Get up to speed

Microsoft is making Teams available to all organizations. Avanade is here to help.

Set up a team

Bring people together to chat, share content and access the tools you need to collaborate and achieve more.

Best practices for setting up a team

Determine if a related team might already exist

Setting up a group to collaborate on a piece of work could be as simple as creating a channel or identifying an existing channel for the right subset of the people in an existing team. Make use of private channels to limit access rather than creating a whole new team.

Plan the structure of your team in advance

Add and organize channels based on sub teams or workstreams. Structure folders and subfolders ahead of time.

Use tabs for easy sorting

Add tabs to link to key documents, external sites or external applications that people need to do their work.

Customize your notifications

You can customize notifications to prioritize messages about key projects and avoid being "over-notified."

Set up a governance process

Governance is key to managing access, documents, and other tasks.

Best practices for setting up a team

Work on documents together

Link across teams to co-author and edit documents in real-time, share and store files and gather feedback all in one place.

Best practices for working on documents together

Work with a cloud-first mentality

Save your files to your teams, then share a link to save your and your colleagues’ inbox space.

Get up to speed on version controls

Learn how file versioning and check-out features work so you can get away from trying to manage versions and archives.

Best practices for working on documents together

Work across business boundaries

Host and join conference calls and video calls with people outside of your organization even if they're not on Teams.

Best practices for working across boundaries

Host calls with external contacts

For simple video/conference calls with external clients you can set up a normal Teams call and add your external participants. They can join via a browser or Teams client.

Set up guest access

If your external contact does have Teams deployed, inquire if they have guest access enabled and if they could join you to a team.

Access meetings by phone

External clients can also join your Teams meeting by phone, though that would limit their meeting options.

Hold effective meetings

Bring people together to chat, share content and access the tools you need to collaborate and achieve more.

Best practices for holding effective meetings

Use video

People are more engaged when they can see each other. Use video and encourage all participants to do so.

Capture and share notes

Meeting Notes can be captured directly in the meeting and the meeting chat is available for later reference as well as for team members who are not able to join.

Prepare shared content ahead of time

Understand the different ways to share content during the meeting so you are prepared with the best option. Have your content ready to share before starting the call.

Use real-time collaboration tools

Collaboration tools, such as Whiteboard, help capture work and ideas for easy sharing later.

Turn on accessibility options

Teams gives you the ability to turn on live captions and subtitles to ensure that everyone is able to understand Teams conversations. This includes not only those who are deaf or have a hearing loss but also those in noisy environments.

Microsoft Teams Resource center

Host town hall meetings

Set up and host Teams meetings or Live Events to keep a large, distributed team up to date on projects, progress, and priorities.

Best practices for hosting town hall meetings

Choose the right tool for the job

For smaller groups (up to 250 people), you can use a standard Teams meeting which will allow for full interaction with participants.

For larger (250- 10,000 people) sessions, use Teams Live events, which is intended for one-to-many communications where the host of the event is leading the interactions and audience participation is primarily to view the content shared by host.

Have a detailed "show flow" outlining exactly how the call will run

Assign a Producer who will control what/who is shown when during the call. Plan in advance who all of the presenters will be and ensure they all have a great connection, proper lighting, know their part, know who they are handing over to, and are well prepared.

Do a practice run

Test all presenter connections and video and do a run-through of the session at least one day before.

Microsoft Teams resource center

Run interactive workshops

Connect groups for real-time co-creation through video, chat, whiteboading and more, then share the output and results.

Best practices for running interactive workshops

Set your goals

Successful workshops require a clear alignment on desired goals and outcomes. This is even more true when running a remote workshop.

Prepare and plan

Virtual workshops require more preparation compared to on-site workshops – account for double to triple the amount of planning and organization typically required.

Remember less is more

When planning activities, consider which techniques are most effective for achieving the desired outcome in each activity. Expect to cover about 1/3 of the activities that you would normally cover in a physical workshop and favor activities that can be done individually. Play music during the silent time!

Plan for interactivity

If your workshop is interaction-heavy, consider the general rule of thumb of 1 facilitator to 6 participants. If a large audience is expected for your workshop, use breakouts.

Use the right tools for the job

When selecting tools to support your workshop, make sure they let participants communicate in real-time and asynchronously if needed. Tools should also help share content, stay organized, and think visually. Make sure you and your workshop support team understand how your tools will work with each other.

Show and tell

Using a collaboration tool like Microsoft Whiteboard is key for engaging participants.

Schedule sessions and breaks

Attention spans tend to wander around the 2-4 hours mark. If possible, consider scheduling segments of the workshop across multiple days or weeks.

Microsoft Teams Resource Center

Organize learning sessions

Share the materials you need to educate and inform your team, then encourage participation to enhance learning.

Best practices for organizing learning sessions

Use a private channel to prepare

Create a private Teams channel to co-create session materials with other session planners, then set up a meeting on this channel to dry run your presentation.

Set up another channel for learners

Once you’re prepared, set up a Teams channel for session participants and engage them before, during and after your event. Share files like your meeting agenda, lesson plan, or other pre-read materials prior to your session, then post action items and follow up activities once your session is complete.

Organize learning materials

Share and organize files corresponding to your lesson plan to encourage self-directed learning along with instructions for navigating your learning modules. You can also use the Stream application to create a video library within your Teams channel.

Use Live Events for large sessions

Set up a Teams Live Event, an extension of Teams Meetings, when you need to broadcast video to a large online audience. This is best for presentation-style, one-to-many communications.

Use meetings for smaller sessions

Set up a Teams Meeting to facilitate a smaller, more interactive learning session when audience conversation and participation is encouraged.

Put two facilitators in charge

When conducting a live session, it is ideal to have two facilitators: one to lead the session and the other to moderate the chat thread for questions, comments and feedback from the audience.

Record and share

Record a live session to share it afterwards or pre-record a session to allow for self-directed viewing.

Put participation tools to work

Use Microsoft Whiteboard to have your audience draw, sketch and write together on a shared digital canvas during your learning session. Use the Polly application to poll your audience.

Check your network connections

Make sure your Internet connection is stable. Connect via an Ethernet cable if possible, limit network traffic and close applications that you are not using.

Make sure they can hear you

Bad audio is a showstopper for virtual learning sessions. Make sure you are in a quiet, private space and use an external speaker or headset when possible.

Microsoft Teams Resource Center

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