Microsoft Teams: A Guide to Teamwork
Over the past few weeks, Microsoft Teams has become the prime tool for online teamwork. It allows all team members to participate in meetings, share documents, set and monitor tasks and organise online conferences. We created a detailed guide which will help you to use all functions of the co-operative platform effectively.
Create a team
Working at MS Teams starts with the creation of a team – perhaps from the same or different functions within your organisation, who are working on a specific project. To do this, select “create a team” from the navigation on the left. Then, name your team and add a description if preferred. By default, a team will be private, but if you set it to public your colleagues will be able to join. Now, you can add new members and groups of contacts. If you need to add those who don`t work in the company, you’ll need to provide their e-mails. However, you’ll only be able to invite guests if it was you that created the team.
To proceed with the advanced team settings, click the ellipsis near its name and select “Manage team”: this way you will find new participants, channels and applications. Here you can add a picture to personify the team.
After creating the team, you can proceed with the channel creation.
Interaction in MS Teams is based around channels – each of them is devoted to a separate subject. Here all tasks are handled: meetings and conferences are organized and access to files is provided. By default, each team has a general channel that is used to share information with all participants. To add a new channel, click the ellipsis near the name of the team and choose “add channel”, then name and describe it. To make the channel visible for all team members, and set to “Automatically show this channel in everyone`s channel list”.
To make them easier to find, you can add channels that are used more often in the ‘Favorites’ list. To access the additional channel settings, click the ellipsis next to the channels tame. To add another tab, press +. Here, you’ll be able to include the Planner app and create the project board for tracking and monitoring the team tasks.
In each channel you can conduct online meetings – just click “start a meeting”. Here you’ll be able to share any content your team might need from your computer.
A meeting can also be recorded, which is a useful tool, especially when you might have forgotten an important point that was raised! There is a button “Start recording” below. Nearby there is a button that allows you to share files with those in the meeting. To co-edit the document, click “Edit” on the top of the screen. During the meeting you can make notes: all of which are saved in the meeting chat, which is created automatically.
To share files with the participants of the channel, click the “Files” tab on the top of the screen, choose necessary documents and click “Open”. If there are too many channels, filter them by clicking the icon in the top corner.
There is a possibility to create chats with a member or a group of members of the team. Press “start a conversation” on the top of the screen and enter the contacts of those you would like to chat with. Naming your chat will make it easier to find afterwards. The most important chats can be pinned: select “advanced features” then “pin”. You can ‘pin’ up to 15 chats.
MS Teams allows calling any member of the team. Recent call history and voicemails are saved in the “Calls” list. Missed calls and messages appear in the news feed. You can either video call or voice call a colleague straight from the chat.
How to join the meeting
The meetings organised in Teams are available in your calendar. You can also join them via your mobile. Choose “Join the meeting” in the invitation form. To participate in the event, open the MS Teams app, or its web version. If you prefer the web version, you’ll need to enter your name and click “join now”. In the web version you will get the meeting ID which you can also use to dial in via Blue Jeans.
How to organise live events
In MS teams, events can be broadcast online to a larger audience. During the event, a speaker can share content with the participants, manage video and create reports. To start the broadcast, choose “meetings” on the left and click “create”. On the top of the pop-up window, select “new meeting” and then “new live event”.
Add the name of the event, the date, time and any other information if preferred. In the field “invite people to your event group” add the names of the organisers and presenters. In the section “live event permissions” choose who you would like to invite. Define the criteria needed in the section “how will you produce your live event?” and click “schedule”. Then you;ll be able to product a “link for the participants”, which you can then copy and share with those you wish to invite to the event.
MS Teams allows over 1000 contacts to take part in an event at any given time. The participants are divided into groups: producers, presenters and audience. The producer manages the event: starts and finishes it, and monitors the files being shared. The presenters conduct the presentation: share audio and video and answer the questions.
After roles have been outlined, you can then give access to the live event, using the ‘permissions’ tab under ‘users. It could be separate groups (people and groups), all your colleagues (organisation-wide) or a user who has a link (public). Then define the participants who can access the event records, activate Q&A and click “schedule” – you will get the link for participation in the live event. Send it to the users you would like to invite – by e-mail or invitation in the calendar.
Note: MS Teams calendar is synchronized with your Outlook calendar.
Teams facilitates almost all Microsoft apps – you can use them straightly on the platform. Some of the apps have chatbots. By clicking + on the top of the screen, you will see the list of the available applications. Some of them can be used in chats, and their content is easily inserted into messages. Moreover, there are connections in MS Teams – the apps which are connected with the project management programs.