Microsoft Teams: Enabling and empowering the team members


Wed, 5 Aug 2020

3 to 5 mins read

I have worn many hats in several industries from an administrator and trainer in education to business developer in a corporate world, I am convinced that most efficient teams still fail to continue to add value in their respective roles due to many factors and reasons. 

According to the guru of leadership, Mr. Maxwell, mentions in his latest book, the 360 Leader, one of the main factors of the continuous failure of the efficient teams happens when the managers are not quite in tuned to bring their positive influence in creating a vision and road map for their teams. 

Managers require a greater influence when it comes to developing teams and creating effective processes to envision the productivity among teams. Managers often struggle to focus on ways to bring collaboration among teams. They sometime don't have a capacity to implement tools and strategies that can have a greater impact in improving efficiency and productivity of the teams. 

This is where I believe managers need to play a role of a leader in bringing about a positive change and influence within their organization and departmental teams. Leaders don't necessarily have to be in a position of a CEO, CIO or CTO to bring that positive change among the organization. It requires sustainable efforts of managers at all levels (mid and bottom) to have a clear understanding to believe in certain products, tools and strategies which will add a business value in transforming an entire organization.

I have been on a corporate ladder where often times there are unrealistic expectations set in place by managers who don't really have a clue or an idea to increase productivity among teams. They may not be aware of or believe in the tools that are available to increase communication, productivity, transparency, collaboration, efficiency, and professional development of the functional teams. Microsoft Teams provides a unique experience for all functional team members to close the gaps in areas that hinders the productivity overall.

How have I taken advantage of using Microsoft Teams?

Recently, we were working on a project that required more visibility and collaboration in regards to meeting our individual and team objectives in time where constant communication, visibility, and collaboration was highly needed. With TEAMS chat option, I was able to start and keep track a log of our on-going conversations within my teams, other team channels and still be able to keep up with specific announcements from the management which were also posted in the announcement channel. 

In addition, tagging individuals from other teams to collaborate just in time and be informed when needed helped start new conversations and inform the necessary updates for members who may be outside of a specific team. The documents we worked on earlier required modifications which were easy to locate by just searching via search options with specific keywords to locate the documents which kept track of the date and time of individuals collaborated on the document. 

We needed to work on completing parts of the document together, and present and train on the same data sensitive document for the team in India, which we have successfully executed and completed our tasks without ever worrying about the security breach of the sensitive information contained within the documents. 

Microsoft Teams integration with outlook and office 365; we worried less about the security and compliance obligations in respect to protecting the documents. We knew it very well that Microsoft Teams with a multi-factor authentication enabled option on our portal, we never worried about the illegal access of these sensitive documents getting in the wrong hands because our data is always encrypted (at-rest and in-transit). 

Our productivity increased due to just in time collaboration features and to schedule a future meeting or in-time meetings with the integration of outlook; we were always ahead on our due dates to complete the assigned objectives and met our team and individual goals earlier than due dates.

Mobility and Productivity

We did not only use TEAMS on our desktops but also on our devices, this has helped us increase our productivity and never ever had to miss a meeting because of being away from the office. Since we recently switched over from Microsoft Skye for Business to Microsoft Teams, our transition was a lot smoother because our files and messages were easily synched and thus, we never had to worry about missing messages and documents during this transition. Since Teams has an option of collaborating with One Note and share point, all our documents are now under one portal rather various portals to locate the documents, it has made our jobs easier to locate any documents due to built-in notebook capabilities with Microsoft Teams.

Customizable for each team

Our teams tailored our Microsoft Teams workspace to include the content and features that our functional teams needed to access and use every day. We added tabs to provide quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Now we can explore data and take quick actions with bots and we can even pull in connectors for updates from third-party party tools and services and lastly, we can work on documents right in the TEAM application.

Agility, Quality and Innovation

In conclusion, I must say Microsoft Teams has made our jobs not only easier but we feel far more productive than ever before. We became a lot more agile than ever before in completing our tasks, our quality of work increased with extensive collaboration and we are a lot more creative and innovative in maximizing our time spent during the day. This experience became very possible not only because of our mid-management being the role model in using this technology first but also our CEO had a vision to implement this as a collaborative tool for all communications across the organization. Their positive influences with the right guidance is the reason why we have increased our expectations for ourselves and are more inclined to remain productive within our efficient teams.
I highly recommend TEAMS for all organizational leaders and management to implement Microsoft Teams in their organizations to increase collaboration and overall organizational performance (productivity) at all levels.

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