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Getting started with Microsoft Teams

This article was originally written for publishing on the company blog at PKCG, and has been cross posted here.

Everyone is asking about Microsoft Teams, so we thought we post up a quick overview on Microsoft Teams on our blog we can send out for companies who are just starting to use Teams.

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace app that fosters collaboration and communication within a company. Right now, the most likely reason you’re using Teams is for internal communication. You’re probably about to start working from home in the coming weeks but still want to be able to easily stay in touch with colleagues and discuss ongoing projects.

Teams provides the features of Skype (chat and conferencing), SharePoint and OneDrive (file sharing and collaboration), OneNote (note taking), Planner (everyday project management), Stream (video sharing), plus tabs to bring in other external apps all in a single app.

If you want to jump in the deep end and get up and running quickly, the quick start guide by Microsoft is your best bet - you can download it here. There is also a Microsoft Teams Quick Start video series, if that’s more your thing.

We recommend keeping things fairly simple at the start while your team adopts to using a new tool - the basic Team template we have been rolling out includes just four channels:

  • Announcements - for relaying important information to your team.
  • General - for general discussion.
  • Management - a private channel reserved for management staff.
  • Watercooler - to keep up the office vibe and banter.

A new Team comes with a lot of stuff, but you don’t have to use everything that comes with it. In addition to conversations, you get a SharePoint site, a OneNote notebook, a Planner plan, a Wiki, and lots more!

Over time as your staff become more familiar with Teams, they’ll likely start creating their own channels, as well as individual teams focused around specific projects and groups. We can lock down permissions so they can’t, but we suggest letting the usage naturally evolve to best fit how your team works.

Some additional resources you might find handy to get the most out of Microsoft Teams are below: