How I spend my day in Microsoft Teams (#Teamwork)

I often get asked “Matt what does a typical day in the life look like for you when using Microsoft Teams”? While that can certainly be a loaded question (because how and what I use Teams for can be different than others) I wanted to share with you my typical work flow as it may inspire you to look at your own workflow in a new way and how you interact with others on your team(s).

Important: While I would love to share screenshots of what my day looks like in Microsoft Teams, I have provided below example screenshots from my demo environment. These are intended to be a visual aid to help you imagine what that particular activity looks like. More importantly the text and story is intended to inspire you as to how you might be able to better use Microsoft Teams as a tool that not only enables you to do your best work, but help you to enjoy your work and be more productive. Lastly, my story below is only one of my stories as to what I do on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy, and as always I am looking forward to hearing your feedback and how you spend your day in Microsoft Teams.

7:30am (Morning coffee activities)

The day starts off browsing my Activity Hub in Microsoft Teams and checking to see if there are any new @ mentions where someone on any of the teams I subscribe to, needs me for any specific actions (i.e. review a document, add my comments to a status deck, etc). I also peruse to see if there are any team announcements from my leadership. Lastly I check the channels that have Yammer connectors that are related to the projects I am working on to see what others in the company are saying about the project. If there is a topic of interest, within the channel I may @ mention someone to then triage that Yammer message


8:30am (Team meetings)

I attend my daily stand up meeting with the project team to discuss status of tasks. Depending on the circumstance I may join the meeting from the Microsoft Teams smartphone app while commuting into the office. The project manager uses the Planner tab to record tasks and assign owners and due dates. She will facilitate the meeting around the Planner tab by sharing out her screen and moving tasks between buckets (In-Progress, At Risk, Completed). Someone on the team is taking notes in the OneNote tab as shared meeting notes that will be visible by all team members.



9:30am (Data analysis)

Using the PowerBI tab in my team channel, I review the project budget and spend data for the project and on another tab I check how much time each team member is spending on the project. I start a new conversation on the PowerBI report and @ mention the team to ask a few questions on hours and budget. I also @ mention the project manager to let her know the report is up to date and she can copy/paste it into the weekly executive status deck.


10:30am

A lively email conversation is occurring among team members where the review of a proposal is taking place. I noticed team members are editing the document and making comments and as a result, multiple versions are in the email thread. To ensure we have a single version and can all collaborate on the same thread and avoid forking, I forward the email to the team channel in Microsoft Teams and @ mention the channel to let everyone know to continue the conversation here.




 
 

11:30am (On-boarding)

We are having new team members join us tomorrow, so I need to up date the team wiki using the Wiki tab in the team channel. This is where all general information about the project is stored, acronyms/definitions, team contact information, project goals and objectives, etc. Once the new members join the team we will direct them to the Wiki tab to get started.


12:30pm

As part of this particular project, we need to professionally record videos of product demos and presentations. After working with the studio, I upload the raw footage to Microsoft Stream and then I create a Microsoft Stream tab in Teams that provides access to the video right within Teams. I announce to the team via an @ mention the footage is now available for their review and comments.


1:30pm

A task on the project involves creating a lab environment for our customers to learn new features of a product. This task is owned by a vendor/contractor and I realized they need access to the team so they can participate in conversations and collaborate on lab manuals and instruction documents. As a result, I validate they meet requirements set by my IT department to gain access to any proprietary information that is in the team, and I add the trusted individuals as a guest to the team in Microsoft Teams. I then @ mention the team welcoming them to the team.


2:30pm

Using the Microsoft Forms tab in Microsoft Teams, I create a survey that will be used with a pilot group of customers for the project to gather their insights and feedback. Of course, this is a draft of the survey so I will start a new conversation in the tab and @ mention several team members to gain their input on the survey.


3:30pm

There’s an upcoming team offsite next month in Redmond that requires us to carefully coordinate flights and hotels. Using the Kayak Bot added to the team channel, we can agree on flights and hotels and coordinate our travel schedules. I setup the bot, and start looking at flights and hotels.


4:30pm

At the end of the week on Friday there will be an executive review meeting of the project. To aid in putting together the deck required for the meeting using search in Microsoft Teams I look for updates from team members on various project tasks that stretch across conversations and files. Once I finish creating the draft PowerPoint deck I add it as a tab to the team channel and @ mention the team to ask for their input and review prior to the meeting.


5:00pm

To end the day, I have a 1:1 meeting with my manager. I place a private video call to him using Microsoft Teams and make the video feed full screen. I do this so he can see that I am not multi-tasking and that he has my complete attention (he also does the same). If needed we keep action items and talking points recorded in a shared OneNote notebook that we will reference throughout the meeting.

  

Guest Activity Notification in Microsoft Teams

Guest Access in Microsoft Teams allows people from outside your organization to seamlessly collaborate with you in the same team in Microsoft Teams as if they were an employee. For guests this could be contractors, vendors, customers, etc. Those guests may be a guest member to many teams outside of their organization – so how do they know when there is new activity occurring in those other teams, without having to switch tenants in the Microsoft Teams client?

If you are using the Microsoft Teams desktop client, anytime you are @ mentioned, or there is a team or channel announcement (team or channel @ mention), a new notification badge will appear above your photo. This is a nice feature as I can be working in my primary tenant (perhaps my company’s tenant) but if you @ mention me (my “guest account”) in your tenant I will be notified and can then make a decision to switch tenants and check the activity hub.

In the lower left corner of the Microsoft Teams desktop client, above my profile photo will be a notification badge. This notification badge is essentially a counter and will display the number of new unread notifications I have in my other tenants that I am a guest of. Here’s an example where I have 3 unread notifications:

 

Clicking on my profile photo will expand the menu, and I can see there are 3 unread notifications in the Microsoft (Guest) tenant:

This is a quick and easy way to stay organized when it comes to guest access in Microsoft Teams and keeping track of activity in other tenants. Enjoy!

Microsoft Teams: Enabling and Using Guest Access

Introduction: In this blog post I will walk through how to enable guest access in Microsoft Teams, validate the guest was added to Azure Active Directory B2B, demonstrate how a guest user will access another organization’s team and what the user experience is like.

Update 9/21/17: I have updated this blog post that adding the user guest account manually to Azure AD B2B is not required, as the account will automatically be added to the directory when you add the guest to Microsoft Teams.

Additional reading and support documentation:

IMPORTANT: Guest access is dependent on Azure Active Directory and more importantly it uses Azure Active Directory B2B, I highly recommend developing a good understanding of this feature prior to proceeding as it will help you as you start to roll this out and manage it within your organization and even give you ideas on how to further secure this as you move forward (such as conditional access for contractors as an example). This capability is very powerful, and can open up new ideas for how you create additional solutions for your organization in the future. In addition, I recommend testing guest access first prior to implementing in the real world to fully understand the use case scenarios of guest access (when it makes sense, when it doesn’t as this may not solve for the specific business challenge you are after), and what the guest user experience is like for a guest user of Microsoft Teams so that you are prepared to help end-users within your organization.

Before we begin, about my environment:

  • I have two Office 365 tenants: m365x367101.onmicrosoft.com and m365x841591.onmicrosoft.com (I apologize in advance, both tenants are named Contoso )
  • Both organizations are already using Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.
  • Megan from the m365x367101 owns a team titled O365 Deployment Team. She needs to invite Ben from a local IT consulting company to the team that will be assisting them with their Office 365 deployment.
  • Megan’s company will first enable guest access in Microsoft Teams, add Ben as a guest to the O365 Deployment Team in Microsoft Teams, then will validate Ben was added as a guest to AzureAD B2B.
  • Megan’s IT Admin enabled sharing with external users already in the directory for SharePoint Online
  • Megan’s IT admin enabled Let group owners add people outside the organization to groups.
  • The Sharing Option has been enabled for Megan’s Office 365 tenant to allow adding of new guests.

First, enable guest access in your tenant:

First, you must enable your Office 365 Tenant to allow guests to access a Microsoft Teams team in your tenant. This is accomplished by navigating to the Microsoft Teams settings in the Office 365 admin portal. From within the admin portal navigate to Settings -> Services & add-ins -> Microsoft Teams. On the fly-out to the right, under the section Settings by user/license type click the drop-down menu and toggle from Business and Enterprise to Guest then click On next to Turn Microsoft Teams on or off for all users of this type. Then click Save:


IMPORTANT: If this step is not performed, when the user attempts to sign in as a guest they will be presented with the following error:


Add Ben as a guest to the O365 Deployment Team in Microsoft Teams:

Megan will need to now add Ben as a user to her team, O365 Deployment Team in Microsoft Teams. From within Microsoft Teams, click the ellipsis next to the team name and then select View Team


On the Members tab click the Add member button:


In the Add members to “O365 Deployment Team” dialog box, type in Ben’s email address, then click Add:


Next, click Close:


Notice Ben has now been added as a guest to the team:


Optional: Validate the guest was successfully added to Azure Active Directory B2B:

Browse to https://aad.portal.azure.com . On the left pane, click Azure Active Directory. On the Azure Active Directory blade click Users and groups :


On the Manage blade click All users then click Ben’s user account BenW:


Details of BenW’s account, validating he was successfully added to Azure AD:


Optional: Ben’s guest account can also be seen in the Office 365 Admin Portal under Users -> Guest Users:


Login as Ben to Microsoft Teams:

Ben will receive a new email message indicating he has been invited to Contoso’s O365 Deployment Team. Within the email click Open Microsoft Teams:


Before Microsoft Teams launches, you will be taken to the Azure AD sign-on page, read the agreement to provide your display name and email address to the other organization and click Next:

 

Microsoft Teams will launch, and you will be prompted with a wizard walking you through the basics of guest access. Feel free to explore the wizard, or close it:





Ben is now signed in as a guest to Contoso’s team in Microsoft Teams and has access to resources in the team such as conversation history, files,etc. To validate this, click the profile photo in the lower left corner and notice Contoso (guest) is selected under Your accounts:

Note: To switch back to Ben’s own organization’s Microsoft Teams instance, click Contoso M365x841591 above Contoso (guest) – and visa-versa as seen in the screenshot below.


What can Ben do as a guest?

The following table depicts the functionality available to a guest user of a team. More information can be found here:

Capability in Teams Teams user in the organization Guest user
Create a channel
Team owners control this setting.
Participate in a private chat
Participate in a channel conversation
Post, delete, and edit messages
Share a channel file
Share a chat file
Add apps (tabs, bots, or connectors)
Create tenant-wide and teams/channels guest access policies
Invite a user outside the Office 365 tenant’s domain
Create a team
Discover and join a public team
View organization chart

Matt’s Tip: I like to access Microsoft Teams in a web browser. For this reason I can have one tab open for my main Microsoft account (tenant) and another tab open for any tenant I am a guest of. This way I’m not switching back and fourth. This can also be accomplished using a combination of the desktop client and web clients.

Conclusion: Enabling guest access for Microsoft Teams is a simple and easy process. I hope you found this blog post valuable, if you do have feedback or input to make this post better please leave me a comment below. Enjoy!