A Simple Setup Checklist for Microsoft Teams

Are you having trouble getting your employees to adopt Microsoft Teams? Often, organizations don't set it up correctly. Check out our simple setup checklist for Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft Teams is a lot of things. It's a video conferencing tool, a team messaging channel, and a tool for in-app co-authoring, just to name a few. During the pandemic, the popularity of Teams skyrocketed.


User numbers for Microsoft Teams jumped from 20 million in November 2018 to 75 million in April 2020. As of this year, Microsoft reports a user count of 270 million for the platform. This makes it the most popular business tool for team communications.


However, one of the things that makes the app popular is also one that can make the setup complex. Microsoft Teams has many moving parts, but to use them effectively they need to be well organized. Additionally, users need to have a chance to learn the system and train on best practices.


What Can Microsoft Teams Do?

First, let's look at the different areas of Microsoft Teams and what it can do. Then, we'll give you a simple setup checklist to help your team get up and running productively.


You can think of Teams as a virtual office in the cloud. It's a centralized hub where teams can communicate, collaborate, and manage tasks. There is also an external communication component to Teams. You can use the app to video conference with anyone. You can also invite guests to a chat channel.


Here are some of the features of Microsoft Teams:

  • Siloed chat channels

  • Security for team communications

  • Integration with Office apps

  • Integration with 3rd party apps

  • File sharing

  • Video and audio conferencing

  • VoIP phone system (with an extra add-on)

  • Keep all team resources in a single place


Easy Checklist for Setting Up Microsoft Teams


1. Set Up Your Teams/Departments One of the advantages of Teams is that it allows you to set up specific area for your group to collaborate. You do not want everyone to set these teams up on their own, or you could end up with an unorganized mess. Apsidien addresses this issue with Apsidien365, a tool which allows you to keep control of your environment with templates and naming standards.

  • Set up teams by department (accounting, marketing, etc.)

  • Add a company-wide team (where everyone can collaborate)

  • Set up teams by role (office managers, executives, etc.)

Typically, if you mirror the hierarchy of your organization, that's a good place to start. Team areas are secured so only those users invited can see or access any of the content in that team.


2. Add Team Members

For each team, add the members allowed to take part in that team. These would be people that can see the resources posted in that team area. It would normally by the members of the department or group of the team is designed for.


3. Set Up Team Channels

The next level beneath the Team is the Channels. These team channels help organize conversations. For example, within a team set up for your marketing department, you may decide to add three channels. This keeps conversations more focused and makes it easier to find things.


For instance, you could have channels for:

  • Website Management

  • Social Media

  • Offline Advertising

Team channels are another area that you want to control. Don't let everyone set up channels without a plan, otherwise, things get messy fast.


4. Set Up Team Tabs

Tabs are a great way to foster productivity. Say that employees on your accounting team need to access a tax reporting website. Inevitable, there can be time wasted asking for that link or a login. This is especially true if someone is filling in for a co-worker.


You can add that website link and info to the Tabs area at the top of the team channels. Just click the plus sign to add a new resource and consolidate things for your team members.


5. Schedule Microsoft Teams Training

One of the reasons that company initiatives fail is that users weren't properly enabled. If users aren't trained on using Microsoft Teams, then they'll revert to using whatever they used before. This negates the benefits of moving to Teams when not everyone is onboard.


It's important to work with a Microsoft professional to train your teams. Apsidien can provide tips on the most productive features as well as short-cut their learning curve quite a bit! Makes sure to have a realistic timeframe. You should also survey users on whether they feel they need more training.


Article used with permission from The Technology Press.