Project Management & collaboration with MICROSOFT TEAMS - 7 IMPORTANT FEATURES

Posted by Amit Goel on 14th JULY 2020

Microsoft Office 365 Teams is often only recognized as an online meeting tool while its capabilities for Project Management are less known. I am a big fan of this powerful tool and found it helpful when managing projects and collaborating with my stakeholders in Australia and India.

The intent of this blog is to highlight some of the key features of Microsoft Teams that you can benefit from. Let's come straight to the point on some of its useful features.

#1 Managing Shifts

Originally built keeping frontline workers in mind, this tool helps well while working with remote and offshore teams. It allows employees to:
- View upcoming tasks
- See who else in the team is working that day

- Request a shift swap for flexible working.

If teams are working in remote locations (work from home due to Coronavirus etc.) then the clock in and out feature helps in determining the availability of staff.

#2 Microsoft Planner

Being a simple card-based interface that’s similar to Trello, I use this app for personal and teamwork planning. It provides a hub for team members to create plans, organise and assign tasks to different users and to check updates on progress through dashboards. Great tool for clarity of tasks and allocation.

#3 Complete meeting solution for video, audio and sharing

Blurring the background – remember the instance when children interrupted the BBC interview? While it was funny, it helped in introducing a new feature that blurs the background and removes any distractions for meeting participants. I always use it when I am at home 😊

Ability to record the meeting for later reference is fantastic. It also has a transcription service that lets the user switch ON the captioning to see what is being said. Conveniently, user can also search for a specific keyword in the recorded video and come straight to the desired spot in the video rather than watching the whole meeting.

Inline translation is one of the best feature that helps in collaborating with people around the world even if you don’t speak the same language

Secure guest access allows participants from external organisations to be part of the same meeting. During the meeting Teams clearly indicate the external participants.

PSTN calling integration makes it the centre of the meeting solution.

#4 Documentation accessible to everyone with Sharepoint

Attachments are managed effectively –if you share the attachments with teams then the document is automatically maintained in Microsoft Sharepoint and has seamless integration. If you send the document in private chat then it is stored in Microsoft OneDrive. This saves time to search in various repositories and folders.

With the mobile capabilities of Microsoft Teams, access to all company documents can be done from wherever your team is and whatever device they’re using.

#5 AttendanceBot – Track & analyze work hours

We tend to work more hours while working from home. This third party app is helpful to remote teams  with simple ‘in’ and ‘out’ messages, clock in and out. It allows you to keep track of  your work hours and export timesheets right within Microsoft Teams. The app provides visual data on a dashboard. Just mention @attendancebot in messages like ‘PTO today’ or ‘Vacation from July 2 to July 9’. It will send your request for approval, notify you of its status, put it on your calendar, and set up vacation autoresponders.

#6 Reporting & Power BI Integration

Adding reports where you collaborate, ths helps co-worker find and use data effectively.

#7 Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration

This feature enables users to easily work with Common Data Service customer information and share files directly from the Office application. It allows cross-functional collaboration by working together with customers and colleagues across functions (even those who are not Dynamics 365 users).

Also you can co-author documents using Office 365 in Teams and also automatically syncs to Common Data Service. This saves time and accelerates the process.

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