you deploy Teams across your whole organisation. This doesn’t have to be over a very long period. The staggered rollout can take place over a few days or weeks depending on how quickly you familiarise yourself with Microsoft Teams. If you’re a small business, Teams can be rolled out over a very short period. Encourage your early adopters to use Teams as much as possible and provide feedback.

Here’s a sample 4 step rollout process.

  1. Create your first teams and channels
  2. Onboard early adopters
  3. Monitor usage and feedback
  4. Plan your organisation-wide rollout

 How do you share files on Teams?

If you would like to upload or share a file with a particular group, navigate to that Team and look for the paperclip icon. This is usually located in the area where you would type a message. Once you select the paperclip you will be prompted to attach a file. Alternatively, you can go to the Files tab within that team and select Upload.

How do you work on a file together on Teams?

When a person shares a file to a group, multiple team members can then start collaborating on a file together. The file can be accessed via the message it was attached to or the File section of the channel. In both cases, there will be a more options button next to the attachment. This is signified by three dots. When accessing through the chat, you will then see an option to ‘Edit in Teams’. If accessing through the File section of the channel, you select the three-dot icon, then open and finally ‘Edit in Teams’.

To learn more about working on a file together, click here.

How do you interact with other people on Teams?

To post a message on Teams, go to a specific channel and enter your message into the chat box.

If you would like to send a normal instant message you simply write your message and select enter.

If you would like to format your message to make it look more like an email with the option to add header, bold text, create bulleted lists etc, then select the format button. This should be located under the chat box. Usually it is the icon on the very left.

To make a public announcement and post to multiple channels at once you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. In a channel, start a message and select Format.
  2. Choose the message type you want: New conversation or Announcement.
  3. Select Post in multiple channels > Select channels.
  4. Choose which channels to cross-post to.
  5. You can share wherever you’re a member.
  6. Select Update, and your selected channels appear in the post.
  7. Select Everyone can reply to let anyone respond to your post, or select You and moderators can reply to restrict responses to just you and the moderators.
  8. Type a message and select Send.
  9. Your posts will appear in the selected channels.

Learn more about creating and formatting a post here.

How do you send a private message on Teams?

Find the ‘write message’ icon to the left of the search. This should be located at the very top of your screen and looks like a pen on paper. Type in the name of the person you want to chat with. Then, compose your message and press Enter.

You can enter multiple names if you want to create a small private group. This group can then interact with one another in private. If you would like to start a group video call, get everyone to select the video icon on the top right corner of the screen.

Learn more about how to start chats and make calls here.

What’s the difference between team channels and private chats?

Team channels are places where everyone on the team can have open conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.

How do you use Microsoft Teams to hold meetings?

A person can set up a meeting by sending an invite through the Microsoft Teams calendar. Within the invite you can name the meeting, add attendees, set a time and add an agenda if desired. Attendees can join a Microsoft Teams meeting through their calendar, via dial-in number and conference ID, or by signing in as a guest on the web.

You can learn how to manage a meeting here. Within this link there are tips on how to meet in a channel, how to create instant meetings and how to share your screen or hold a PowerPoint presentation within Teams.

How do you hold live events in Microsoft Teams?

Teams live events is an extension of Teams meetings, enabling you to produce events for large online audiences with more control over video, audience interaction, and reporting. Live events could include a live interview broadcast, a webinar or a live Q&A session, where you answer questions posed by attendees.

Learn more about how to plan and schedule a live event

How do you hold a live Q&A session in Microsoft Teams?

In a Teams live event, attendees can interact with producers and presenters through a Q&A. This must be set up by the organiser when creating the event. When a live event is created with a Q&A option, attendees can start asking questions. These questions can be asked anonymously during the event or even before. Questions are only visible to moderators unless they publish them to the event.

Learn more about how to moderate a live Q&A event here.

Can you access Microsoft Teams on your phone?

Yes, you can download the Microsoft Teams app on your phone or mobile device. Learn more about keeping up to date with your newsfeed or joining meetings on the go here.  The Microsoft Teams app can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS here.

Can you manage schedules through Microsoft Teams?

Yes, Shifts in Microsoft Teams is a schedule management tool that helps you create, update, and manage schedules for your team. In Shifts, each Microsoft Teams team gets one schedule to work with, and you can create a schedule for any team you’re an owner of. Shifts can be used to set schedules or for people to swap shifts with a teammate.

Learn more about Shifts, including how to create and manage a schedule, here.

Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams and Remote Working?

Check out this recent ActionPoint article about ‘How Microsoft 365 Enables Remote Working’. In it we discuss how Microsoft 365 can be used to protect your data, work securely from anywhere and how remote workers can use Microsoft Teams to connect and collaborate.

Ready to get started?

Contact us today and we can begin discussing your needs. We can quickly provide you with a sense of our approach, estimated costs and a top-level timeframe.

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