General

Advanced Teamwork with Microsoft 365 in 5 Steps – Step 2: Identify your use cases

Every team and every group of people can have different needs to work together. You need to identify your use cases and check what is missing in your daily business. I have some exemplary use cases for you:

  • work together on a document (e.g. a proposal or a documentation) with two or more persons at the same time
  • use a central team mail inbox instead of your personal inbox and distribute the work to response to these messages
  • manage your tasks in a team so that every team member knows what the others are working on and if somebody needs help
  • collaboration between different departments or organizational units to explore new business opportunities
  • coordinate multiple project teams and support the information flow to achieve optimal results for the customer
  • work together with external users like partners or customers
  • share information not only with your team but also with all your colleagues in a social intranet
  • connect with other people and be an active team member regarding knowledge management and sharing your expertise
  • organize and attend meetings (provide the option to attend online because nowadays many of us are not present in the office the whole day)
  • share information and keep in touch with your team even when you are on the way
  • trigger several business processes without switching to another tool or platform
  • manage and protect the information of your teams
Identify your use cases for collaboration and teamwork

These are the use cases of my daily business and many of our customers have the same needs. So hopefully some of them are relevant for you, too. But currently they are only bullet points and you need to learn what’s behind the buzzword. The only way to achieve this: talk with people who are working in teams! Plan interviews with people of different departments or with different job roles and talk with them about what’s good in their daily business and what could be better. The exemplary use cases can be some kind of checklist for you to keep the conversation ongoing and to get the information you need to build a solution for better teamwork in your company.

It is important that you talk to multiple persons with (probably) different perceptions. In many of my customer projects after doing the interviews I had the difficult tasks to think about a common solution for all the requirements I’ve had collected. Don’t worry about this; you don’t need to find one single solution (e.g. one central template for a teamroom). In most cases, it’s impossible to bring together all the different oppinions. And now I ask you: Do you even have to?

The answer is “No”. We have so many possibilities with Office 365 (and if we consider security it’s Microsoft 365) to support multiple ways of teamwork and social collaboration. You need to identify the main use cases and select the proper tools for this. Tell your colleagues how to work with these tools and explain why they should use them.

Other use cases which are only relevant for smaller groups or maybe only for a single person can be skipped in the first step regarding a global solution. But think about if there is an option to add the missing functionality for example via a tab in Microsoft Teams and keep the conversation ongoing with the people. Maybe there are some simple solutions which can improve the daily business of these people so that everybody in your company can do his job as easy as possible and have fun.

Step 3: Select tools and main use cases
You have to think about the tools to be used as soon as you have the interview results. Which tool fits best to the user’s needs and which requirements are too particular for the first step. I will show you my preferred approach in my next blog post.

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