Achieve Seamless Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Learn the secrets to achieving seamless collaboration with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. Best practices to avoid clutter and confusion.

"Bremmar really brings together the strategy element, project element and managed service element all in one. They also have solid knowledge of the Aged Care sector which is pretty niche."

Secrets to Achieving Seamless Collaboration with Microsoft 365

The pandemic has brought about a significant shift in the way businesses operate. One of the most significant changes has been the need to connect with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders online. Microsoft 365 has been a go-to environment that enables teams and organisations to collaborate from anywhere. 

Microsoft Teams, one of the most popular hubs for teamwork, allows you to chat, call, meet, and share files with your team members in one place. It also integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps, such as SharePoint and OneDrive, and integrates with third-party services – essential for frontline workers. 

However, organisations must have a clear and consistent structure for their teams to collaborate seamlessly. Staff must also learn to use that structure to utilise the tools fully. Otherwise, you may end up in a cluttered and confusing environment where files are scattered across different places, teams are duplicated or outdated, and permissions are not managed correctly. 

“There is a lot of excitement around Teams, but proper structure and education are essential. We often see cluttered environments with too many channels that are not used correctly”, explains Rushad Billimoria, Bremmar’s Consultant for the Not-For-Profit, Aged Care, and Disability sectors. “This leads to issues around finding files, duplicate copies, complicated communication groups, and security risks associated with sharing sensitive data in unsecured channels”, he completes.

According to Rushad, “Teams need a level of governance to avoid the most common mistakes”. Bremmar, for example, identifies a set of Champion Users within the organisation who are trained to manage the environment’s compliance, controls who can create Teams and Channels, and sets policies to understand when and in what situations each is needed. 

Align the structure of Teams with your organisation

“Every organisation is different, and the structure of Microsoft Teams they need will be unique”, explains the Consultant. “A simple structure may align with core departments and their relevant staff. More complex structures may require different project and service Teams to be created – requiring multiple staff from different departments. The setup will depend on what works most effectively for each organisation”, he completes.

You can also create channels and sub-sections dedicated to specific topics or tasks within each team. “You can, for example, create a channel for each department, project, or client”, affirms Rushad.

To align the structure of teams with your organisation, Bremmar recommends the following (Click Here):

Limit the creation of new teams: Creating too many teams can lead to confusion, duplication, and fragmentation of your collaboration. You should only create a new team when there is a clear and distinct purpose for it and when you have a core group of people who will actively use it. 

Use channels where possible: Channels are a great way to organise your conversations and files within a team. You can create as many channels as you need and make them public or private. Public channels are visible and accessible to all team members, while private channels are only visible and accessible to a subset of members. Channels should group related topics or tasks to reduce the clutter and noise in your team. 

Clean and Secure: Reducing clutter makes it easier for staff to find and access the necessary information. You can also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your collaboration by avoiding duplication, confusion, and inconsistency in your files and conversations. Moreover, you can enhance the security and compliance of your data, as you can control who can create, join, and access your teams and channels. 

Centralised file access from Teams

“One of the main benefits of Microsoft Teams is that it allows you to access, save, and share files from a centralised and secure location from different devices”, says Rushad. “Another benefit is the collaborative aspect of the tool, as colleagues and partners can track changes and have a history of versions of files – in case you need to revert them to a different state”, he completes. 

Bremmar recommends that stakeholders follow policies created by the organisation and best practices (below) to keep the tool functional and efficient: 

Access files from Teams: Easy to find files without having to search through different folders, drives, or apps. 

Save files to Teams: Avoid duplication and confusion – store them in a single and consistent location.  

Share files from Teams: Use links rather than attachments. Keep the files consistent and accessible to collaborate.  

Avoid using One Drive and Local Drives: Ensure compliance and security of your files, as you store them in a cloud-based and encrypted location. Features such as One Drive allow you to sync files to a device so you can access them offline. However, this also means that your files are copied to a device that may not be secure or compliant with your organisation’s policies. 

Enhance your Champion Users' knowledge

Champion Users are the staff members who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and influential about IT and new digital tools. They can, for example, help your organisation promote, support, and train other staff members on how to use Teams effectively. 

Champion Users can also provide feedback and suggestions on how to improve your team’s environment and experience – which can help the buy-in of advanced features, such as: 

  • Planner: Planner is a tool that helps you create, assign, and track tasks within your team. You can create a plan for each channel and add tasks, due dates, assignees, attachments, and more. You can also view the progress and status of your tasks in different formats, such as charts, boards, or lists. Planner helps you organise your work, manage your projects, and collaborate with your team.  
  • Polls: Polls are a way to gather feedback, opinions, or votes from your team members.  
  • Third-party integrations: Third-party integrations are apps or services you can connect to teams to enhance your functionality and productivity. Integrations help you access and use your favourite tools and services from within Teams without switching between different apps or windows. These are all fascinating features, and triaging the requests to implement these through the champion users will ensure that these features are used correctly to avoid clutter and other related issues. 

Optimising Teams collaboration with Microsoft 365 can offer you many benefits, such as a clear and consistent structure for your Teams, time and frustration saving for your file management, control and compliance for your security and governance, and a trained and well-equipped team for your productivity and efficiency. 

Bremmar can help you customise your Teams workspace to suit your needs and train your team members to use the Microsoft 365 tools effectively and efficiently.

Free Teams Self-Assessment
Take our free assessment to get a summary report of your compliance level and secure your not-for-profit organisation.

Further reading

How to Protect Your Not-for-Profit with the Essential 8 Controls in 2024

Strategy towards an Efficient and Cyber Secure Organisation

NFP Cyber Security: Highlights from CPA’s Strategy Briefing

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Achieve Seamless Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Learn the secrets to achieving seamless collaboration with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. Best practices to avoid clutter and confusion.

"Bremmar really brings together the strategy element, project element and managed service element all in one. They also have solid knowledge of the Aged Care sector which is pretty niche."

Secrets to Achieving Seamless Collaboration with Microsoft 365

The pandemic has brought about a significant shift in the way businesses operate. One of the most significant changes has been the need to connect with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders online. Microsoft 365 has been a go-to environment that enables teams and organisations to collaborate from anywhere. 

Microsoft Teams, one of the most popular hubs for teamwork, allows you to chat, call, meet, and share files with your team members in one place. It also integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps, such as SharePoint and OneDrive, and integrates with third-party services – essential for frontline workers. 

However, organisations must have a clear and consistent structure for their teams to collaborate seamlessly. Staff must also learn to use that structure to utilise the tools fully. Otherwise, you may end up in a cluttered and confusing environment where files are scattered across different places, teams are duplicated or outdated, and permissions are not managed correctly. 

“There is a lot of excitement around Teams, but proper structure and education are essential. We often see cluttered environments with too many channels that are not used correctly”, explains Rushad Billimoria, Bremmar’s Consultant for the Not-For-Profit, Aged Care, and Disability sectors. “This leads to issues around finding files, duplicate copies, complicated communication groups, and security risks associated with sharing sensitive data in unsecured channels”, he completes.

According to Rushad, “Teams need a level of governance to avoid the most common mistakes”. Bremmar, for example, identifies a set of Champion Users within the organisation who are trained to manage the environment’s compliance, controls who can create Teams and Channels, and sets policies to understand when and in what situations each is needed. 

Align the structure of Teams with your organisation

“Every organisation is different, and the structure of Microsoft Teams they need will be unique”, explains the Consultant. “A simple structure may align with core departments and their relevant staff. More complex structures may require different project and service Teams to be created – requiring multiple staff from different departments. The setup will depend on what works most effectively for each organisation”, he completes.

You can also create channels and sub-sections dedicated to specific topics or tasks within each team. “You can, for example, create a channel for each department, project, or client”, affirms Rushad.

To align the structure of teams with your organisation, Bremmar recommends the following (Click Here):

Limit the creation of new teams: Creating too many teams can lead to confusion, duplication, and fragmentation of your collaboration. You should only create a new team when there is a clear and distinct purpose for it and when you have a core group of people who will actively use it. 

Use channels where possible: Channels are a great way to organise your conversations and files within a team. You can create as many channels as you need and make them public or private. Public channels are visible and accessible to all team members, while private channels are only visible and accessible to a subset of members. Channels should group related topics or tasks to reduce the clutter and noise in your team. 

Clean and Secure: Reducing clutter makes it easier for staff to find and access the necessary information. You can also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your collaboration by avoiding duplication, confusion, and inconsistency in your files and conversations. Moreover, you can enhance the security and compliance of your data, as you can control who can create, join, and access your teams and channels. 

Centralised file access from Teams

“One of the main benefits of Microsoft Teams is that it allows you to access, save, and share files from a centralised and secure location from different devices”, says Rushad. “Another benefit is the collaborative aspect of the tool, as colleagues and partners can track changes and have a history of versions of files – in case you need to revert them to a different state”, he completes. 

Bremmar recommends that stakeholders follow policies created by the organisation and best practices (below) to keep the tool functional and efficient: 

Access files from Teams: Easy to find files without having to search through different folders, drives, or apps. 

Save files to Teams: Avoid duplication and confusion – store them in a single and consistent location.  

Share files from Teams: Use links rather than attachments. Keep the files consistent and accessible to collaborate.  

Avoid using One Drive and Local Drives: Ensure compliance and security of your files, as you store them in a cloud-based and encrypted location. Features such as One Drive allow you to sync files to a device so you can access them offline. However, this also means that your files are copied to a device that may not be secure or compliant with your organisation’s policies. 

Enhance your Champion Users' knowledge

Champion Users are the staff members who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and influential about IT and new digital tools. They can, for example, help your organisation promote, support, and train other staff members on how to use Teams effectively. 

Champion Users can also provide feedback and suggestions on how to improve your team’s environment and experience – which can help the buy-in of advanced features, such as: 

  • Planner: Planner is a tool that helps you create, assign, and track tasks within your team. You can create a plan for each channel and add tasks, due dates, assignees, attachments, and more. You can also view the progress and status of your tasks in different formats, such as charts, boards, or lists. Planner helps you organise your work, manage your projects, and collaborate with your team.  
  • Polls: Polls are a way to gather feedback, opinions, or votes from your team members.  
  • Third-party integrations: Third-party integrations are apps or services you can connect to teams to enhance your functionality and productivity. Integrations help you access and use your favourite tools and services from within Teams without switching between different apps or windows. These are all fascinating features, and triaging the requests to implement these through the champion users will ensure that these features are used correctly to avoid clutter and other related issues. 

Optimising Teams collaboration with Microsoft 365 can offer you many benefits, such as a clear and consistent structure for your Teams, time and frustration saving for your file management, control and compliance for your security and governance, and a trained and well-equipped team for your productivity and efficiency. 

Bremmar can help you customise your Teams workspace to suit your needs and train your team members to use the Microsoft 365 tools effectively and efficiently.

Free Teams Self-Assessment
Take our free assessment to get a summary report of your compliance level and secure your not-for-profit organisation.

Further reading

How to Protect Your Not-for-Profit with the Essential 8 Controls in 2024

Strategy towards an Efficient and Cyber Secure Organisation

NFP Cyber Security: Highlights from CPA’s Strategy Briefing

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Organisations with Bremmar's Digital Edge

Ready to get secure?

Book a discussion with a consultant today