The roll out of M365 provides us with new and better ways of working. It’s never been easier to communicate and collaborate with our colleagues and we now have a wide range of channels available to use at our fingertips. So throw out the old ways and embrace new, smarter ways of working.
Here’s a guide to the different channels and who, what, why and how we should use them:
OneDrive is your personal storage area; a replacement for the old P: Drive which will be removed shortly. It is for files that don’t need to be shared and drafts of files that you have not yet moved to a Team Channel.
Chat is a space for sending messages to colleagues, one-to-one or in a group. It’s pretty much like texting/WhatsApp. Chat is generally not a place for collaboration and decision making, as Teams Channels are much better for “getting work done” and keeping a record of what has been done/said. Instead, Chat is more suited for short “instant messages” such as checking in with colleagues or giving an update to your manager. Such messages might previously have been sent via email.
Since Teams is the modern method of communicating internally, Outlook email should be used mostly for communicating with other organisations. Occasionally Outlook email might still be used for formal internal communications outwith your team, or when a record is required. Old style email attachments should be avoided internally. Instead, share files in Teams Channels.
Team Channels are where the teamwork gets done. They are a place to hold team conversations and collaborate on files. Teams are aligned to a council function or a specific project or working group. Channels are used in Teams to split up conversations and files by topic – like folders in a shared drive.
Team Channels are the best place for teamwork because:
- Everyone who has access can see everything that’s happened in the Team, even new-starts, so they have context and a running history
- You can collaborate on files with co-authoring and simultaneous editing
- Version history is built in – teams have a “single version of truth” with no concerns about multiple versions of documents.
Teams Channel Conversations are a replacement for email messages. Teams file collaboration is a replacement for the use of email attachments and network drives.
External users can be added to our Teams where appropriate. Files stored in Teams can also be shared with those outwith your Team and the Council.
Yammer is for communication and discussion with a wider group or the whole council. You can share news, get feedback, and ask questions of colleagues across the council. Most Yammer communities are open for all employees to join.
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