If you haven’t noticed, this month we’ve been talking all about Microsoft Teams, from why we love it to how awesome the mobile app is. It’s a tool that we not only implement for our clients, but also one that we use ourselves within Silicon Reef on a daily basis. Sam Ellis, Project Manager, shares just how he uses the tool within his role here at The Reef.
Sam, as a Project Manager, how exactly do you use Microsoft Teams?
I interact with Teams daily. It’s one of the first applications I open in the morning. Using Teams allows me to keep up to date with projects, interact with clients and my team. Mornings I usually wake up at 7:45 and get ready for work. I use the Teams mobile app to check in to see if anything urgent has come through from the night before. Then when I get into the office, or if I’m working from home it’s the first app I open on my laptop. I can check my schedule to see what’s coming up for the day and plan out my tasks. Looking forward to the new task function coming out soon.
Sounds like it’s your go-to for everything, or at least will be as soon as Microsoft releases a few more benefits this year. What’s been your favourite benefit of using Teams with a client?
Teams has a number of benefits for client collaboration. However, I think my personal favourite is the external sharing. Allowing clients to interact as part of your team/channel is a great feature. It ensures everyone is looking at the latest documents. As well as being an excellent platform to track progress and share achievements or instantly chat via message or call.
It’s safe to say that it helps your work life then instead of being another tool you have to use?
Massively. From the desktop app to mobile app, it allows me to be fully in control of my work and projects. It enables me to work from anywhere which is a huge bonus. Definitely a plus to work for a company that lets you work from home. It helps that we are a Microsoft Silver Partner and therefore what we do as a business is then pushed throughout the company internally as well. We truly live what we help other companies aspire to in the way we work.
You’ve mentioned the mobile app a few times. Is it something that becomes a danger to have access 24/7 to your work in the palm of your hand?
I use the Teams mobile app on iOS and have to say it’s very good. It always gives me correct notifications when someone is trying to reach me, allows me to open documents and message or call people when I’m on the go. This is massive considering most of the company work across the country – or even abroad at times. In most companies and work environments I can see how being connected to work on your phone can be a recipe for disaster, never being able to disconnect and have time for yourself. With Teams mobile app, you’re able to set quiet hours – essentially, it lets you switch off and have that time to disconnect. I set my quiet hours from 7 at night till 7 in the morning, and then quiet days on Saturdays and Sundays.
What’s been the biggest challenge when on-boarding a client and training them to use Microsoft Teams?
I think the biggest challenge when on-boarding new users to Teams is going through all of the functionality available within the application. Teams allows you to embed URLs, Planner Boards and so much more. The application amalgamates so many of the Microsoft features, which is a lot of information to take in at once. We make sure we build a timeline where employees can learn all Teams can do for them in a way that is digestible and not overwhelming.
As a whole Microsoft Teams can only benefit your company, especially if everyone in the organisation gets on-board. This, as we know so well at Silicon Reef, can be the ultimate challenge. If you think Microsoft Teams is what your company’s been missing have a look at what we can provide from support to training and adoption.
SAM ELLIS, Project Manager
I’ve been working as a PM at Silicon Reef for just under a year now. The company’s values and culture make this such an awesome place to work. I’ve been involved in some awesome projects so far, all having achieved big milestones while enjoying what I do. Each project has been incredible in what I’ve learned and able to help enhance my career.
Anyone looking to get into digital project management in tech, I’d highly recommend to keep learning about the latest tech roadmaps and functionality available. I’ve been listening to podcasts and watching video courses online to help me advance my technical knowledge. It’s helped me to make more informed decisions and apply towards recommendations for clients to utilise the tools at their fullest potential.