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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

  • 1.  We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

    Posted May 10, 2017 14:46

    I have spent many hours over the last year or so attempting to stay on top of the Microsoft Office 365 features, apps, releases, etc. (I am sure many of you can relate!)

    The nonprofit offering is incredible and the possibilities for collaboration seem endless, however most of the rollouts that I have experienced leave project managers with little guidance about the tools that are now in their possession. 

     

    Here are just a few of my recent favorites:

    Outlook Groups:  I have recently re-discovered Outlook Groups.  If you were considering Groups before and walked away due to the lack of functionality I would definitely suggest taking another look.

    What you get:

    • Group Outlook Calendar (not a SharePoint list!)
    • Group Inbox (with a user-friendly email address)
    • Dedicated SharePoint site
    • Dedicated OneNote
    • Group Planner
    • Groups App available for Android/Apple – Love this!

    What's still missing:

    • The Group SharePoint site creates a new Site Collection that cannot be easily managed if you are a SharePoint administrator using shared list templates. This is on the MS roadmap.
    • Planner tasks do not integrate with Outlook
    What challenges have you had with Outlook Groups (not to be mistaken for Yammer Groups)?

    The great news is that Outlook Groups seem to be a strategic focus for Microsoft.  They have been releasing features (especially admin functionality) at a rapid pace.

    OneNote Integrations and Tips:  Our PMO is taking advantage of the following OneNote features.  Please share any others you have found!

    • Outlook meeting integration (Navigation: Home -> Meeting Details)
    • Copy Text from Picture (Right click on an image, select Copy Text from Picture, then simply right click again and select Paste - Keep Text Only in different section of the page) This has been so useful!!!
    • Create Outlook tasks from OneNote (Navigation: Home -> Outlook Tasks -> Custom – Selecting Custom will allow you to add assignees)
    • Find Tags (Navigation: Home -> Find Tags – Desktop version only)
    • Page Versions (Navigation: History -> Page Versions)
    • Find by Author (Navigation: History -> Find by Author)

     I would love to understand what O365 tools and tricks are working for you!  Please share any Office 365 tools or best practices.

    Look forward to hearing from you!



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    Maria Sterck
    VP of Product Development
    Mission Matters Group
    Washington, MO
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

    Posted May 11, 2017 10:09
    Great summary Maria, I admire your enthusiasm after a year of working with the O365 tools!
    We've recently seen a push from senior management to adopt MS collaboration tools.  As an IT project manager/business analyst I gave it a go for a while but found O365 groups and SharePoint teams leaving much to be desired.
    A month ago Microsoft unveiled another overlapping collaboration tool called teams which is a marked improvement over their other products.  One of my favorite improvements is that it allows users to select whether to work on files locally or in the cloud.  Working locally seamlessly saves changes to the cloud version of the file which is fantastic for those that need the additional functionality that working locally provides. If you haven't tried this yet I highly recommend it teams.microsoft.com

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    Geoff Garcia
    Director of Intranet Services and Business Analysis
    March of Dimes
    White Plains, NY
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

    Posted May 11, 2017 14:45
    So what is the real difference between Groups and Teams. How are you organizing your system?

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    Teresa Wang
    Digital Strategy Director
    Western Justice Center
    Pasadena, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

    Posted May 11, 2017 21:07
    Hello Teresa,

    I am going to do my best to answer your question but I would love for the community to chime in.  Here is my understanding:

    Microsoft Teams is a chat/collaboration front end to Groups. According to Microsoft it is the best solution for persistent chat among group/team members.

    Office 365 Groups is a service that provides cross-application membership for a set of shared team assets, like a SharePoint site or a Power BI dashboard, so that the team can collaborate effectively and securely.  (Also according to Microsoft)

    Groups are where Microsoft investment and development is being spent.  What it comes down to is that a Group is an Azure Active Directory membership service which means when you create a group you provision a piece of each service (or app) so the resources can be managed as one unit that is loosely coupled.  This differs greatly from the original releases where you had to deploy each service and the data and changes were not necessarily shared.

    Currently, the default setting is when you create a Team or a SharePoint site you are creating a Microsoft Group.  The challenge there is that naming conventions and conflicts can quickly get out of control.  We are deploying group naming policies to try to control this and we did disable the creation of a resource group for each new SharePoint site.  New Groups are only created via Outlook for our organization at this point. We also set a policy that for teams that wanted the chat functionality we have the new Microsoft Team added to an existing Office 365 Group upon creation.

    The feature releases are rapid and robust for both Groups and Teams.  Here is a good resource I found for Teams specifically: https://www.successwithteams.com/

    Hopefully this information helps a bit.  I realize the solutions are complex and confusing but I also think they can add tremendous value for Project Managers!






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    Maria Sterck
    VP of Product Development
    Mission Matters Group
    Washington, MO
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: We're Migrating to Office 365 - Now What PM's

    Posted May 11, 2017 20:37
    Thank you Geoff!

    I will absolutely try your recommendation.  I know some of our Mac users have experienced challenges with taking advantage of OneDrive locally so always looking for improvement there.

    Appreciate the tip!

    Maria

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    Maria Sterck
    VP of Product Development
    Mission Matters Group
    Washington, MO
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline