Microsoft Teams Training For architects Part 1 – Introduction

It’s time for another episode of Design Under Influence!  

If you haven’t been here before, this is a show dedicated to architecture, design, and engineering professionals to discover how technology can be their competitive advantage.  

Technology gives your business the ability to level up and set yourselves apart from the pack. If you’re not taking it seriously, you might not be doing enough to optimize business processes.  

Today we’re talking about Microsoft Teams and how to channel communication systems are more efficient than email.  

This episode is the first in a sequence of training that you can use to educate and train your team as to how to use this powerful tool.  

So why do people need Microsoft Teams, and what does it do?  

On average, intellectual workers spend one-third of their day just looking for materials. Whether they are trying to track down a procedure, a file, or other information needed to complete their job, they are wasting hours per day searching.  

That means that instead of actually working in the business, they are burning productivity time trying to get started.  

It’s easy to see the problem. Your employees are only 66% efficient, and that’s not due to snack and bathroom breaks.  

The biggest information silo for any business is email. If you’re not using an internal collaboration platform, all your company’s materials are buried deep in your employee inboxes.  

Sifting through multi-threaded conversations and gaining access to materials in this way is extremely slow and counterproductive.  

We’ve all been there, and it’s time to make a change.  

Email is an extremely formal mode of communication. Programs like Microsoft Team and Slack, on the other hand, allow for a more informal exchange between employees.  

Most workers will feel more comfortable on these platforms as they permit the use of more colloquial language. This makes getting the right information more streamlined, rather than having to shoot off an email and wait for a response (and doing nothing in the meantime).  

Additionally, in the remote work environment, we aren’t getting those workplace interactions that get us through the day. On internal collaboration platforms, employees can use things like gifs, memes, and hashtags to better connect and make the remote office experience more enjoyable.  

Here at ArchITall of our relevant business materials and conversations take place in Microsoft Teams. This has been extremely convenient for us, replacing a multitude of tools that decrease productivity.  

Some issues that have been solved for us through internal collaboration:  

  • File storage  
  • Video meetings  
  • Phone calls  
  • Team & Individual Chat  
  • Whiteboard collaboration  
  • Notes 
  • Planner & Tasks  
  • And more!  

We use these tools every day, and with Microsoft Teams, it’s all in one place.  

You also have means of contracting freelancers and other workers to help you with projects. Internal collaboration makes it all trackable and secure, ensuring that the job is completed the right way and easy to access.  

Keep in mind: we’re advocating for this service as a means of internal collaboration. As an architecture and design firm, you’re likely still going to need email to communicate with your clients. So it’s not necessarily a fix-all solution.  

Because Microsoft Teams is a fairly new platform, there are going to be some growing pains when adopting it for your particular business. This tends to be the biggest concern for our clients, who have to rework processes after a lifetime of dependency on email.  

But here’s the deal: you are going to streamline most of your processes by making the switch. For example, traditionally, when you want to have a quick video call with someone, you have to make contact with that person to schedule the call.  

On Teams, you can literally just hit the Camera button, and you are connected with that person immediately. With ‘Share Screen’ and other vital functionality built-in, this can be the difference between solving problems in 2-3 minutes and taking a whole day to schedule a call, etc.  

An example like this is small in itself, but these sort of optimizing processes really start to add up.  

Feeling like this could be a solution for you? Let’s get into the rollout process of moving your operations to Microsoft Teams.  

Implementation does require some technical expertise. That’s why IT companies like us here at ArchIT exist to help you out.  

Overall, though, the shift is not all that intensive.  

The initial phase needs to be designing the platform for your specific goals. We have to figure out the easiest way to get your employees to buy in and start using the tool to make their time more productive.  

From there, you can use input from your team to change processes and make tweaks going forward.  

In the last two months, ArchIT has helped three mid-size architecture & design firms complete this rollout, making the transition as simple and user-friendly as possible.  

In most cases, we like to begin the setup process by splitting your team into sub-teams, if you will. For example, we might categorize employees by:  

  • Marketing Team  
  • Design Team  
  • Project Management Team  
  • HR Team  

We take departments and turn them into teams. From there, you can digitize all communications and make it easier than ever for relevant parties to connect and produce.  

Depending on the size of your firm, we also suggest having 1-3 employees that are champions of the software to assist other employees when problems arise. We can help to train those employees for you to give them the know-how they need to go forth confidently as the Teams expert.  

These people can also work to make the adoption of Teams more efficient, transferring email conversations to the internal collaboration platform and encouraging the cultural shift.  

So — what’s this all going to cost your firm, anyway?  

If you’re already using Microsoft 365 products, you likely already have Teams included in your package. If you aren’t using Microsoft 365, it’ll cost about $5 per month per individual.  

Overall, you’re going to get a lot of value in terms of efficiency.  

This is how you make technology your competitive advantage. Phasing old out processes, and introducing new tools that can empower productivity and cultural shift within your firm.  

Let’s be proactive in making change happen rather than letting change happen to us.  

You don’t have to be techy to understand that technology can put you ahead.   

If you have questions or need help please reach out to us. ArchIT specializes
in providing IT services for architecture, design, and engineering firms.