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Creating your first Team
If you are accessing Teams via Microsoft 365, you can use the web app or download the software to your desktop.
Note – the desktop app includes more functionality than the web app.
Creating a new team is straightforward – simply click ‘create team’ underneath the list of available teams and complete the relevant information.
Take care with the name of your team and channels as these become the names of the associated SharePoint site, file library, and Outlook email address.
You can change the name of a team or channel if needed, but the original name is retained in SharePoint and document links.
It’s also worth checking that a team with the same name does not already exist. In the case of duplicate teams, a random number is simply added to the name of the site collection.
A team can be private or public The team owner can switch between these settings as needed.
Users must be invited to a private team by the team owner. Anyone within an organization can join a public team.
Complete your team by:
- Adding team members.
- Creating channels – explained in the next section.
- Uploading or creating new files.
- Adding tabs, including Planner and SharePoint.
- Connecting third-party and apps.
Adding a Channel
Channels are a useful way to facilitate collaboration in key areas of a project, for example, a workstream, within a team.
Think of channels as a mini team, with conversations, calls, files, and other capabilities of Teams, within the overall team.
All members in a team can access and use channels in a team, including conversations and files.
When creating a channel, update the settings so your team can see the channel!
Every team includes a General Channel, which cannot be deleted or renamed. To keep your team engaged with daily work and specific areas of a project, create channels and avoid using General.
Users can add 200 public channels and 30 private channels to a team.
To create a channel, click the settings menu within the team, and follow the on-screen steps.
The channel appears as a folder within the SharePoint document library for the team. Files stored in a channel are also stored within this folder.
Use ‘Meet’ in the top right-hand corner to start or schedule a meeting within the channel.
Managing notifications for a channel is quite straightforward, with options to switch notifications on or off; pin a channel for quick access, or hide a channel.
Not sure who has access to content in a Channel? Check the visibility icon on the top menu. Access is noted as ‘Team’, ‘Org’, or ‘Guest’.
Private v Public Channels
There are two types of channels in Teams:
- Public, available to everyone in the team.
- Private, available to invited members only. A private channel is indicated by a lock icon.
Private channels are a relatively new addition to Teams. The aim is to facilitate collaboration on sensitive information, for example, budget, with a small group of people within a team.
A private channel uses a separate, lightweight SharePoint site collection for additional security.
Users, including the team owner, must be invited to a private channel. Non-members will not know the channel exists!
Each private channel has its own settings, which are independent of any settings within the parent team.
Unlike a team, a private channel cannot be switched to a public channel and vice versa.
Whilst private channels do play a role in controlling important data, they also create silos within a team.
In many cases, a private Team may be more suitable.
Tasks in Teams
Tasks in Teams combines tasks from To Do, Planner, Outlook, and Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), allowing teams to manage their work in one place.
Tasks in Teams is part of Microsoft’s unified vision for tasks in Microsoft 365 , based on three principles:
- Coherence : Task management will have a consistent experience across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
- Intelligence : Users can leverage intelligent services like the Microsoft 365 Graph or MyAnalytics to manage and prioritize work.
- Integration: Tasks are connected to one of two task-management apps – To Do or Planner. Tasks for Teams allows users to access both apps in one place.
To add Tasks to Teams, click on the three-dot ellipsis or Apps to search for the app. The app is available on desktop and mobile, and online.
Permissions and Privacy in Teams
As part of Microsoft 365, Teams delivers a high level of security, uptime, and scalability .
As Teams is a single platform for collaboration, document management, and so on, it’s easier to conduct risk audits and enforce policies, for example, data retention.
However, permissions within Teams are somewhat limited, particularly when compared with SharePoint.
Unlike SharePoint, you cannot assign a ‘read-only’ role to team members; everyone in the team is a content creator and editor.
However, files are subject to the sharing and permission rules of SharePoint.
There are two main end-user roles in Teams: owners and members.
A team owner :
- Creates the team and has control over settings.
- Can add new members, including external guests.
- Can delete or restore a team.
- Can restore deleted files.
- Has the ability to connect third-party apps to a team.
- Can add tabs to a channel.
Although one individual creates the team, it is advisable to ‘promote’ another team member to owner. This way, an owner is always available to help team members, for example, add a new user.
To assign a role, select the team name and click More Options → Manage team . Use the drop-down menu beside the relevant individual’s name to change their role.
Team members :
- Cannot access or change the team settings, or add new team members.
- Can upload and edit files and libraries.
- Can add – but not delete – channels.
- Have the ability to connect third-party apps to a team.
For full details on the capabilities of each role and external guests, see this summary table from Microsoft .
It’s worth noting files shared in a private chat are stored in OneDrive for Business, rather than SharePoint, and are only accessible to participants in that chat.
For this reason, it’s best to add files to the main Files tab in a channel and share a link in a chat.
If you do need to manage posts in a channel carefully, switch on the moderation option under settings.
Moderators can start new posts in a channel and decide whether team members can reply to messages.
Guest access allows anyone who is external to your organization and who has a business or consumer email account to participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings, and files.
However, guest users cannot:
- Create or edit a Team
- Search for a Team
- Share files in a one-to-one chat.
Governance in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has a low learning curve and will quickly become part of your project management process. Depending on administration settings, Teams is easy to get up and running.
This ease of use can also cause problems. Without agreed guidelines on creating teams, you’ll quickly find yourself in multiple ‘ghost’ teams and too many conversations.
Like any communication tool, document protocols for using Microsoft Teams in the project communication plan. These protocols should be defined within existing IT governance policies within your organization.
- Who can create a new team for a project or a new channel within a team?
- Who can add third-party apps to a team or channel?
- Who can create private channels and why?
- Naming conventions for teams, channels, and files.
- When to archive a team, for example, during project closure.
It’s important to balance flexibility with governance. If policies are too strict, your team will use other apps to collaborate – the opposite of what you are trying to achieve!
For practical tips on security and governance in Microsoft Teams, check out this useful article from ShareGate .
In the next section, you’ll read more about how the BrightWork Marketing Team uses Teams. In terms of roll-out and governance, we initially encountered problems such as inactive teams, files in different places, and overlapping chats.
Confusion was growing so we took the time to review our teams, move files as needed, and archived unused sites.
Now, we use one team for Marketing with multiple channels for daily work, projects, and workstreams.
We also agreed to store documents in Teams and use BrightWork for project management, task tracking, and reporting. This way, we always know where to find important files or project information.
These simple steps to improve Teams will save time and accelerate collaboration, particularly when working across different locations or time zones.
Managing Projects with Microsoft Teams and BrightWork 365
For the Marketing team at BrightWork, Microsoft Teams has been part of our toolkit since 2017. We use Teams for everything from chat to video calls and file sharing. The solution allows us to work together as a team and on a one-to-one basis as needed.
However, Microsoft Teams is not designed for project management. Whilst you can add various apps to a site, there is no way to track tasks, identity risks, manage resources, or report across projects. It’s also impossible to configure Teams to match the needs of a particular team or project.
BrightWork 365, a PPM solution for Microsoft 365, solves these problems with a direct integration with Microsoft Teams . In BrightWork 365 , every program has a dedicated Microsoft Team. Every project within the program has a channel within that Team, added during project setup.
The app is located in the Charter tab in the relevant Team channel. You can rename the tab as needed, for example, Project Site.
Using this seamless integration, our team can manage projects, store deliverables, and collaborate in one place with:
- Project templates
- Task and Work Management
- Interactive Gantt chart
- Status Reports
- Power BI dashboards for projects, programs, and portfolios.
Together, BrightWork 365 and Microsoft Teams reduce the busy work on projects and keep our tasks moving forward.
Get a custom demo of BrightWork 365
See how brightwork 365 combines the best of microsoft 365 with proven project and portfolio management processes., chat in microsoft teams.
Chat is the lynchpin of collaboration within Teams. The chat is persistent, that is, messages are always available.
Think of chat as an informal communication tool for the team with email serving as a formal channel for stakeholders, vendors, and so on.
For the Marketing team at BrightWork, chat has almost replaced emails within the team.
There are three main types of chat within Teams : small groups and one-to-one, a post in a channel, and a conversation about a file.
Each type of chat has particular capabilities and use-cases.
3 Types of Chat in Teams
1. small-group and one-to-one chats.
Chat is located on the left-hand menu of the Teams application. Use chat to discuss any aspect of your project, daily tasks, ask a question, or to check-in with an individual.
To start a chat with a group or individual:
- Click the New Chat icon.
- Assign a name to the group, an easy way to track multiple conversations about projects and tasks.
- Add the relevant team members by entering a name, email address, or group tag. We’ll cover tags later on.
Chats are grouped as Pinned or Recent in your chat pane.
A chat is very similar to a channel. You can:
- Add documents to the file tab. Note – this action adds the file to OneDrive for Business rather than SharePoint.
- Add tabs for files, website links, apps, and so on.
- Start a video or audio call with the participants.
- Add or remove people.
- Leave the chat. A chat doesn’t need an owner so you can leave chats you no longer need to be in.
- Pin a chat to the top of your chats for quick access.
- Mute a chat. You’ll still be part of the group; you just won’t receive any notifications.
- Temporarily pause incoming notifications by setting your status to ‘Do Not Disturb’.
Group and one-to-one chats are not threaded, that is, you cannot reply directly to a specific message.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to create smaller groups to discuss details about the project with relevant individuals.
2. Channel Posts
A post is a chat within a channel. Unlike a group or one-to-one chat, the message is accessible to all members of the channel.
There are two main types of posts: new conversation and announcement. Both formats have the same functionality.
However, with the option to add a large heading, background color, and an image, announcements are more prominent in the channel feed.
Posts are threaded. Replies to a conversation are grouped together and individuals can reply to any message at any time. However, maintaining a thread only works if participants use the reply button when posting a message.
Channels can get busy quickly. To draw attention to your post, use @mention to tag the channel or team members.
Projects and documents go hand-in-hand. To collaborate in real-time on a file, use conversations.
Navigate to the required document and open in Teams. Select ‘Conversation’ and start chatting.
The conversation also appears as a post in the relevant channel.
6 Ways to Improve Teams Chat
Make any chat, post, or conversation engaging and easier to read with formatting.
Click the ‘A’ icon, beneath the message, to access a range of formatting options:
- Bold, italicize, underline, or strikethrough text.
- Add highlighting or change the color of the font.
- Format heading sizes, useful for long messages.
- Create bullet or number lists.
- Add quotes, tables, and links.
Attach a file using the paperclip icon.
Don’t forget to add a gif or emoji if you can!
Spotted a typo or forgot to include a point in your message? Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner of your message and select ‘Edit’ to amend your content.
2. Delivery Options
When sending a chat to an individual or small group, you can avail of three delivery options by clicking the ‘!’ icon underneath the message. The options are:
- Standard: The message will be sent as usual.
- Important : The message will contain ‘Important’ as the headline, along with an exclamation icon.
- Urgent : In addition to adding ‘Urgent’ as the headline, the recipient will be notified every 2 minutes for 20 minutes.
Delivery options for posts in a channel are limited to ‘Important’ with the same formatting as per chats.
3. Post in multiple channels
Need to share important news with several project teams? Save time by posting the same message in multiple channels.
Simply select ‘post in multiple channels’, pick your channels, and post.
4. Group Tags
A recently introduced feature allows team owners to create custom tags within a team .
Imagine you need to collaborate frequently with a small group of testers on a website project. Create a custom tag for this group in the settings of the channel.
Once a tag is added, just @mention it in a channel. Everyone who has been assigned to that tag will receive a notification just as they would if they were @mentioned individually.
5. Manage Chat and Post Notifications
Just like a channel, you can pin, hide, or mute a chat.
If you don’t have time to reply to a message immediately, mark the item as unread.
Posts are slightly different. You can mark the message as unread, turn off notifications, or save a message.
Saved messages are stored in your profile.
There are a few ways to search through chats for important content.
Firstly, search for the relevant team member into the search bar to view one-to-one messages.
Next, search within the chat using ‘CTRL+F’. Note – this option also applies within Channels.
Finally, use the filter options in the Chat pane to search by:
- Keywords used in the message.
- Unread messages.
- Meeting chats.
- Muted chats and posts.
Video meetings are a powerful way to collaborate with your project team, stakeholders, and vendors.
There are a few ways to create video meetings in Microsoft Teams:
- Schedule meetings for up to 300 people.
- View 49 meeting participants in a gallery view, with breakout rooms for smaller groups and discussions.
- Create a recurring meeting series.
- Use ‘meet now’ to quickly start a meeting.
- Meet one-to-one with individual team members.
Teams meetings use audio and video with options to switch your camera and microphone off as needed.
Microsoft continuously announces new Teams features to enhance collaboration during video meetings , including live reactions, camera filters, live captions, transcriptions, and meeting recaps.
How to schedule a meeting in Team
Navigate to ‘Calendar’ in the left-hand menu of the app. There are two meeting options in the right-hand corner: Meet now and New Meeting.
You can also start a call using the video icon in a chat, in a channel, or within the ‘Call’ tab on the left-hand menu.
Teams now includes an option to share a link to a meeting without starting the meeting. Simply click ‘Meet Now’.
In this instance, I’ll select ‘New Meeting’ in my calendar.
Next, complete the meeting invitation, which is similar to Outlook. You can also create a recurring series using the invitation.
Use ‘Scheduling Assistant’ to check the availability of team members and save the meeting to send an invitation to the attendees.
That’s it! Your meeting is scheduled and will appear in your calendar in both Teams and Outlook.
To add more context, such as an agenda, to your meeting, click on the session in your Teams calendar. As you can see from the below image, each meeting has options for chat, files, meetings notes, and a whiteboard.
This information is accessible before, during, and after a meeting.
Need to invite someone who is outside of your organization ? You can schedule a meeting with anyone who has a valid email address.
The individual will receive a link via email and can attend the meeting using the web app. To maintain privacy, you can decide if external guests need to wait in a virtual lobby before the meeting starts.
If you have installed the Teams desktop client, you can also schedule a meeting in Outlook using the Teams add-on.
When scheduling a new meeting, select ‘Join Teams Meeting’ in the ribbon. A link will be inserted into the meeting request.
There are three ways to start or join a meeting:
- If using Outlook, click the link in the meeting request.
- If using Teams , open your calendar and find the relevant meeting. The ‘join’ button will appear on the meeting block about five minutes before the start time.
- A notification will also flash on your screen when another attendee starts the meeting. Click ‘join’ to attend the meeting.
The ‘Multi-Window meetings’ feature launches the meeting in a separate window, making it easier to find files or chats in Teams during the call.
When joining a meeting, you can opt to:
- Switch your camera on or off.
- Blur your background.
- Turn your microphone on or off.
An in-call menu is located at the top of the meeting window, with various ways to manage your video calls.
- Name of the meeting.
- Duration of the meeting.
- Meeting participants.
- Meeting chat, which opens to the right-hand side.
- ‘Raise your hand’ to ask a question. A yellow box is added around the relevant person’s tile on the call, letting others know they wish to speak.
- Breakout rooms.
- Toggle your camera on or off.
- Share your screen. You can share your desktop, the contents of an app, or a document by selecting the relevant screen in the panel below the menu. Users can also request control to share content as needed.
- Leave the meeting. If you have scheduled the meeting, you can choose to end the meeting for all attendees.
- Access ‘more actions’ such as recording the meeting, background settings, and ‘Together Mode’.
Below are four must-know features to make your meetings easier to manage!
1. Meeting Recordings and Recap
Meeting Recordings are stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. Anyone can start a recording at any stage during the meeting. Depending on organizational settings, transcriptions may also be available on recordings.
Microsoft recently launched a meeting recap feature , allowing users to access the recording, transcript, chat messages, and notes from either the meeting chat tab or the details tab after each meeting.
This update makes it easier for anyone who missed the meeting to catch up and removes the need to take notes during the meeting!
2. Together Mode
Together Mode aims to increase collaboration by creating an avatar of each participant and placing these avatars in a shared background, such as an auditorium.
This helps individuals to interact with more social cues and makes it easier to see who is talking in the meeting.
3. Breakout Rooms
Breakout rooms are ideal for brainstorms and collaboration within a larger meeting, for example, a training session with your team.
Meeting hosts can create up to 50 rooms, choosing to automatically or randomly assign participants to each group. Each breakout room has the same functionality as a regular Teams meeting.
4. PowerPoint Live
PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams is a new remote presenting experience. Instead of sharing your screen, you can present your deck from within Teams itself. Select the sharing option and look for PowerPoint Live.
As a presenter, you’ll have access to your notes and chats on a single screen, which also allows you to see your audience. Attendees will only see the active slide and can interact with your content with emoji reactions.
PowerPoint Live will make online presentations a little more fun and engaging!
Privacy and Control for Meeting Hosts
Just like an in-person meeting, meeting hosts need to facilitate virtual meetings to create an enjoyable environment for attendees. Virtual sessions also require additional privacy and control settings.
When using Microsoft Teams for meetings, you can:
- Mute all attendees.
- Invite external users and use a virtual waiting lobby to check who wants to join your meeting.
- Remove participants during a meeting.
- Designate presenters and attendees to control who can and cannot share content.
Meeting recordings are available only to those who were invited to or attended the meeting. Likewise, meeting notes are only available to internal users.
Now you know how to schedule and run a meeting in Teams, let’s take a closer look at using video meetings for your projects.
Project Meetings with Teams
Before you start scheduling video meetings, consider if you need to update your project communication plan.
Make sure your team and stakeholders are aware of:
- The use of video meetings.
- Software and hardware requirements, for example, Microsoft Teams and headphones.
- Where to find training videos and support if needed, for example, free Microsoft resources .
- The back-up plan in case of technical difficulties, for example, issues connecting to your broadband network.
With a little tweaking, you can replace any face-to-face meeting with a video call in Teams. The key is preparation.
- Creating and sharing an agenda in advance using Meeting Notes as explained above.
- Assigning times to agenda items – and sticking to those times!
- Sharing required reading, such as presentations or reports, beforehand.
- Asking members of your team to prepare contributions or updates.
- Starting and ending meetings on time.
- Using breakout rooms for discussion and feedback.
- Circulating action items afterward. The BrightWork Marketing Team adds tasks to our project site during meetings so nothing falls between the cracks.
Meeting etiquette is also important.
Try these ideas for adapting in-person meetings to virtual video calls.
- If possible, switch on cameras during the meeting. Just like a face-to-face meeting, the ability to see your team and gauge their reactions is key.
- That said, video can reduce call quality on occasion. In the place of video, ask team members to say their name before speaking so everyone knows who is talking.
- Some microphones can pick up background noise. It may be a good idea to place yourself on mute when you are not talking.
- Make time for ‘small talk’ at the start of the meeting. Give people a chance to catch up and share what’s happening.
- At the start of a meeting, ask if anyone needs to leave early and if so, allow them to share any updates early on.
- As the meeting host, ask questions during the session to ensure everyone has a chance to speak up and is paying attention!
- Stay focused on the meeting – that means no emails or browsing online.
- Turn off other applications and notifications.
- Share a summary of actions and follow-ups , with owners and due dates, after the meeting. Not only will this keep your project on track – it increases accountability within the team.
Add these tips to your communication plan, share it with the team, and store the document an easy-to-access place.
As you become more familiar with video meetings, ask your team and stakeholders for feedback to improve these sessions.
Microsoft Teams and BrightWork 365
See how brightwork 365 enhances collaboration by giving every program a dedicated microsoft team in a short video demo. , 6 tips and tricks for microsoft teams, 1. managing notifications.
The stream of notifications in Teams can feel a little overwhelming, especially when you need to focus on an important task.
There are a few simple ways to reduce interruptions.
Start by updating your Teams-wide notifications in Settings , accessed by clicking your profile picture. I recommend turning off emails for ‘missed activity’ to reduce email volume – and pressure to check what is happening in Teams!
As mentioned above, you can also turn notifications off for a particular channel or chat .
Looking for a quicker way to block incoming calls and notifications ? Change your availability to ‘Do Not Disturb’ under your profile picture or by typing /dnd into the search bar.
You can grant priority access to your team or stakeholders under Privacy (Settings). This means you’ll still receive notifications from these individuals when your status is set to ‘Do Not Disturb’.
If you want to receive notifications without the pressure to reply instantly, try setting your status to ‘Appear Away’.
2. Finding People and Information Quickly
As user adoption grows, you may suddenly find yourself creating or participating in multiple teams! Try these quick tips to track key conversations and find information.
The menu located on the left-hand side of Teams has a feed for activity, teams, and chat.
The Activity Feed displays your interactions on Teams and how people interact with you, for example, if someone replies to your chat.
Use the filter option to narrow results to:
- Unread chats or messages.
- @mentions, i.e. if a team member has tagged you in a chat.
- Reactions to your messages.
- Missed calls.
To focus on important teams, such as a busy project, pin the relevant channel to the top of the list of teams.
Click the three-dots beside the channel and select ‘Pin’.
You can also hide a team using the same menu. You’ll still be a member of the team but the team will be removed from view.
Likewise, it’s possible to pin or hide a chat. You can also opt to leave a chat using the same menu.
As explained in an earlier chapter, there are multiple ways to manage chats such as:
- Marking an item as unread.
- Renaming a group chat.
- Saving a message to your bookmarks.
3. Document Management
A file library is created in the underlying SharePoint site for a new team, with a folder created for each channel.
Microsoft is working towards bringing the full power and experience of document management in SharePoint into Teams. This means your project team can work seamlessly in either platform.
As such, the Files Tab in a Team site is increasingly similar to the documents view in SharePoint Online.
With Teams, you can:
- Upload existing files and folders.
- Create a new folder or file (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote).
- Sync files to your desktop for quick access.
- Open and work with files in SharePoint.
- Move or copy files between folders, channels, or Teams.
- Copy and share documents links for Teams or SharePoint.
- Open, edit, and save a file in Teams, in your browser, or on your desktop.
- Co-edit documents in real-time.
- Start a conversation about a document.
- Add comments to a document.
- Bookmark important files within a library with the ‘Pin to Top’ option.
- List documents as a tab within a channel so they are easier to find.
- Add existing SharePoint document libraries to a team.
There are a few ways to find files in Teams:
- Click ‘Files’ in the left-hand navigation for recently accessed files.
- Filter search results by file. Refine results further by team, file type, and modified by.
Commands are shortcuts for performing tasks in Microsoft Teams more efficiently. Simply type the below commands into the search bar to find what you need!
- /Files : Find files shared with you on Teams.
- /GoTo : Go straight to a channel
- /Call : Starts a call with someone else on Teams
- /Help : Access the Teams Bot, T-bot, for help.
- /Saved: View your saved messages
- /Join: Join a team.
- /Mentions : See all your @mentions.
- /Whatsnew : See what’s new in Teams.
For a full list of commands, type / into the search bar or see this list from Microsoft.
5. Bots and Apps
Bots and apps are an easy way to add extra functionality to Teams.
Select ‘Apps’ in the left-hand menu for a full list of options, including solutions from Microsoft and third-party vendors.
Before installing an app, check the pricing options. Some apps offer a short free trial or a limited free tier.
Bots and apps can be added to a particular team or channel or used just within your own Teams environment. This way, you can customize your experience to match your needs.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Who : Search for anyone in your organization based on what they’re working on and who they work with.
- Polly : Useful for creating simple polls.
- Forms : Another option for surveys, quizzes, and polls.
- Praise: Share your appreciation with a team member!
- How-to: A series of training videos for Teams. Add as a tab in a channel to improve user adoption.
- RememberThis : Use to create time-based reminders to reply to a conversation.
Approvals is an easy way to create, manage, and share approvals from a conversation in a chat or channel, or by using the Approvals app.
Use the Approvals app to track previous and pending requests, including status, requester, and approver.
7. The Fun Stuff
Like any messaging tool, Teams makes it easy to add some lighthearted fun or share your thoughts with emojis, gifs, polls, photos, and so on!
The various options are located on the editing bar underneath a message.
Add some personality to individual teams and channels by uploading a team profile picture or adding emojis to channels.
- To add a team picture, click ‘manage team’ and settings. Select ‘team picture’ and upload the new image.
- To add an emoji to a channel, find and copy the relevant Unicode . Select ‘Edit this channel’ and paste the code into the title.
Using an app such as Polly or Forms, you can create fun (or serious) polls, surveys, or quizzes about any topic.
Collaborate on project tasks in one place. Remove silos and email threads with project communication in a single channel
Read more SharePoint and project management articles from Grace !
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The 13 best project management apps for Microsoft Teams
Over the past several years, Microsoft Teams has burst onto the scene as a powerful (and powerfully integrated) collaboration platform within Microsoft 365.
Companies already paying for Office 365 or Microsoft 365 gain access to the app for no additional cost, and it’s exceptionally well integrated with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite.
Out of the box, it’s already an impressive piece of software that allows teams to collaborate on Office documents, use Slack-like channel-based chat and communications, and plenty more.
But what makes Microsoft Teams shine is the vast library of integrations, apps, and add-ons that can transform the stock Teams experience into just about anything organizations want it to be.
If you’re a project manager or a decision-maker at an organization that uses project management software , you could benefit from those tools even more by integrating them with Microsoft Teams.
Here, we’ll show you 13 of the best project management apps for Microsoft Teams.
Key features of a great project management app
Project managers and organizations using any of a range of project management methodologies tend to rely on one or more dedicated project management software tools. Most of these tools can be used by themselves. But the real power and value come when organizations integrate their project management apps with the rest of their suite of tools.
As you look for the right project management apps that can integrate with Microsoft Teams, consider these top factors to narrow down your search:
Does it have the customization you truly need?
One of the most important areas to consider is how much integration or customization a given Teams app owns. You’ll notice pretty quickly that some go deeper than others.
For example, evaluate whether an app allows users to customize their dashboards, workflows, reporting, and notifications. And in terms of reporting and notifications, look for whether the app allows one-way or two-way communication (if that matters for your workflow).
In other words, can Teams trigger notifications in the project management tool, and can the project management tool trigger events in Teams? Or is the app you’re considering more of a one-way operation?
Pay attention to the user interface (UI) of the app as well. Some apps look great in their native or web-based versions but are unwieldy or awkward within Teams.
How do colors, images, and font sizes translate? Do they look like they should, or are they distracting enough that people won’t want to use the in-Teams app?
Does it provide a user-friendly task management experience?
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the Teams app finds the right balance of robust yet simple task management .
The Teams app for any task management tool likely isn’t designed to fully replace the standalone experience. So, don’t be surprised if some advanced features still require you to jump over to the full interface.
However, the core stuff your teams need to do every day (like responding to due dates, sending and receiving task update notifications, and so forth) should translate over well — and be simple to use at the same time.
Will it easily integrate with your other productivity software?
The best project management app may not be the flashiest or the most feature-laden. It’s the one that covers all the functions you need for your organization and workflows and that integrates well with the other productivity tools you’re using.
Do you use Excel, Jira, or kanban boards all the time? Do you rely on Gantt charts to map out long, complex projects? Do you do a lot of video calling where you need to pull in content from other apps? How about time tracking ?
Every organization is going to have a different set of use cases and needed features. It’s rare to find a single app that does everything you need equally well.
Whatever you need to do in apps outside your primary project management tool, make sure those other tools integrate easily, without creating new headaches and hurdles.
Online Gantt chart maker
Create your own detailed Gantt chart with Teamwork to better manage your project timeline and stay on track.
The top Microsoft Teams project management apps
If your business is invested in Microsoft Teams or considering the tool, you’ll want to choose the best project management software to integrate with it. Consider these 13 project management solutions with Microsoft Teams apps and see whether one or several of them could enhance the way you manage projects and collaborate.
One quick note on finding Microsoft Teams apps : Because Teams is part of the broader Microsoft 365 package, expect similar levels of admin oversight. Unlike some other popular tools we’ve reviewed, the Teams app store is heavily controlled by your organization’s Microsoft 365 or Teams admin. If you’re searching for an app in this list and it doesn’t show up, you’ll need to contact your admin and request that they approve the app on your network or organizational profile.
Teamwork is a wide-ranging project management platform with all the functions businesses need to track tasks, work with vendors and clients. It’s ideal for any organization using Teams and anyone involved with client work , with advanced features for tracking billable time and more.
Teamwork’s integration with Microsoft Teams enables numerous functions that make life easier for anyone using Teamwork. This includes adding a Board View, Task View, and Gantt chart to any team within Microsoft Teams.
And by connecting Teamwork Spaces to Teams, you’ll make it easy for everyone on your team to find Teamwork content within Teams. See more of what Teamwork can do for your business now — get started now for free .
Teamwork offers a robust setup page to help users get their Teams app up and running (and another page that dives deeper into interacting with Teamwork within Teams).
Search for linked Teamwork projects, tasks, and people within Teamwork and share them in Teams messages.
@Teamwork modifier enables rich search from Teams search bar or within chats.
Create Teamwork tasks from posts, messages, or the Teams search bar.
May not be the best choice for enterprise organizations that don’t deal with client work or billable hours.
AppSource doesn’t list many reviews of the Teamwork integration for Teams.
Monday is a newer project management tool that has seen heavy advertising rotation in the past couple of years, touting it as the simplest and best way to manage a team. It’s geared more toward startups and small businesses, where the person doing the managing may not be a pro project manager.
Like other agile options, Monday is intentionally lightweight and is very good at doing what it sets out to do. It makes project management simple enough for non-specialists but at the cost of skipping features that many businesses need (like subtasks, task dependencies, client users, and un-capped integrations).
The company’s integration with Teams is quite limited. It allows Monday to send a limited set of notifications to Teams, and that’s about it.
Recipe-based workflows are easy to understand for existing Monday users.
The Monday platform is refreshing for some users, especially startups and non-specialists.
Recipe-based workflows are limited to notifications sent from Monday to Teams.
Limited scope: There are only 6 recipes to choose from.
The app is one-way: It’s more about integrating Teams into Monday than the other way around, and it doesn’t show up on Microsoft’s app library.
The complicated integration process requires the Global Administrator to be a part of all relevant teams.
ClickUp is a wide-ranging work management tool that allows you to track projects, chat with team members, and more. In key ways, ClickUp is broad, but not very deep: It can be a great choice for smaller, shorter projects.
But this integration lacks the depth needed to take charge of longer, more complex projects. It can also be challenging to learn.
The ClickUp add-in for Teams enables notifications, rich unfurling, and task searching from within Teams. However, users must manually corral notifications by subscribing to the right Space, Folder, or List in ClickUp, meaning that everyone still has to run things from ClickUp at least some of the time.
Get an at-a-glance view of what everyone’s working on through Teams notifications.
Search for tasks without having to switch apps.
Users report that integration is limited (e.g., can’t bring complete task boards into Teams).
Sharing ClickUp task updates into Teams tends to create notification spam.
No integration with Power BI.
Doesn’t seem to offer automated task completion notifications.
Asana takes a task-based approach to project management and is built with the needs of smaller businesses in mind. It’s a great solution for lightweight task management and work coordination, but it’s lacking features like time tracking and custom client permissions .
The Asana for Teams app is a quality add-in for Teams, enabling quite a bit of two-way communication between the two apps. If Asana is sufficient for your project management needs, this combination could be highly effective for your business.
Asana for Teams lets users turn Teams conversations into actionable Asana tasks, interact with Asana tasks from within Teams video/audio meeting rooms, and see Asana items (including Portfolios, tasks, and projects) within Teams.
Tight integration: You can turn Teams conversations into actionable Asana tasks without leaving Teams.
Anyone with both Asana and Teams accounts can use the integration (no tiered or paywalled features).
One user finds Asana’s integration with Teams even tighter than Microsoft’s own similar tool, Planner.
Asana itself isn’t robust enough for managing complex projects.
Doesn’t appear to allow users to mark Asana tasks as complete from within Teams.
Wrike is an enterprise-grade project management software suite full of powerful and complex project management tools designed with enterprise organizations in mind. Most Wrike customers use the platform to coordinate work among in-house teams within a larger organization.
Because both Teams and Wrike are built with similar customers in mind, there is potential for an especially robust integration here, and Wrike has delivered just that.
You’ll be able to access most Wrike data from within Teams and update some types from there as well. Customizable notifications can keep you up to date on others’ progress.
Add a Wrike project as a tab within any Teams Channel and update the project from Teams.
In-line search within Teams chat can populate Wrike tasks.
Live Editor allows users to see team members’ changes to tasks in real-time.
Support for viewing Wrike projects on a Gantt chart within Teams.
Enterprise-grade tools often miss the mark for non-enterprise customers.
Complex tools assume a level of staffing and internal support that smaller businesses don’t have.
Numerous users have authentication problems when trying to connect the two apps.
Smartsheet is more of a database tool than a pure project management one, but many project managers love it for its power and flexibility. It empowers users to create novel solutions with no-code tools and can assist in project management as well.
Smartsheet integrates with Teams, Power BI, Outlook, and web apps, and its Teams integration allows for limited two-way communication. You can add sheets to tabs in Teams and update them there, and Smartsheet can send notifications through Teams.
Project managers can set Smartsheet to send specific notifications to specific Teams channels.
Receive Smartsheet reminders as direct messages in Teams.
Add Smartsheet sheets and dashboards as tabs within any Team channel.
Some users find the app’s interface unintuitive and clunky .
Advanced features and solutions in Smartsheet don’t transfer over.
7. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is another project management tool that seeks to meet the needs of all sizes and types of businesses. Its web app integrates with Microsoft Teams, allowing users to access Zoho Projects within Teams tabs directly.
You can import Office (or 365) users into the Zoho projects portal, where you assign them to the projects they need to see. In the big picture, Zoho has a ton of integrations with all kinds of leading apps. Its Teams integrations are fairly limited, though.
Integration functions with all plans, including the free plan.
Access Zoho Projects within a Teams tab.
Few Teams-specific features with this integration: The focus seems to be on the broader Microsoft suite.
No advertised support for automating notifications.
Web app isn’t as strong an integration as a full Teams app would be.
Hive is an interesting user-built project management tool that boasts large enterprise firms like Google and Toyota as some of their builders. It’s a lesser-known but powerful software solution that can help businesses streamline new projects and keep track of complex teams, including those doing remote work .
Hive has plenty of functions and features, enough that the overall interface can take some getting used to. The company’s Teams app enables these functions:
Assign Hive tasks within Teams.
View all tasks assigned to a person.
Share documents from one app to the other.
Access just about anything from Hive via a Teams tab.
The integration essentially opens a web app version of Hive within Teams.
Too many features for smaller companies.
Nested web app experience can be sluggish.
Forecast calls itself a single platform for all your project operations and boasts what it calls an “AI-native platform.” Its goal is to reduce time spent on non-billable tasks.
Forecast’s Teams app allows Forecast users to copy or mirror all Forecast project teams into Microsoft teams. This isn’t always an ideal approach: If you’re already using Teams heavily, you’d want to add Forecast to existing teams instead and it's not entirely clear whether the Forecast Notifier can do that.
A great choice if you don’t already have a lot invested in Teams, since it populates your Teams for you.
Attractive for businesses also interested in AI work automation.
A less common choice in project management.
Forecast’s Teams app doesn’t appear to be widely used based on the dearth of reviews .
10. Easy Projects
Easy Projects is designed to make complex operations simple for enterprise businesses, especially for their marketing, IT, operations, and professional services teams .
Its Teams integration enables a range of useful features, along with a couple of shortcomings worth noting.
Turn Teams messages into actionable Easy Projects activities.
Preview details about Easy Projects tasks and projects within Teams conversations.
Better than average UI support.
Another web app approach essentially loads the entire app within Teams and can be sluggish.
Some users find the interface unintuitive, inflexible, and confusing .
GitHub isn’t a project management tool but it is commonly used alongside them in software development workflows. Its Teams app lets users pull code into Teams for collaborative purposes. Teams can even edit code within Teams to a degree.
Powerful collaborative space for working on code-based projects.
Open and close GitHub issues within Teams.
Requires more tech knowledge than others (but if you’re using GitHub, you likely have it).
Devs may not prefer the Teams environment or may run into limits there.
MeisterTask is a collaboration tool and collaborative task manager designed for teams using agile project management workflows. It strives to make task management more efficient, whether they’re using software sprints, Kanban boards, or other methods.
This integration supports task relationships, task assignees and watchers, instant overview, predefined checklists, and more. The company’s Teams app is another web app, meaning you’re essentially running the full MeisterTask web interface within a Teams channel tab.
Essentially, you can do everything MeisterTask does, but it’s not a smooth, native experience.
Access everything MeisterTask does within a Teams tab.
Modify any MeisterTask content from the view within Teams.
Implementing the MeisterTask app can be convoluted .
Board layout in MeisterTask results in awkward horizontal scrolling.
No automated cross-app communication (MeisterTask can’t send notifications through Teams).
Miro is an online whiteboard app. While not a full project management solution, Miro can be a great way for teams and project managers to sketch out ideas, workflows, or anything else that doesn’t work as a chat message or Word document.
With the Miro Teams app , you can share any Miro board within Teams, letting users brainstorm with all of Miro’s tools right within a Teams meeting or a channel tab.
Overall, it’s a very useful tool for teams (especially hybrid, distributed, or remote teams) that need a whiteboarding tool that works well in Microsoft Teams.
Integrates with Teams meetings and the Teams calendar (365 Calendar).
Embed boards within tabs on any project team.
Collaborate in real-time during Teams meetings — without needing a separate app.
Microsoft offers a similar free tool that may be good enough.
Start using Teamwork to manage your projects
Of all the tools we’ve reviewed, you’ll certainly need to start by choosing a primary project management solution. Teamwork is the ideal choice for organizations using Microsoft Teams thanks to its quality integration, two-way communication, and powerful search commands.
Get more out of Teams by switching to a project management solution that does more and integrates better. Get started today for free !
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Microsoft Teams for Project Managers: Top 5 Tips to Get Started Today!
“Are there any resources on using Microsoft Teams for Project Managers?”
With a large number of the population working remotely throughout 2020, we’ve been receiving questions, similar to the above about whether or not Microsoft Teams can be used for Project Managers. This blog cover 5 tips you need to know to get started using Microsoft Teams as your project management tool.
Why Use Microsoft Teams for Project Management in the First Place?
Most people know Microsoft Teams as the communication tool that it is – they know that they can use Microsoft Teams to be able to connect with their colleagues and their team members via chat and voice and video calling capabilities. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of end users’ knowledge of Microsoft Teams ends. They’re not always aware that it can do so much more than just provide a way to stay in touch.
Microsoft Teams top features:
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration tool that allows for document collaboration, presentation, and white-boarding capabilities in addition to their more well-known communication features.
To see more about what Teams can do in general, check out our Microsoft Teams Demo – 4 Powerful Capabilities of Microsoft Teams blog and it’s corresponding blog, Microsoft Teams Demo – Top Features and Capabilities .
Now, let's dive into the top 5 tips
#1: Keep Everyone Informed with Teams and Channels
A Project Manager needs open and transparent communication throughout every aspect of the projects they’re overseeing, and Microsoft Teams has the capability to provide that!
Let’s show you how. For this demonstration, let’s suppose that you are a Project Manager at an IT company and you have 3 projects for each customer you have.
By utilizing the Teams tab, you could create a team for each customer, then create channels within those teams for each of the three projects you need to oversee. Then, it’s a simple matter of adding the relevant people and/or resources from your staff to each of these teams and channels (as easy as a few clicks of the mouse)!
#2: Don’t Miss Another Deadline!
Deadlines are, of course, vitally important to those Project Managers and project management professionals, but, lucky for you, Microsoft Teams allows you and your team the ability to share an Outlook group calendar within the Teams platform. Check out this guide on how to add a group calendar to Teams. Once you’ve done so, every member of the team will be able to see their personal Outlook calendar (in blue) and the group calendar (in green) in one convenient place.
#3: Use the Planner function to assign tasks & keep track of what’s important.
If your team is also using Microsoft Planner to help organize your projects, that can also be integrated into your Teams platform, giving you another efficient way to keep track of tasks for each project and its corresponding deadlines.
To integrate Microsoft Planner, follow these four simple & easy steps:
1.- Navigate to team that you want to add Microsoft Planner to. 2.- Click on the + sign to add a tab to the group:
3.- Click on “Planner”.
4.- Either create a new plan, or choose an existing plan that you’ve already saved (choose from the drop-down menu), and click “save”.
Your new plan will be added to your team!
How to effectively use Microsoft Planner for Project Management
Managing multiple deadlines and tasks? Planner in Microsoft Teams is a simple-to-use project management tool. This tutorial below will show you how to create a board with Planner to keep you and your team organized.
Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams? Register below to access our informative webinar series on how this unique Microsoft solution can help your organization today.
#4: Keep Work Accessible to Everyone.
It’s probably safe to say that, when managing a project, time is of the essence. Is your team wasting valuable time on trying to locate and work on the vital documents from various repositories or folders?
Microsoft Teams can help save time instead! Simply utilize Teams in tandem with SharePoint to be able to access and co-author Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and more – all from the Teams platform!
Plus, with the mobile capabilities of Microsoft Teams, this means that access to all company documents can be done from wherever your team is and whatever device they’re using – all you need is a data plan or an Internet connection!
#5: Don’t be afraid to make Teams your own!
As we’ve alluded to in this blog, Teams is highly customizable with many various integrations that can be incorporated into it to make it more efficient and more effective for your Project Management team to use. So, don’t be afraid to explore those integrations and make Teams your own. The Apps tab in Teams provides you with the option to browse the vast list of third-party apps and services that are available to you.
It seems, as well, that new integrations are being developed on a fairly regular basis, so keep your eye on this area of Teams so that you’re up to date on what’s new and exciting and what could be used to help you work more efficiently and effectively as a Project Management team.
Some Final Thoughts on Microsoft Teams for Project Managers
There’s no doubt in our mind that, with the right integrations in place, and with a little customization, Microsoft Teams can be a very viable and effective project management solution for your organization. From being able to track tasks, collaborate on documents, host meetings and white-boarding sessions, and keep all the project files in one convenient place that’s accessible to everyone on the team, Microsoft Teams has the capability to become your new project management secret weapon of sorts!
Want to learn more about how to use Microsoft Teams to your advantage? Check out our User Manual for Remote Workers , and be sure to download your copy of our free Teams eBook. Still need help? Give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help!
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Using Microsoft Teams As Your Project Management Software – A Great Idea!
There is a lack of knowledge of project management tools that are available in the market but there are many incredible project management software one can benefit from. However, when it comes to using Microsoft Teams as a project management tool, we might in fact have everything we need right under our noses! Many users are familiar with Microsoft Teams as a communication tool. They understand how to communicate with their coworkers and team members via chat, audio, and video calling but in fact, Microsoft Teams can be capable of so much more.
In a time when everyone is looking for project management software for Microsoft and going through project management tools rapidly, the best MS project management software might have been there all along! So the question now is: “How to use Teams for project management?”.
Microsoft Teams provides an excellent platform for project management, from real-time chat to video meetings, document management, and more. This article covers all you need to know about using Microsoft Teams for projects and teamwork, and we will talk about how you can use the Microsoft Teams project management features.
Table of Contents
How Can Microsoft Teams Help You with Your Project Management Processes?
Microsoft Teams is a platform for team collaboration that can assist in project management by giving team members a central location to communicate, collaborate, and share data. You may use Teams to organize your projects into teams, which you’ll then manage efficiently by using the capabilities and integrations available to you in the Teams ecosystem.
A Communication Hub
Team members can communicate, exchange files, and collaborate on tasks in one location with Microsoft Teams. This makes it simpler to track progress and maintain organization by keeping everyone informed and on the same page.
Channels for Structure
Channels can then be created within a team to represent various aspects of the project or to focus on specific tasks. This simplifies the project and keeps the team organized.
The Only Calendar You’ll Need
Teams comes with a calendar feature that lets you schedule meetings, invite team members, and set reminders. This keeps everyone on track and prevents important meetings from being missed.
With the robust video conferencing functionality included in Microsoft Teams, you can work with your team members from any location and hold meetings. Oh! And the screen-sharing tool makes it simpler to collaborate remotely by allowing you to share your screen with others.
While a bit rudimentary, Teams does include a number of task management features that can help you keep track of what needs to be done. You can create and assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track progress. The task setting and tracking capabilities of Microsoft Teams can then be boosted with:
Not only is Microsoft Teams project management very effective and easy, but there are also many incredible Microsoft Teams project management apps just waiting to be integrated! What are they? Just scroll down and find out!
What are some 3rd party Microsoft Teams Apps for Project Management?
Here is a list of external Microsoft Teams apps that you can for project management in Microsoft Teams.
Teamflect is a project management app for Microsoft Teams, that offers many functionalities to help project managers or people managers to manage projects or diverse teams.
As all teams, a project team has goals and OKRs right? You can use Teamflect’s OKR software tool to track the OKRs of your project team.
If you have a team in Microsoft Teams, these teams are also visible inside of Teamflect so that you can use the same structure that you have in Microsoft Teams to track your OKRs in Teamflect.
If you want to assign tasks to your project members, Teamflect can also help you with that as well. You can assign tasks while you are conducting your 1-on-1 meeting with employees or just by going to the tasks section of Teamflect
Additional project management capabilities
Teamflect as a project management software offers multiple different features that allow its users to tackle all the different challenges they could face while managing a particular project. While modules such as tasks, goals, and OKRs can be seen as the three most important features regarding project management, projects aren’t just centered around tasks and to-do lists. Projects are about human relationships and interaction. That’s why the three modules below can be just as important as goals, okrs, and tasks when it comes to project management.
The efficient use of an employee recognition tool is an integral part of every project taken on by a team. A project just like employee performance, shouldn’t be seen as a stand-alone event but as a process. During that process, members of a team have the perfectly reasonable need to feel appreciated. For that reason making use of an employee recognition tool with customizable recognitions that can be sent out on a whim is a great tool to incorporate into your Microsoft project management practices.
The exchange of feedback should be an ongoing part of any project. The Microsoft project management software of your choice should absolutely have the capabilities to allow its users to exchange constructive feedback in a smooth and uninterrupted fashion.
We are far too deep into the era of remote work for simple video chats to be considered viable remote meeting options. When conducting meetings as a part of a remote team working on a project, every single second of that time is priceless. Your project management tool should have features that allow you to automate, take notes during, and overall make the most of each meeting.
If you are not sure if you should use Teams for project management, we should definitely suggest you to give Teamflect a try – get started for free (up to 10 users). Teamflect is a free project management tool that you can use if your project management needs are lightweight.
AtBot + PowerAutomate
The AtBot is a robust no-code chatbot solution that makes creating a logic chatBot incredibly easy! With PowerAutomate, AtBot may be enabled to automate many processes while increasing your team efficiency. With your process chatbot, you can make productivity easier for your users in no time.
Mio is a remarkable integration of Microsoft Teams that enables individuals and businesses to chat easily across borders. For all firms who engage and communicate with other companies using a different platform, Mio is a must-have Microsoft Teams application. You can chat effortlessly with four or more companies in a single universal channel. Mio also allows users to react to partners, suppliers, and customers in real-time.
Does Microsoft have other project management tools?
There are several other Microsoft project management tools out there! Here are some of the best Microsoft project management tools and how to use them:
Microsoft Planner – Microsoft Planner is one of the better tools for project management in Teams.. With Planner, you can determine numerous goals and write them using cards, assign functions to any person in your team, add due dates, attach files and links, add checkboxes, and collaborate with your teammates through task comments. Microsoft is also working on an OKR software called Viva Goals, which will be embedded in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Project – Microsoft Project is a Microsoft project management app that you can use in Microsoft Teams which is a useful and an easy-to-use app that allows running every project successfully. In addition, you may quickly organize your projects here using the power of dynamic scheduling depending on the amount of effort required, the duration of the project, and the number of team members assigned.
Power BI – Microsoft Power BI assists your company in collecting, managing, and analyzing data from several sources. In an Office 365 environment, you can export data, create reports, make informed decisions, and share material with your colleagues. You can interact with reports in a team channel by linking Power BI to Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Power Automate – Power Automate, is a workflow automation platform that lets users create automated workflows between apps and services. You can collect data, synchronize files and get notifications using Power Automate.
Microsoft SharePoint – SharePoint empowers teamwork by creating helpful and productive team sites for every project, department or division. It allows employees to share files, data news and resources with each other.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
What is project management .
Project management is the discipline for project planning and implementation. Project management aims to achieve established goals through plans, plans, and resources for project operations within a particular time.
The customer or stakeholders set project objectives. Project managers apply project management methodology to develop a plan that specifies the necessary resources, tasks, milestones, and achievements to meet stakeholders’ needs. This strategy must also consider the three-fold limit, referring to each project’s time, money, and scope limitations.
More important than what team project management is are its benefits. First of all, it helps everyone in the business to run more smoothly if done correctly. Second, it lets your team concentrate on the work that matters, without interruptions from projects that leave or budgets that spin out. Third, it enables them to see results that genuinely affect the organization’s goals. Thus, employees can see how their job contributes to the company’s strategic objectives.
Microsoft To-Do – Microsoft To-Do is a cloud-based task management application that allows users to manage their tasks from whatever device they choose. You can create daily to-dos and tasks easily using Microsoft To-Do.
How difficult is MS Project?
Since MS Project uses a database, all the data you enter about a project in Microsoft Project are stored in interconnected “tables.” Because of Project’s power and flexibility, it is possible to make errors in how you set up your project plan. If that happens, the data gathered for managing your project will be flawed. Once a project has begun, it is difficult to change the plan—so you must get proper training before starting.
But with time, patience and practice, you can easily learn to use MS Project on your own!
Is Microsoft Teams a project management tool?
Not on its own. But the true strength of Microsoft Teams project management tool comes from its integration capabilities. Microsoft Teams hosts a variety of apps within its ecosystem. Using Microsoft Teams’ integrations with incredible project management tools such as Teamflect can turn Microsoft Teams into the best platform for Project Management!
With all the incredible performance management software out there, it is perfectly reasonable to get confused. One thing that is crucial in remote workforce management is to make sure you’re not drowning your employees in software. That is why using Microsoft Teams as both a method of communication AND project management software is a brilliant idea. While Teams itself is pretty intuitive if you strengthen it with apps like Teamflect , it will be the only project management software you’ll ever need.
Written by Emily Helen Arnold
Emily Helen Arnold is a content writer at Teamflect. She is obsessed with organizational behavior studies and loves writing/thinking about how a carefully designed people strategy can transform a company.
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5 Benefits of Using Microsoft Teams for Project Management
Video calling, video conferencing, group chat, a consolidated calendar, and more: all of the ways to use Microsoft Teams for project management.
What’s a project manager’s secret weapon? Why, software-based project management tools, of course! These tools let managers keep track of tasks assigned to team members while also helping them move projects forward to completion.
If you haven’t been introduced to it yet, Microsoft Teams is a versatile tool that can assist you with team coordination and ongoing project tasks. Here are five reasons why you should be using Microsoft Teams for project management.
Microsoft Teams Overview
Microsoft Teams is business collaboration software that provides a variety of communication options within one user interface. From video conferencing to chat functionality to even phone calling, users can utilize a single interface to stay connected to their teammates.
Microsoft Teams is available within your web browser window, but you can also download it as a desktop app to your computer or laptop and as a mobile app to your cell phone. Your staff members can use the version of Teams that best suits how they like to work.
Teams has a few different pricing options. A free version is feature-packed but has limitations on things like maximum meeting duration time and per user file upload sizes. The other paid pricing plans raise those limitation numbers and provide more features like call recording and access to Microsoft Office apps.
5 Useful Abilities for Project Management in Microsoft Teams
Teams’ main appeal to the project management space is its versatility to meet managers’ and teammates’ communication needs.
While video conference calling is arguably Teams’ most well-known use, project managers can also easily set up chat (“Team”) spaces for their ongoing projects (for example, Your Business’s Product Development Team or New App Features Team , etc.). Five great abilities for project management in Microsoft Teams are:
1. Microsoft Teams Virtual Meeting
The virtual meeting capabilities in Microsoft Teams are perfectly suited to keep a remote meeting on track when some (or all) of the staff members are working from home . Video conference calls here can host hundreds of participants, and options such as screen sharing and call recording are available to make these virtual meetings as in depth, productive, and collaborative as in-person meetings would be.
Teams also offers 1-to-1 video (or audio, if you choose) calling options, so managers can video call individual team members to have a face-to-face conversation whenever needed.
Project managers can use the Microsoft Teams virtual meeting feature to have daily team standups, task update calls, and sprint review/planning meetings (if your team follows the agile methodology of product development ). The “Together Mode” option seats all call participants in a virtual conference space for more realistic and engaging meetings.
2. Microsoft Teams Private Chat and Group Chat
A second great use of Microsoft Teams for project management is in its chat options. Managers can create “Teams” (group chat spaces) and invite their staff members to join. There, staff members can engage in ongoing group chat discussions and upload documents, files, or presentations so that others can edit or comment on them. Using this chat functionality can cut down on the amount of emails sent. It also centralizes the conversation so any member of the team can review chat history to quickly brush up on where tasks or issues stand.
Team members can also have chat conversations with individual coworkers. Microsoft Teams private chat empowers an employee to open a chat space with a specific colleague when they need to work together on a to-do or get an answer to a question without the interruption that goes along with a phone call.
3. File Uploading
As previously mentioned, managers and project team members can upload files—Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, etc.—to Microsoft Teams for real-time collaboration among the group. Files can be accessed in the individual Team space in which they were uploaded.
The Files tab of the interface gives you a bit of a shortcut, though. There, you can also access a complete list of all files that were uploaded to all Team spaces in which you are a member. Jump to the Files tab to search for and find a specific document quickly rather than locating it in the Team space.
4. External Calling
If you don’t already have a hosted VoIP phone system in place for your business, you can enable a calling plan for your business’s Microsoft Teams account. Doing so lets your Teams users make phone calls from the Teams user interface to people who are outside of your organization. You can also set up basic phone system features like auto attendants and separate voicemail boxes for each team member.
Another option available to you is connecting your Teams account to a telecom carrier through Microsoft Operator Connect . A handful of carriers are part of this program as Microsoft Partners—including Intrado’s, which is just one of 12 Gold-certified Operator Connect partners. Operator Connect allows you to purchase phone numbers from a carrier of your choice and make external calls to a much bigger geographic footprint than the Teams native calling plan provides.
5. Calendar View of Scheduled Meetings
The Calendar tab in the Teams interface gives you an overview of all of your scheduled meetings. By clicking on a particular meeting entry, project managers and team members can see the call’s main details, including the user’s RSVP status, the meeting’s link, and any key notes that the organizer wrote. You can seamlessly schedule new meetings while in your calendar, and meetings that are currently in progress display a helpful “Join” button for rapid entry into the conference call. The Calendar tab helps all team members to keep up with their important meetings that are scheduled during the workweek.
Using Microsoft Teams for Project Management: Your Multitalented Assistant
The capabilities that are available for project management in Microsoft Teams are varied and can flex to meet your specific business use case. Consider deploying it at your organization to supplement the skills of your project managers and their team members.
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Project management software integration for Microsoft Teams
Bring Wrike projects into Microsoft Teams and transform conversations into structured work.
TRUSTED BY 20,000+ ORGANIZATIONS WORLDWIDE
Collaborate on Wrike tasks and manage projects right in Microsoft Teams
Conversations drive collaboration, yet it can be difficult to tie them back to work. Topics are overlooked, action items go unrecorded, and new work can lack structure and a clear plan. With Teams, Microsoft created a chat-based workspace that acts as a hub for teamwork, making it easier to connect conversations with work. And Wrike for Microsoft Teams builds on this by enabling you to turn conversations into structured work and collaborate on Wrike projects and tasks right in Microsoft Teams, ensuring that your team can perform their best and accomplish more.
Manage projects and tasks in teams, plan better with gantt charts, work in wrike without leaving teams, microsoft office 365 and more integrations, accomplish more in microsoft teams with wrike.
Full-featured project management
- Add any Wrike project as a tab in a channel
- Create new projects and tasks
- Task lists, subtasks, task details, and more
- Rich text editing and images in tasks
Timeline and scheduling
- View your project schedule on a Gantt chart
- See due dates, milestones, durations, and dependencies
- Get a better picture of project progress
- Zoom in to see detailed information
- Live Editor: see your team’s changes in real time
- Update statuses, assignees, due dates, and more
- Give all your Office 365 users access to projects
- Send and receive Wrike comments in Teams
Task details in conversations
- Post task previews using Wrike’s messaging app
- Enhance chats by displaying task details
- See details like title, status, due date
- Quickly find recent tasks or search for tasks to add to chats
Access individual work
- Get a personal experience within Teams
- Work with your own Wrike tasks
- See tasks assigned to or created by you
- Access all Wrike projects added as channel tabs, in one place
- Sign in with SSO (Office 365, Google, etc.)
- Invite your colleagues through Wrike
- Connect your existing Wrike account
- Mirror user details like profile picture
Connection to Wrike
- Familiarity: Teams tab integration looks like the Wrike UI
- Immediate sync between Wrike and Teams
- Quickly access the full Wrike application for more power
- Wrike for Outlook
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Office and Office 365 Add-ins
- Microsoft Project
- Office Timeline
How to use it now:
Click the plus sign to add a Wrike project or folder as a tab in a Teams channel
Click the “…” under the comment field in a conversation to use the Wrike messaging app to post task previews
Click the “…” in the left sidebar to access the Wrike personal experience and see all your Wrike tasks
Get things done faster with Wrike's project management tool!
Connect your Wrike account to Microsoft Teams by navigating to the Teams store and installing the Wrike application. Add a Wrike project as a tab in your channel so you can view project details without leaving the Teams app.
Yes, it is possible to access Wrike through the Teams app. Wrike and Teams integrate seamlessly, allowing you to search for tasks, manage tasks, and share tasks in ongoing communications — all within the Teams app.
Once you’ve installed the Wrike add-on for Teams, you can update assignees, due dates, and statuses for project tasks. You can also view project dashboards within the Teams app.
Yes, the Microsoft Teams integration for Wrike is free. Improve project communication with Wrike and Teams without upgrading or buying any additional plans.
Yes, you can send Wrike comments through Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams for Project Management
The ultimate guide.
The number of organizations using Microsoft Teams is steadily growing and the need to understand how to use the platform in the most efficient way is increasing accordingly.
Microsoft Teams is changing the game for project managers. Considering the involvement of multiple players in the project management process, and its complexity that especially increased in recent years due to the rise of remote work, project management teams now more than ever require a solution that will allow them to:
- Align all the stakeholders involved in the project
- Create synergies among all the processes
- Connect the tools they use into a single platform
Microsoft Team has numerous capabilities that enable them to achieve just that and more. Its tech team is constantly working on upgrading its products, answering new needs of its customers.
To help you better understand how you can use the platform for project management to its full capacity we have prepared for you Microsoft Teams for Project Management: Ultimate Guide, where we put together all you need to know to successfully manage projects and your team.
Table of Contents
Project management challenges that microsoft teams can solve.
Project management comes with its challenges, and the project manager’s job is to successfully overcome them and deliver the best result. Luckily, there are various tools and methodologies out there that can help you address most of them.
Let’s walk through the key project management challenges that Microsoft Teams can help you with.
Challenge #1 Stakeholder alignment
Project management always involves a lot of people. Besides internal stakeholders that include the project team, managers, and executives, you also have external stakeholders. These are your customers, suppliers, contractors, investors, vendors, etc.
Aligning all of these different stakeholders can be a real challenge. You don´t want to play the broken telephone and send the same message separately to everyone involved in the project. You need to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the project’s progress without having to mediate between different parties.
Microsoft Teams allows you to do just that. You can bring together different teams, departments, and even third-party members and create a single workspace for them where you can communicate and collaborate together.
Challenge #2 Lack of communication
Lack of communication is always at the top of the challenges faced by project managers. It comes as no surprise since poor communication can cause major project delays and cost overruns.
It often happens that different stakeholders involved in a project work in silos – i.e., without sharing important updates and results of their work with the entire team.
To address this challenge, you can leverage several Microsoft Teams capabilities that foster working in the open. By following best practices of the use of Teams you will make sure your team will always have the right information available to them at any moment for further reference.
Challenge #3 Knowledge management
Oftentimes, there’s not enough knowledge sharing after the project has been completed. Meanwhile, all the insights – both victories and failures – can be lessons to learn from for future projects.
Knowledge management is key for efficient project management as it allows to develop best practices and reference points for project teams. With Microsoft Teams you can address this challenge and create a knowledge library where you can keep all important documentation.
Challenge #4 Data Management
Project teams work with tons of different data and keeping it structured and organized can be tricky. If not handled properly, it can lead to a total mess in your data storage. As a result, navigating and searching for the right documentation can turn into Mission Impossible. Due to these inefficiencies, you lose precious time that is of key importance in project management. And then, the productivity goes down along with team efficiency.
Microsoft Teams and its seamless integration with SharePoint, OneDrive and other Microsoft products can help you better manage your data while ensuring its security.
Challenge #5 Adherence to project management guidelines
Any team that works on projects has a set of project management guidelines with detailed instructions and steps to follow. You collect all the best practices, build the guidelines, and share them with your team, provide them with all the necessary tools that automate certain process and administrative tasks to make sure they focus entirely on the project.
Still, the guidelines are not always followed, and you get stuck with old practices that slow down the project management process.
You can solve this challenge with Microsoft Teams that allows you to translate your project management guidelines into an actionable plan that your team can easily follow.
Challenge #6 On budget, on time
This is the goal of any project manager – complete the project on budget, on time. There are many reasons why things can go wrong and cause project delays and additional costs. However, if the reasons lie in silo working, miscommunication, lack of accountability and collaboration failure – this is something Microsoft Teams can help you solve.
Due to its seamless integration with other native and 3 rd party tools you can use Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate with absolutely anyone, no matter what platform they use – even if they are not Teams users themselves. You can connect task management apps to make sure everyone knows what they are assigned to do. Additionally, with Teams all the conversations stay documented, allowing to enforce accountability of everyone involved in the project.
How to use Microsoft Teams for project management
Now let’s delve deeper into Microsoft Teams use cases for project management and some of the pla tform’s capabilities that can help you solve aforementioned challenges .
Align your project team with all the parties involved
Depending on the type of the organization you’re working at and the projects you run, there’s a variety of different teams you can have.
You may want to have an org-wide team, a team per department, a team for all the people involved in project management, teams per client and teams per project.
Since our main focus is managing projects with Microsoft Teams, we’ll stop at the project team. This is a separate workspace that you create for a specific project and where you and your team are working on.
You might want to have specific naming rules for your teams to make it easy for your users to navigate through them. The name can include your project’s location, name of the client, name of the project manager, etc.
For this example, let’s call our team Project – Alpha – Austin .
Example of a project management team
Here are some channels that we can build for this team:
Steering Committee 🔗 Create a shared channel where you would invite the members of the steering committee, including your client, partners, and other external stakeholders to communicate on project strategy, the course of the project and its progress.
Budget 🔒 You can also build a private channel accessible only to certain team members where you can discuss sensitive information such as budget, legal matters, and others.
Planning . You may want to dedicate one channel to all the planning work. Here you will discuss project milestones, add tasks, and coordinate activities among the project team for timely project completion.
Quality . Have focused discussions about quality control, audit, compliance, and regulations. You can make this a shared channel, if needed, where you can talk with your suppliers and contractors.
Resources . Create a separate space for communicating around all the resources required for the project: building materials, equipment, vehicles, immovables, etc.
Execution . You can have a channel dedicated entirely to the execution process as well as other stages of the project management.
Reporting . It can be a good idea to have a channel where you will collaborate and communicate with your team about reports. This way, you will have a dedicated space around this subject, making it easier for everyone to store and search for the right files.
Closure . Use this channel to work on the project close and the follow-up actions such as getting and analyzing feedback, preparing best practices, etc.
Hold video meetings
One of the great ways to stay in touch with the project team is through video calling. You can use Teams mobile app to hold meetings even on the go so that you’re always up to date.
With Teams meetings you can organize brainstorming sessions with Whiteboard. This app allows the entire team to add their notes and ideas in real-time while having a meeting just like an actual white board. Share the results of your work later on with the entire team through channel posts.
You can also turn on live captions during meetings. This can be especially useful if there’s some language barrier between the participants. Additionally, you may record your meetings and then share them, for example, with those who couldn’t attend but would like to stay up to date with the course of the meeting.
To keep all your meetings organized and let your team see all the upcoming meetings, you can add Channel calendar tab to your team’s channels – f or example, in Steering Comm ittee . Add recurring weekly meetings and the members of the channel will always know when a new meeting is coming.
Promote knowledge and expertise sharing
Microsoft offers a variety of products that allow effective knowledge sharing and interactive communication within an organization. Even if you have branches all over the planet, you can still connect all your employees working in the same field who would otherwise never know about each other.
With Yammer you can create a Project Management Community that will bring together all the experts as well as newly hired project managers.
They can use this space to share their experience and ask for advice. This way, you can leverage internal knowledge and even save resources on consulting services.
Another way of keeping everyone informed and engaged is through Viva Connections . It gathers all the information employees need in the dashboard: internal news, resources, and data from other applications they use daily. In this way, they won’t need to switch between apps and will always have all the information they need ready at hand. Viva Connections allows to connect content and conversations across the company. All the information relevant to your employees is easily accessible.
A team for knowledge sharing
Additionally, you can create a dedicated team for knowledge and expertise sharing. You can do it just for project management where you will invite only those employees working in the field or it can be open to anyone in the company.
Note that currently the number of people in a team cannot exceed 25,000 users.
This team can be your knowledge depository. Like this, everyone has a space where they can share anything they have to say, find useful information, and ask for advice. Here are some channel name examples for this team:
- Best Practices
- Customer Feedback
- Case Studies
- Useful Resources
Safely store and share your data
With Microsoft Teams and its seamless integration with SharePoint you can safely store, share, and collaborate on documents while keeping them structured and easily accessible.
By default, each time you create a team in Microsoft Teams, its own SharePoint site is created as well. This is where all the information you share through channel conversations and upload in Files tab is stored.
Let’s see how you can effectively work on documents for project management.
A library per project
You can use your team’s own SharePoint site as your project’s library. Each channel within your team has a dedicated folder in that site. Make sure to create relevant folders in each channel and upload or create new files accordingly so that all data is stored in a structured way. Whenever you need to share a specific file with other, you can simply copy the link to it and paste it in a conversation.
Here are some examples of files and folders that you can share and work on together with your team in Teams.
- Project status reports
- Project closure
- Business case
- Project proposal
- Project charter
- Risk management plan
- Project scope statement
- Cost management plan
Learn more about how to effectively collaborate on documents here .
A communication site for project management
At the same time, you can create a knowledge repository for all of your projects that each project team will have access to. You can do that through Communication sites in SharePoint. Your Project Management Communication site can gather all the finalized documentation from each project team created in Microsoft Teams. It may also contain other information such as company news, articles, useful resources, etc.
Create the site and add it as a tab in the relevant channel of each project team. Everyone who has access to it can equally contribute, upload documentation, and share updates.
You may also want to create a form in Microsoft Forms and ask you project team to submit finalized documentation and corresponding details in the form directly. With a Power Automate flow you can make sure it’ll end up in your Communication site. You can learn how to do it here .
Translate your project management playbook into Microsoft Teams
Adherence to project management guidelines and lack of accountability are some of the key project management challenges we outlined in the first chapter.
Microsoft Teams allows you to digitalize your playbook, make it easily accessible and visible to everyone as well as translate it into actionable tasks assigned to your team.
Guidelines in SharePoint
SharePoint can be your organizational knowledge repository. Use it to translate your written guidelines into a digital playbook. Then, add it as a tab in the right channel to all your project management teams. Adding it as a tab increases its visibility and ensures easy access to essential information.
Project tasks in Planner
You can also create tasks for your project teams that correspond to the steps outlined in the playbook. Planner is a perfect tool for that. Separate the tasks into project stages – these would be your buckets in the plan, for example:
- Conception and Initiation
- Definition and Planning
- Launch and Execution
- Performance and Control
- Project close
White Paper: Microsoft Teams for Project Management
Learn how to successfully manage projects in Teams. Each time you start a new project, get a new team with the same structure, pre-built set of tasks, and all essential content
Then, add required steps for each stage of the project implementation and specify details. For instance, you can add checklists, timeframe, and level of priority; attach links and files, leave notes, and assign tasks to the right people in your team. In this way, no task will be abandoned, and everyone will be clear about their responsibilities.
Organizing projects with Lists
Another way to organize your projects and encourage your team to adhere to project management guidelines is by leveraging Microsoft Lists. This tool allows you to structure all your data and processes. There are various templates you can choose from: issue tracker, event itinerary, asset manager, work progress tracker, and others.
Let’s take Work progress tracker list to organize project management activities. This way, you can use Lists as a task management tool. There you can list all the tasks your team should complete and customize it with necessary fields such as:
- Start and due dates
- Assigned to
You can also add other fields that correspond to the needs of your projects. Then, add this list as a tab in your team and have conversations around specific list items right in Teams.
Connect your tools
Project teams collaborate with various stakeholders throughout the day through multiple platforms. Oftentimes they need to switch from one platform to another, depending on who they’re communicating with, and then pass the same information through all these platforms to different people.
The good thing about handling project management in Microsoft Teams is that you can integrate your everyday apps in it and collaborate with everyone from a single location without the need to juggle between apps.
You can connect native Microsoft products, third party tools, and your own internal apps with Microsoft Teams and synchronize your process. Additionally, with Power Automate you can create advanced flows to automate some repetitive tasks such as issue tracking, request processing, approvals workflows, notification settings and other .
While Microsoft Teams integration with third party apps can offer limited capabilities, you may opt to adopt additional solutions that can create customized integrations according to your business needs.
Repetitive project management in Microsoft Teams
You created a new team for your project, uploaded all the right documentation for your team to work on, added tabs with important files and apps, including project tasks, and invited the right people to this team. The preparation part is done, you can now start working on the project implementation.
But then a new project comes, and you need to do it all over again. To increase your team efficiency and save time on performing repetitive tasks, you can use Collaboration Templates.
Collaboration Templates allow you to:
- Execute more efficiently in structured teams with all the right tools ready in place;
- Successfully manage all projects with a ready-to-go framework;
- Ensure the high level of security through advanced Governance Policies.
The latter includes naming rules for your teams. This capability makes sure the right people get immediately involved in the project as soon as it appears. Thus, you limit access to project management teams only to specific people in the organization.
Here’s how it looks like.
Go to the Template Catalog that contains templates for key business processes in your organization.
Select the Project Management template that was pre-built beforehand. Give it a name, add a description as well as owners and members. Then, click send.
After your request is processed, you project management team will be created within a few moments.
All the channels added at the template level, including its content such as files, folders, tabs with apps, guidelines, and tasks are already there. Additionally, the owners and members assigned while creating the template will be automatically added to new teams.
In this way, you and your team no longer need to start from scratch. You have all the right structure, content, and framework to start working on your new project straight away.
Apps for project management in Microsoft Teams
What makes Microsoft Teams an excellent platform for project management is its capability to seamlessly integrate other tools into its interface.
You can use multiple apps to handle different types of tasks without having to leave your Teams environment.
Here’s a list of apps that can be particularly useful for project management teams.
This is a great tool to manage and collaborate on tasks with your team. Assign them to the right team members and separate them into different buckets that can represent your project stages. With Planner you can set up the priority level for each task, define the timeline, modify its progress status, leave notes and comments and attach links and files. You can also connect your Planner with Outlook so that you always receive notifications about upcoming tasks.
This relatively new Microsoft app helps you keep track of all your data and better organize your work. Lists is a system of records: you can use it to organize your contact base, prepare events, track issues, record all your equipment and hardware, create project management checklists, etc. Through its integration with Teams, you can have conversations around list items, leave comments, @mention team members and even visualize any list with the date column in a calendar view.
Stay on schedule with a powerful app that lets you assign tasks to team members easily, add scheduling when you need it, and track task due dates and timelines.
The powerful features of Microsoft Teams can be channeled to support specific purposes, such as project management.
Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used and fastest-growing collaboration technologies. It helps project managers ensure
However, Microsoft Teams is not designed for project management. Whilst you can add various apps to a site, there is no way to track tasks, identity risks
Teamwork is a wide-ranging project management platform with all the functions businesses need to track tasks, work with vendors and clients
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What makes Microsoft Teams an excellent platform for project management is its capability to seamlessly integrate other tools into its interface. You can use