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Rules to Better Microsoft Teams - 33 Rules

Microsoft Teams offers a great solution to collaboration using the Office 365 platform. Get ready for a productivity boost, better focus on your work, and increased transparency.

Need help with implementing Microsoft Teams? Check SSW's Teams consulting page.

  1. Do you know how to create a Team?

    Microsoft Teams is a great tool for a group of people to collaborate, communicate and share their files.

    Teams makes it easy to:

    • Centralize communication
    • Send emails to Team members easily and quickly by providing a global email address for the Team
    • Move away from email attachments and centralize documents

    Take charge of communication in your Team and get started with Microsoft Teams. This video will guide you through your first few steps with Teams using the simple example of a building at 81 Military Road:

    Once invited to a Team, follow these steps:

    1. Go to your inbox and find the invitation email
    2. Click on "Open Microsoft Teams"
    3. Sign-in Note: you can use the Desktop, Web or Mobile apps to access Teams
    4. Navigate your Teams & Channels! 👌✔

    Microsoft Teams also integrates with hundreds of Microsoft and third party products, such as Trello, OneNote, Planner, etc.

  2. Do you know why it’s important to talk to clients on Teams?

    Effective communication with your clients on Microsoft Teams builds credibility, trust and ensures they receive the deserved attention.

    Teams image
    Figure: Keeping Teams at the centre of client communication

    Talking to clients on Teams

    Microsoft Teams is an excellent channel for communicating with clients, especially at the early stage of client development, like after the initial meeting. It encourages the client to reach out and ask you anything about the business, like an upcoming Spec Review. It also gives you an easy way to be able to get hold of them to chase potential work. This impresses the client and can strengthen your relationship.

    In other words, Microsoft Teams = buddies :-)

    Open vs closed tenants

    An open Microsoft 365 (tenant) means any external email address can communicate with you via Teams. However, some organizations have a closed tenant, meaning you can only communicate via Teams with their organization’s consent.

    Getting started

    Once you’ve arranged an Initial Meeting or before a Spec Review, follow these steps to begin communicating with your client on Teams.

    1. Open Microsoft Teams
    2. Open a ‘New Chat’ or press (Ctrl + N)
    3. Enter the client’s email address
    4. Create the chat

    Figure: Client with open tenant

    If the client has an open tenant, you should send a welcome message in Teams

    Hey thanks for the meeting. Feel free to ping me on Teams or by email any time if you have any questions 😀

    Figure: Send an email to your client confirming you will contact them through Teams

    If the client has a closed tenant, you should send a closed tenant request email

    Figure: Client with a closed tenant

    Figure: Send an email to your client requesting access to their organization's tenant

  3. Team Names - Do you have naming convention for client Teams?

    Client Teams should be prefixed with “Client –“ so it is easier to identify them.

    client naming bad
    Bad Example: Client team without the "Client –" prefix

    client naming good
    Good Example: Well prefixed Teams make Client-related teams easier to identify

  4. Do you use emojis to help give context?

    It's usually easier for users to remember where given information is when it is associated with an image/icon. This is especially true for non-technical people or the ones that are not very familiar with digital workspaces.

    An easy and fun way to alleviate this issue and boost user adoption to Microsoft Teams is to use Emojis in your channel names (using Windows Key + .)!

    Teams Emojis Bad
    Figure: Bad example - Teams Channel names without emojis

    Teams Emojis Good
    Figure: Good example - Teams Channel names have emojis

    control4 emojis
    Figure: Good example - Control4 automation Mobile UI is more friendly with emojis

    calendar emoji
    Figure: Good example - Some appointments can benefit from an emoji too, like a Sprint meeting in Scrum

    ::: greybox

    • Fast to load (lightweight as no image)
    • UI - Consistent look
    • Maintenance of needing to upload to server ::: ::: bad Bad example - Regular list items :::

    Tip: Always remember to add a space between the emoji and text, for better readability.

    ✅ Fast to load (lightweight as no image)
    ✅ UI - Consistent look
    ❌ Maintenance of needing to upload to server

    Good example - Emojis give context to each item

    Note: When having lists that use emojis, be aware that if they are longer than 3 items, you should follow DRY - avoid repeated elements.

  5. Do you create a group chat with your project team?

    Teams is a powerful way to chat, collaborate, and video call with your project team. As soon as you start a new project, create a group chat with all the team members (potentially including the client if appropriate).

    Although you will also have a dedicated Team (as per SSW.Rules | Do you know how to create a Team?), which is great for storing documents and files, as well as persisting notifications, you’re better to communicate in a chat rather than a channel since:
    ✅ You will be actively notified of new messages ✅ The conversation flows more naturally (rather than threaded)
    ✅ You can quickly call the whole team into a video call

    The cons are:
    ❌ People cannot add themselves to a chat so will need someone on the team to add them
    ❌ In larger teams, the lack of conversation threading may become an issue

    post in chat
    Figure: Bad example - Teams | Posts in Teams channel

    teams group chat
    Good example - Use normal chat group for Team members

  6. Meetings - Do you know when to send an Appointment or a Teams Meeting?

    Sending appointments from Teams feels less natural than from Outlook but there are some great benefits:

    • Appointment - You don’t need to remember everyone’s name - The whole team is invited
    • Appointment - In the appointment, it auto-generates a link so that everyone goes to the right place to attend
    • Visibility - It shows up in Teams Calendar
    • Visibility - It appears in the Teams chat (for the channel that was invited)
    • Visibility – When the appointment is beginning the app pops up with a button to “Join”
    • History - If you decide to record the meeting, the link to the recording shows up in the chat history as well

    Important: Although the meeting app works great to organize Teamwork such as Scrum meetings or other client meetings, it is not very suitable for more global events such as a retreat or a conference. At SSW we use Microsoft Outlook appointments in those instances.

    team meeting   bad example
    Figure: Bad Example - This appointment was created using Outlook using Zoom - the team members needed to be added to the appointment individually and there are too many options on how to join the meeting.

    team meetings   appointment from teams
    Figure: Good Example - I know this appointment was created in Microsoft Teams since it was created on behalf of the team (see sender) and at the bottom it has a link so that people can click and join the correct meeting (even without Teams installed)

    How to make a Teams Meeting

    To setup a Teams meeting, simply navigate to "Calendar" and then either "Meet Now" or "New Meeting".

    creating new meeting
    Figure: Creating a new meeting

    meetings options
    Figure: Meeting options

    You can select a Channel to meet in and by doing so, members of the Team in which this channel lives will see a Channel activity that you can click to directly jump in the meeting.

    meeting channel activity
    Figure: meeting channel activity

    Microsoft Teams will also send out an email invitation email for the meeting - this is especially useful when inviting people outside your organization.

  7. Appointments - Do you make your Teams meetings easy to find?

    When a developer joins a team, they need to find important meetings like the Daily Scrum and the Sprint Review. Unfortunately, these meetings are often organized by a team member and there is no way to find them.

    Ideally, a new team member would jump into Microsoft Teams and find the team they are joining. Then they would see all the important meetings from within the team and join them as needed.

    From then on, they would be able to see those appointments in Microsoft Outlook and edit them as needed.

    In the past, the best way to do this was to create a SharePoint page with a Group Calendar web part, and then add this as a tab in Teams. Microsoft Teams have since released Channel Calendars, which are better because they are built in.

    teams meetings bad example
    Figure: Bad example - A team member searching for the Daily Scrum cannot find it if it is scheduled like a normal meeting

    team meetings ok example
    Figure: OK example - In the past, a SharePoint page was the best way to make meetings visible to the team

    teams calendar good
    Figure: Good example - A Microsoft Teams Channel Calendar allows team members to see the Team's meetings before being invited

    Video: An awesome introduction to Channel Calendars in Teams (7 min)

    Setup - Make the calendar visible to the team

    Before anyone can view and edit the appointment, it needs to be set up correctly to allow editing.

    There are 2 steps:

    A. Add a Channel Calendar

    B. Make the Channel Calendar visible in Microsoft Outlook

    A. Add a Channel Calendar

    1. Go to the Team | General channel (or another channel, if you prefer)
    2. Click the + at the top to add a tab
    3. Search for "Channel Calendar" and click on it
    4. Give the tab a name (e.g. SysAdmins Calendar)
    5. Click "Add"
    6. All done, now the team can see all meetings relating to the team

    adding channel calendar
    Figure: Adding a Channel Calendar

    Suggestion to Microsoft: This is an unnecessary extra hoop to jump through. If you create an appointment from a Team, then this tab should be automatically created.

    B. Make the Channel Calendar visible in Microsoft Outlook

    Channel Calendar meetings need to be editable by anyone in the Team and the only way to enable that is via a group calendar in Microsoft Outlook.

    By default, group calendars do not show up in Microsoft Outlook, so they need to be made visible to the team with a PowerShell command:

    Set-UnifiedGroup -identity {{ GROUP NAME }} -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnabled:$False

    Note: This command will also make the teams' group email address show in the global address list (GAL).

    More info on removing a Meeting in a Teams Channel when the organizer is gone.

    This can also be done from the Microsoft Admin Center:

    1. Go to
    2. Go to Teams & Groups | Active teams & groups
    3. Search for the Teams group | Settings | Uncheck "Don't show team email address in Outlook"

    2023 10 06 14 57 03
    Figure: Admin portal - Show Teams email adress in Outlook

    team calendar
    Figure: Microsoft Outlook group calendars allow meetings to be edited

    Manage Appointments - Team members create, join, edit, and leave meetings themselves

    Now that the team calendars are properly configured, it is easy to:

    A. Create a meeting

    B. Join a meeting

    C. Edit a meeting

    D. Leave a meeting

    A. Create a meeting

    Creating a meeting should always be done from Microsoft Teams because Microsoft Outlook doesn't support setting the channel. To create a meeting:

    1. Follow the rule on how to create recurring team meetings for a channel
    2. Add this text at the bottom - This will direct people to this rule when they go to edit it.

    < Need to edit this meeting? See how to create recurring team meetings for a channel Team: {{ TEAM NAME }} />

    B. Join a meeting

    To join a meeting do the following:

    1. Navigate to Microsoft Teams | Team | Channel Calendar
    2. Click on the meeting you want to join and expand it
    3. Select "Add to calendar"
    4. Done! You are now one of the meeting attendees.

    teams add to calendar
    Figure: In Microsoft Teams add the event to your calendar

    C. Edit a meeting

    To update a meeting, you must change the details from the Microsoft Outlook group calendar:

    1. Go to Microsoft Outlook | Calendars | All Group Calendars
    2. Open the relevant calendar (same as the team name)
    3. Open the appointment and select The entire series
    4. Make changes as needed

    Figure: In Microsoft Outlook edit the appointment using

    D. Leave a meeting

    Many people decline a meeting when they no longer want to attend. However, this method is problematic because you will still be an Optional attendee, and receive updates to the appointment.

    To leave a meeting properly:

    1. Go to Microsoft Outlook | Calendars | All Group Calendars
    2. Open the relevant calendar (same as the team name)
    3. Open the appointment and select The entire series
    4. Remove yourself as a participant
    5. Double-check that no other mailboxes have been added which include you e.g. the Team mailbox

    declining appointment
    Figure: Bad example - Hitting decline on a Microsoft Outlook calendar item only removes you from the meeting temporarily

    edit appointment
    Figure: Good example - Remove yourself from the meeting

    Of course, another option - if appropriate - is to remove yourself from the Team completely.

    To keep your Teams clean automatically, use Entra Access Reviews.

  8. Do you know how to create recurring teams meetings for a channel?

    Everyone in your organisation should be able to see meetings that are relevant to their team (e.g. Daily Scrums). Recurring meetings must be setup correctly so that they are associated with a team channel. This process lets others in your organisation see the meetings associated with that channel.

    1. Navigate to Microsoft Teams | Calendar | New Meeting

    Microsoft Teams New Meeting
    Figure: Navigate to Microsoft Teams | Calendar | New Meeting

    1. Enter the details of the meeting, make sure to add a channel to associate with it!

    Microsoft Teams New Meeting Setup
    Figure: Enter the details of the meeting, make sure to add a channel to associate with it!

    1. Hit save and you are done, your meeting is all setup.

    Members of the Team can edit the meeting (time, date, attendees, etc.) in Outlook - which is really useful, since the meeting does not get "orphaned" if the organizer leaves the company.

    Go to Outlook | Calendar | All Group Calendars | {{ group }} and open the meeting from there.

  9. Do you use the status message in Teams?

    The status message is often not used but can be quite helpful. People can instantly see what you are up to when they chat with you.

    It tells people 3 things:

    • What project you’re working on
    • The people that you need to speak to (they will get the notifications)
    • The location of where you are

    teams status message
    Figure: When people chat with you, they can see what you’re up to

    More information

    To update the status message, follow these steps:

    • On the top right, click on your photo
    • Click on the pencil icon to edit the status message

    edit teams status
    Figure: Edit the Teams status message each day

    The status message is helpful when it contains:

    • Project: xxx (the product/project you’re working on) | yyy (the tasks you’re working on)
    • Need: xxx (team members that you’re working with – use @mention to tag these members)
    • Location: xxx (where you’re working from e.g. Home, SSW Melbourne, CBA, etc.)

    Note: the benefit of using the field names with the colon is that it allows you to programmatically extract the information e.g. on SSW SophieBot when you ask who is Patrick, you could also see this information and query why the location field is different from the Wi-Fi he is connected to.

    • Enable “Show when people message me”
    • For “Clear status message after”, select Never (to prevent Microsoft from deleting the status message)
    • Click Done once complete

    edit teams status 2
    Figure: Edit the status message

  10. Files - Do you store project documents in Teams?

    There is a myriad of options to choose from when storing and sharing documents: SharePoint, or OneDrive/Dropbox/Google Drive, or Microsoft Teams. The best choice is Microsoft Teams because it brings together the best of SharePoint, cloud file storage, real time collaboration and more into a single location.

    Warwick Leahy tells us why it's so important to save our files in the right place:

    Want to learn more? Watch Jean Thirion's longer video on this topic:

    teams   network share
    Figure: Bad example - You shouldn't look for files on network shares

    Don't start searching from your start menu either for a program whether that be Notepad, Notepad++, OneNote or even Word. This will open the new file locally on your laptop which requires manual copying/sharing later - and it's easy to forget to do that.

    teams   Not from start menu
    Figure: Bad example - You shouldn't create files locally first and then copy them

    Instead create your file in the Team for a start. It is immediately backed up and shared to the entire Team.

    teams   file tab
    Figure: Good example - You can use the files tab in Teams (without leaving the app)

    The great thing about having conversations next to the file is that it is always in context. Also, future users can view the conversation when they open the file in teams.

    teams   document conversation
    Figure: Good example - You can have a conversation about a file

    Behind the scenes, storage is provided by a SharePoint site; so that is there if you want to use it. As an added bonus thanks to this; you can take the files offline by syncing with OneDrive for Business and by default each channel gets its own folder.

    teams   open sharepoint
    Figure: Good example - You can open the files in SharePoint

    teams   sync onedrive
    Figure: Good example - You can sync the files in SharePoint with your current machine through OneDrive. A toast notification should popup indicating that files will be synced

    Note If you realise later that you have created a client document and uploaded it to OneDrive instead of saving it to Teams, then you should Sync Teams to your drive and copy the file locally. This will keep the file version history. Uploading the file in Teams loses that history so you may end up with an old client Team containing notes that appear to be new.

    What does not get stored in Microsoft Teams?

    For developers

    For designers

    What about usernames and passwords?

    Documents with usernames and passwords should not be stored in Microsoft Teams. Security is very important for everyone and every company. Use a password manager to store usernames and passwords.

    Note: API keys, whether generic or for the individual should also be stored in a password manager.

    Note: You can add other cloud storage providers for file storage e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. This is not recommended, as they aren't first-class citizens (i.e. if you want to share files from them, you need to go to the provider's sharing settings outside of Teams).

    ::: infoWarning: By using Teams instead of SharePoint, you are losing a number of key features:

    • No full fidelity support for Metadata in Document Libraries. E.g. Can’t add extra columns into the “Files” tab
    • No support for private channels. E.g. You will need a team per subset of users with different permissions
    • No direct access to version history from Teams UI (still exists on SharePoint UI)
    • No access to the cross-office365 Search feature. E.g. SharePoint search is better
    • No access to external content in the search feature. E.g. Can’t search
    • No access to SharePoint designer workflows (although the new way to do it is Microsoft Flow) :::
  11. Files - Do you sync your files from Teams to File Explorer?

    Microsoft Teams gives you the ability to sync your files to File Explorer. A lot of people don't realize this feature exits. Let's see how to do this.

    Instead of going to Teams | Files to upload or find a file, you can:

    1. Find you Team folder in Teams
    2. Open the folder in SharePoint
    3. Click Sync (signed on OneDrive)
    4. Done - a new folder will be available in your File Explorer

    Now you can manage your files just as a normal document in your machine.

    Warning: If you don't want to be part of that Team anymore, don't delete the folder in File Explorer - This will sync with Teams and remove the files there too. You should go to OneDrive | Settings | Stop Sync.

  12. Do you know how to rename a Teams Channel file folder correctly?

    Have you ever made a spelling mistake when you named a Teams channel? Have you then tried to rename the Channel? If so you will notice that the underlying SharePoint folder is still named incorrectly.

    Figure: Unwanted name on channel

    There is a workaround to rename the folder correctly.

    1. Rename the Team channel

    Figure: Renaming the channel

    Note: This hasn't changed the name of the folder in SharePoint!

    Figure: The folder name didn't change yet

    1. Delete the channel

    Figure: Delete the channel

    1. Now, in SharePoint, rename the folder

    Figure: Renaming the folder in SharePoint

    Note: Make sure that you rename the folder exactly the same as you named the channel.

    Figure: Make sure the name is the same as the channel

    1. Click the ellipses beside the Team name | Manage Team

      Figure: Manage the Team

    2. Click Channels | Select the arrow beside deleted | Choose restore beside the channel that you wish to restore

      Figure: Restore the channel

  13. Tabs - Do you add the right tabs when creating a new Teams conversation?

    When you're having a discussion about the Northwind ordering system that you're building, you need to see your backlog, and of course, it would be handy to see a OneNote diagram of the workflow. It might also be handy to see an Excel spreadsheet of the stakeholders and testers.

    What separates Teams from other chat programs, such as Slack and Skype, is the ability to add Tabs to your conversations.

    The number of tabs is really broad and starts with the standard Microsoft products such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. You can also create tabs using Trello, YouTube, Zendesk, and more. The usefulness of this feature cannot be understated – it is so handy to have all your work items in one place.

    teams tab 1
    Figure: There is a virtual smorgasbord of tabs to add the conversation – aggregating all your necessary work parts into one easy, accessible location

    timepro tab
    Figure: Beyond our posts, we have 4 tabs – our files, our Backlog, our CRM, and our invoicing system

  14. Tabs - Do you make frequently accessed SharePoint pages easier to find?

    Some information sent via email, such as an event agenda will often be accessed multiple times by recipients. Instead of having to search through your mailbox every time you need the details of an invitation, if you are using Microsoft Teams you can easily set up a page as a tab inside your Team.

    A SharePoint page can also have dynamic content such as Document Library views, Youtube players, and much more. You can even embed your own custom web parts, rendered in Teams with full fidelity.

    details sent bad
    Bad Example: Details sent via Email

    details sent good
    Good Example: Details set as a SharePoint page, visible in a Team’s tab

    To set up a SharePoint Page as a Tab in Teams, follow these steps:

    1. Navigate to SharePoint:

    navigate to sharepoint from teams
    Figure: Navigating to SharePoint from Teams

    1. Create a SharePoint page

    adding sharepoint page
    Figure: adding a new SharePoint page

    1. Customize it

    customizing sharepoint page
    Figure: Customizing the page using the different controls

    1. Publish it (tips: you can even share it via Email or Promote it as a News)

    publishing sharepoint page
    Figure: Publishing the page

    options avaialble sharepoint page
    Figure: several options available once the page is published

    1. Go To Teams and Add new Tab
    2. Select “SharePoint”

    adding sharepoint page as a tab in teams
    Figure: Adding the page as a tab in Teams

    1. Select the page you just published and hit “save”

    picking sahrepoint page from menu
    Figure: picking the page from the menu

  15. Do you avoid using the conversation tab to task out work?

    Tasking out work means adding it to the backlog. Adding it to the backlog has project management benefits and is easy to do if you have a tab for VSTS in the channel.

    teams   tasking in conversation
    Figure: Bad Example - asking someone to do work in a conversation

    teams   add to backlog
    Figure: Good Example - task is added to the backlog

    TODO: Have the bot listen in on the conversations to remind you about the rule

  16. Do you know the best wiki for Microsoft Teams?

    You should use OneNote instead of the default Wiki. This way you can use it offline on your mobile apps.

    teams best wiki 1
    Bad Example: Default tab – Wiki. There is no offline mobile application

    teams best wiki 2
    Good Example: Use OneNote. Now you can use the normal OneNote Desktop and Mobile app for iOS and Android (including offline support)

    Note: Rename the tab to show that it is a OneNote Tab. E.g.: " OneNote - SSW Reno Sydney "

  17. Do you know how to use Teams Search?

    Microsoft Teams search is designed to help you quickly find the files you are collaborating on.

    From the main search box, you can search for:

    • Teams
    • Channels
    • Messages
    • People
    • Files

    Be aware of Teams Search limitations

    If you start typing in the search box, you will see a dropdown with the main results that matches your query divided by type, prioritizing Teams and Channels:

    teams search dropdown
    Figure: Search results for "marketing"

    Tip: Apart from the little heading, as per the image above, you can recognize a Teams result when it only shows up the title, while a Channel result shows the title with the name of the associated Team underneath.

    Once you hit "enter", you will be directed to all results, separated by Messages, People, and Files tabs:

    teams search tabs
    Figure: Use the 3 built-in tabs to search through the different types of results

    Tip: After hiting "enter", to see the Teams and Channels results, simply click the search box again.

    You may use built-in filters to refine your search under each of the tabs:

    teams search filter
    Figure: Built-in filters for Messages

    Important: Even though Teams search gives you quick access to all your messages and documents; the search is scoped to Teams only, which means you cannot search for files hosted on SharePoint, OneDrive, other Office365 products (E.g. Delve/UserProfile), or external sources (E.g.

    When you need to do a more extensive search, it is advised to use SharePoint search instead.

  18. Do you know how to see what’s going on in your project?

    Imagine you’ve been on vacation for several weeks (lucky you!) and on returning you want to see what’s been happening in your project in your absence. If your project used a “team” within Microsoft Teams, you'd easily be able to review the team’s conversations and progress. You’d be able to see what issues have arisen and where the team has been spending their time.

    A "team" is a great way for teams to communicate and have a persistent forum to share information and discuss project related topics. The extensibility of a team also allows the addition of tabs that integrate with 3rd party applications to bring timely and relevant information into the team site. This allows team members to see at a glance what has been happening on the project.

    To: All Developers

    Subject: What’s been happening on SSWTimePro in the last couple of weeks

    Hi Devs, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. Can you tell me what’s the latest?

    Figure: Bad example - Broad email asking what’s been happening

    Teams can keep you abreast of all the events happening on your project.

    Teams Notifications
    Figure: Good example - Look on Teams for conversations, builds, and deployments

    sprint backlog
    Figure: Good example - Look back over the Sprints you missed to see what was worked on and completed

    Message in the group chat:

    Hi team, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. I've had a look through the latest PBIs and notifications... what else did I miss?

    Figure: Good example - Informed chat message to get the TLDR (too long; didn't read)

    You can also add Bots to communicate on your channel, or even better, Connectors! You can add Connectors that, for example, notify you of any new pull requests in Azure DevOps or GitHub. Microsoft used to have several social media Connectors, but these have been retired. It is possible, but more difficult, to add social media notifications with Power Automate, or with a third-party service such as IFTTT.

  19. Notifications - Does Your Team Have a Notifications Channel?

    It is important to have a feed of what is happening in your project while still keeping a clean space to have discussions. This is why your Team should always have a Notifications channel.

    A majority of these notifications can be created using the connectors that are built into Teams. To create a connection:

    • Select the three dots in the top right of the screen and select "Connectors."

    Add a Connector

    Figure: This is how you begin the process of adding a connector.

    • Select "Add" on the connector that you want to use.

    Select a Connector

    Figure: This is the pop-up that allows you to select which connector to add.

    • Give the Connector a name that describes what it does.
    • Complete the other configuration options for the Connector and click "Save."

    Connector Settings ** **

    Figure: The configuration page for the RSS Connector that notifies of a new video being uploaded to the SSW TV Youtube channel with a name that describes what it does.

    Sometimes you may have to choose between multiple connectors that can serve the same base purpose. In this situation, it is good to choose the one that provides the important information in the easiest way.

    Notification Bad Example

    Figure: Bad example – There is no thumbnail and no link to the video. (It is nice that you can add custom text – inside the 2 emoijs)

    Notification Good Example

    Figure: Good example – There is a thumbnail and a link to the video. (Although there is no custom text)

  20. Dynamics and Teams - Do you integrate Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams?

    • In Teams, add a Dynamics tab
    • In Dynamics, add a Teams URL field

    integration teams 365
    Figure: Dynamics 365 tab in MS Teams (also showing the Teams URL field, two birds in one stone)

  21. Dynamics and Teams - Do you link your customers in CRM to their respective Teams?

    At your company, you never want to have a person asking "Where is that file?"The answer should be "The answer is Teams, the question is irrelevant".

    Microsoft Teams is a great solution for organizing client files and conversations. Create a new Team for each of your clients, and if you have multiple projects for one client, use Channels to keep them separate. There's no need to create a new Team just for a new project.

    Once you have this set up, it is likely that you want to have a link between your Teams instances and the associated CRM record.

    In the video, Adam Cogan describes how they connect Dynamics 365 and Teams with an extra field. They change the Account table to add a custom column 'Teams-URL'.

    dynamics and teams
    Figure: CRM | Company/Account Form – added Teams URL field

    Note: Each client should have its own Team. You might have two associated clients - e.g. Northwind Australia and Northwind USA - but if they are separate legal entities and have separate accounts in CRM, they should have separate Teams.

    Level 1: Manual method

    To get that URL, simply click the ellipsis next to your Team name and click "Get link to Team".

    get teams url
    Figure: Get the Teams URL

    Level 2: Automatic (Basic)

    Add a button to the Ribbon to provision a new team and link to it.

    How to add the button to the Dynamics Ribbon?


    account createteamssite
    Figure: Use the Ribbon

    Level 3: Automatic (Advanced - best UX)

    Using a PCF control you can add a button directly into the form that can do everything for you.

    Click on this section on your CRM Dynamics to have a Team created:

    click to create
    Figure: PCF control allows you to add a button to create a Team

    Note #1: Alternatively, this process can even be automated using Azure functions and Graph API to provision a new Team every time a new client is created in CRM. This has the disadvantage that every single Account would get a Team...and that could create a real mess of unused Teams.

    Note #2: The Team's name can get out of sync if the Dynamics client name is changed, therefore you need one extra flow that is called when the client name is changed to keep them in sync.

    See how the PCF can make UI's shine.

  22. SysAdmin - Do you archive old Teams?

    Within a team or project-based organization, the number of Teams can rapidly grow out of control. The more active Teams you have, the harder it gets to find the right information when you need it.

    Hiding teams works well enough for end users but doesn't help administrators figure out which teams are actually in use. You should "Archive" unused teams instead – making the team unavailable read-only.

    old teams bad
    Figure: Bad example - Lots of old and test teams

    old teams good
    Figure: Good example - Old teams are archived

    To archive a Team, follow these steps:

    • Click on "Manage Teams"
    • Choose the team you want to archive (you must be owner of that Team)
    • Click the "..." (ellipsis)
    • Click "Archive team"

    old teams how1
    Figure: Clicking "Manage Teams"

    old teams how2
    Figure: Clicking "Ellipsis" | "Archive Team"

    Note: Archived teams can be restored at any time to be made available again.

  23. Apps - Do you add the right apps when creating a new Team?

    When creating a new Team in Microsoft Teams, you can add Tabs to keep track of important information and you can also add Apps (generally bots) to channels.

    Apps enhance your Teams experience in various ways e.g.:

    1. Apps can be bots, and you can talk and interact with them
    2. Apps can add and change your messages in Teams
    3. Apps can also be Tabs, they overlap a little

    You can also read more about Apps at Five things to know about apps in Microsoft Teams.

    teams apps
    Figure: There are various apps you can add to channels

    teams analytics app
    Figure: Apps for Google Analytics and GitHub in a channel

  24. Do you create Microsoft Forms via Microsoft Teams so others can see the results?

    Microsoft Forms is a great way to send out a quick survey to a group of people to get feedback, come to a consensus, or organize team events.

    It’s very easy to log in and send one out from your own Office 365 account, but then only you can see the results. A better way is instead to create it from a Group (note every Microsoft Team has a Group).

    1. To do this, follow these steps:
    2. Go to Microsoft Teams
    3. Navigate to the team you’d like to be able to see the results of the form

    forms teams 1
    Figure: Click “+” to make a new tab

    forms teams 2
    Figure: Select “Forms”

    forms teams 3
    Figure: Name your form, and then continue as usual to create and share it

    If you do accidentally create a personal form instead of a group form, you can move it to a group in by clicking “All my forms” | … | “Move”

    forms teams 4
    Figure: How to move a Personal form to a Group

  25. Do you know how to use the Yealink T55A Microsoft Teams phone?

    Using the Yearlink-T55A-Microsoft teams phone when transferring a call, creating a conference call, or making an internal call, is very easy.

    Yealink helps to migrate voice from Skype for Business to Teams - if you are thinking of replace Skype for Business with Microsoft Teams (note: Microsoft plans to provide support for Skype for Business Online and client till July 31, 2021.).

  26. Do you check the workstations are using the GPU?

    Having poor performance on video chat?

    In Windows 10/11 you need to set your video chat app (i.e. Teams) to use the GPU.

    1. Open Settings | System | Display
    2. Scroll down a bit and click Graphics settings

      Figure: Choose Graphics settings

    3. Either choose Microsoft Store apps and choose the relevant app or choose Desktop apps and browse for the executable

      Note: Microsoft Teams is a desktop app under your local user profile i.e. C:\Users%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Teams\current\teams.exe

    4. Select options and choose High Performance GPU

      Figure: Choose High Performance GPU

  27. Do you know to put any meeting join info at the top of the body?

    When you send a meeting appointment to someone, it’s important to put the meeting join information (e.g. Microsoft Teams Meeting URL) at the top of the email body as whoever is invited will be able to quickly find the link.

    If the meeting URL is placed under the email body, there are more chances the receiver could miss out on your meeting URL.

    By doing this, you will make it clear it is a remote meeting held via the tool you decided to use. This gives the receiver more time to get prepared for the meeting (e.g. Download and test a software they are not familiar with).

    join info bad
    Figure: Bad example - The meeting link is under text body

    join info good
    Figure: Good example - Always put meeting link on the top

  28. Do you have a nice video background?

    You are likely to have constant Teams or Zoom video calls with clients or work colleagues. One of the first things you should think about should be how to have a nice background.

    When in the office, you can have a nice branded background, which is the best option.

    For home offices, follow "less is more":

    • Have a neutral wall or setup behind you or with minimal objects - you may be fond of family pictures or band posters, but the person on the other side may be distracted
    • Check you don't have a pile of clothes to fold, boxes, or any mess that may be behind your desk
    • Test - sit at your desk and take a selfie. Then organize your background accordingly
    • Good lighting can improve the general quality of your video
    • If you want to go the extra mile, designate one wall as your company wall and keep it consistent with the company branding

    bad background
    Figure: Bad example – A messy background will not look professional

    good background
    Figure: OK example – Clean home background with a branded monitor (showing off the company website)

    brisbane office background example
    Figure: Good example – The office background

    Virtual backgrounds

    Not ideal, but if you can't have a nice and clean background, the alternative is to use the virtual background effect feature (e.g. blur OR a background image):

  29. Do you know how to send message to yourself on Teams?

    If often you see yourself trying to find an easy way to share an image or a note from your mobile to your laptop, this is a quick and easy tip to help you do this through Microsoft Teams.

    Here are the steps to send a message to yourself on Teams:

    1. Schedule a meeting with just yourself and give it a title like “Just me” or anything similar that is obvious to you
    2. Open the meeting request like any other meeting on Teams
    3. Open the chat feature and write yourself a “test” message
    4. You should see a new conversation next to all your other groups and private chats
    5. Pin it, and now you have a wall for your thoughts 💭 🧱

    just me bad example
    Figure: Bad example - Sending a file to a colleague just to save it is not the best way as you might disrupt someone's work

    just me example
    Figure: Good example - Easily send photos or things you need to remember to yourself using your phone

  30. Clarity - Do you answer IM questions in order?

    Sometimes people fire a few questions at you and the tendency is to answer in all kinds of ways that can make our signal to noise ratio poor.

    Tips when answering IMs:

    • Answer each question in order
    • Repeat the keywords of each question
    • Avoid grouping your messages together as per the rule

    - Gary: Welcome back from your holiday. How many items in your inbox? Can you give me the link for better IM rules? When is your next client work?

    - Dave: Next Monday Will work for Northwind. I have 85 items and the link is

    Figure: Bad example - We must try to find the answers one by one

    ::: greybox- Gary:
    Welcome back from your holiday. How many items in your inbox? Can you give me the link for better IM rules? When is your next client work?

    - Dave:

    1. I have 85 items in my inbox
    2. Here is the link:
    3. I start working for Northwind next Monday
      ::: ::: ok Figure: OK example - Each question answered in order :::

    - Gary: Welcome back from your holiday. How many items in your inbox? Can you give me the link for better IM rules? When is your next client work?

    - Dave: I have 85 items in my inbox

    - Dave:
    Here is the link:

    - Dave:
    I start working for Northwind next Monday.

    Figure: Good example - Questions answered separately so that they can be responded to individually

  31. Do you know when to use Microsoft Teams Preview?

    Using product previews is a great way to see what's coming next and give valuable feedback to the product team, and Microsoft Teams Preview is no different.

    switch to microsoft teams preview
    Figure: Switch on Microsoft Teams Preview using New Teams toggle

    There is some situations where you'd need to not use the preview version of Microsoft Teams, this is largely for features that are not supported yet.

    At the time of writing, custom tabs and applications in chats are not supported.

    microsoft teams with tabs
    Figure: Microsoft Teams shows custom tabs

    microsoft teams preview without tabs
    Figure: Microsoft Teams Preview missing custom tabs

    If you do have links to these tabs, when clicking on the link you'll be presented with a message letting you know that it's not supported yet.

    switch to classic teams and open the link
    Figure: When clicking on a link to a tab you'll get a friendly message

  32. Do you review Microsoft Teams usage reports?

    Usage analytics is quite important - it allows you to identify popular and unused teams, and helps figuring out Microsoft Teams adoption across your business (i.e. How many meetings? How many chats? etc...)

    There are 2 places to check for usage reports in Teams:

    Team Usage

    teams team usage
    Figure: Access team usage from "Team Settings" | "Manage Team" | "Analytics"

    Tenant Usage

    This is by far the most interesting and import report. You need special (tenant-level) permissions to access those usage reports.

    teams tenant usage
    Figure: Access tenant level usage via "Office 365 Admin Center" | "Reports" | "Usage" | "View More" (under Microsoft Teams activity section)

    Now enjoy the full power of Teams usage analytics!

    teams tenant usage home
    Figure: Click on column names to sort data (e.g. "Chat Messages")

    Important: If you can't see users logins such but GUIDs instead, you will need some SysAdmin magic to make it happen. Simply follow these steps: Show user details in the reports

    ...and unlock the power of full O365 reporting!

  33. Do you use Microsoft Teams Rooms?

    In today's fast-paced work environment, efficient communication and collaboration are paramount. However, we often encounter a common and frustrating pain point when entering a meeting room: the time-consuming and error-prone process of setting up and configuring the technology.

    Video: Microsoft Teams Room - How to Use The Boardroom (6 min)

    The Pain

    1. Wasted Time: We've all been there - you step into a meeting room, only to find that the TV is off or the settings are incorrect. The precious minutes spent troubleshooting can disrupt the flow of your meetings and impact productivity
    2. Complexity: Modern meeting rooms are equipped with a variety of devices and software, making it challenging to ensure everything works seamlessly. The juggling act of remote controls, apps, and cables can lead to confusion and frustration
    3. Missed Opportunities: In today's fast-paced business world, every second counts. A delayed start or technical glitches can result in missed opportunities, whether it's a crucial client call or a collaborative brainstorming session
    4. User Discomfort: Users may feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed by technology issues, affecting their confidence and overall experience in the meeting room

    Now, imagine a solution that eliminates these pain points, making every meeting a hassle-free and productive experience. Microsoft Teams Rooms offers user-friendly options to transform your meetings into smooth and efficient interactions. You can also check out more information on Microsoft's website at Microsoft Teams Rooms.

    bad example too many cables
    Figure: Bad Example - Cable adapter Hell

    Logitech Rally Bar Switch Tab
    Figure: Good Example - Using Microsoft Teams Room setup | Photo Credit:

    The Hardware

    Before you think about Microsoft Teams Rooms, you need different pieces of hardware to be able to use it. This generally consists of:

    • An intelligent camera
    • Good microphones
    • Speakers
    • A touchscreen to control your call
    • A small computer to run Microsoft Teams Rooms on, or a built-in system, where all the above is connected to.

    These are generally sold by Microsoft Teams Rooms partners like Logitech, Yealink, Poly, Dell, Cisco, and they are generally sold in bundles by room size:

    • Huddle/Small rooms
    • Medium rooms
    • Large/Boardrooms

    You can check out certified Teams Rooms devices at Microsoft Teams Rooms Packages and Systems

    After you've acquired the gear, then it's time to see how to use your Microsoft Teams Rooms setup. In the scenarios below, let's pretend that is the email address set for your Teams Rooms device.

    Option 1 - Start a call from Microsoft Teams Room

    1. Check if the TV is on. If it's off, use the remote to turn it on
    2. Change the HDMI output on your TV to the Microsoft Teams Rooms device, if not already
    3. On the Microsoft Teams Rooms touchscreen, click "Meet" to start a call
    4. Invite participants as needed
    5. Utilize the touchscreen for meeting controls, such as sharing content and adjusting settings
    6. End the call using the touchscreen

    Option 2 - Add the Microsoft Teams Room to your Teams call

    1. Start a Teams call from another device, like your laptop or mobile phone
    2. Add to the call, like you would invite anyone else
    3. Mute yourself on other devices to avoid audio issues
    4. Continue the call

    Option 3 - CC (Carbon Copy) the Microsoft Teams Room in your Outlook appointments

    1. Include in your Outlook appointments
    2. Scheduled appointments will appear on the room's screen
    3. On the touchscreen, join the meeting by clicking "Join" when the appointment starts

    Bonus - Share your Laptop Screen

    Logitech is the recommended partner for getting your hardware from, as they have many options and easy-to-use systems. One of these options is the Logitech Swytch, a USB-C/USB-A dongle that you can use to connect any computer to, and it then shares your laptop screen directly to the TV.

    1. Use the Logitech Swytch to share your laptop screen
    2. Connect the Logitech Swytch to your computer via USB-A or USB-C
    3. A five-second warning will appear on the screen
    4. Your screen will be shared directly on the TV

    Figure: Good example - Using the Logitech Swytch to easily connect your laptop and go beyond Teams

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