Different approach to #Project team collaboration, what about #Office365 Groups? #ProjectOnline #PPM #PMO

July 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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Inspired by my colleague Alan Eardley’s recent webinar on Office 365 groups, I thought it might be good to blog about this from a project perspective.

For many types of projects, team collaboration is very important. There are many different options currently to support team collaboration. The default one being the project site in a Microsoft PPM environment. Other options include email distribution groups, shared mailboxes, Yammer etc. The latest option to consider is Office 365 groups, this feature was released towards the end of last year in Office 365. A good intro video on Office 365 groups can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3OLvYXepvE

Groups are managed via the Outlook Web App on your Office 365 tenant, you will see the Groups section below the folders in the left pane:

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Clicking the blue + symbol next to the Groups heading or the “Create group” link will load a pane of the right hand side:

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Give the group and a description. The Group ID will be generated automatically from the name you enter but can be modified if required.

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Then choose the privacy level, typically you would probably only want the project team members or a subset of the project team to have access so in this example it will be set to Private.

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I have also enabled the subscribe option so that members receive group conversations and calendar events in their inboxes.

Then click the Create button at the top of the pane and the group will be created:

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Next I need to add the members to the group:

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For this example I have only added a generic CPS user account, once all the users have been selected click the Add button at the top of the pane and you will see an adding members message:

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Your group is then created:

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The group name, description and image can easily be edited by clicking the edit icon on the group image or the edit group option on the ellipsis menu.

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You can also let people outside of the organisation email the group too – these appear as normal conversations in the group. Once the changes are made click save. In this example I clicked discard then you can view the group / updates to the group.

From here members can easily start new conversations:

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Easily reply or like a message:

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Members can navigate to the group calendar, notebook or file share:

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Easily create meetings in the group calendar and invite the group members:

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Each group has a dedicated OneDrive site to share documents:

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Keep in mind that if the group is deleted the documents will be lost so key documents probably want to be stored in the project site / document management portal.

You can then add a link on the Project Site to the Office 365 group if needed:

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Take a look and see what you think.

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