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Help Your Team Use Office 365 Groups and Quickly Boost Collaboration

By Asif Rehmani
Updated January 4, 2024

If your digital workplace is heavily based on teamwork, you can take full advantage of one of the most powerful services within the Office 365 suite: Office 365 Groups.

Now, here is a common scenario: you tell your team members to make use of a tool; they open the tool but don't know where to start. This happens even after everyone has gone through sessions of training.

Not knowing how to use a tool is one of the greatest barriers to better usage.

Training can help but, over time, end users usually forget most of what they learn after a class. The good news is that there is a proven way to provide end users with always-available on-screen guidance on how to get from one step to another.

When employees don't have to endure hours of training sessions before they can use a tool, long-term adoption gets so much easier.

Explore all of the collaboration capabilities

Office 365 Groups help you bring your team members and resources together in a shared digital space for greater collaboration. Working with documents, managing projects, scheduling meetings, sending emails … all of these common collaborative tasks are enabled by the Microsoft service. Anyone who joins an Office 365 Group automatically gets access to all of the associated resources.

Think of Office 365 Groups as Distribution Lists but with more capabilities. You don't assign permissions manually; all included resources are automatically available to anyone who joins. The associated resources for collaboration may include:

  • A shared Outlook mailbox that enables bulk communication with all team members;
  • A shared calendar that helps team members to coordinate events;
  • A shared document library that stores all documents needed for teamwork; and more.

The feature seamlessly works together with other communication, collaboration, productivity, and document management applications, including SharePoint, Outlook, and Planner.

Companies and departments use Office 365 Groups for a variety of collaborative projects, both short and long-term, from vacations tracking or special events to marketing efforts.

Based on the purpose, an Office 365 Group can be given different sets of attributes. Among them are the following:

  • Public or private (whether everyone or only members can see the content of the Group);
  • Inclusion of members outside your organization;
  • And, selection of owners (team members responsible for managing the Group).

It’s not enough to explore and demonstrate capabilities to end-users, you have to help them master the tool.

Provide on-screen in-context guidance

Using Office 365 Groups is fairly simple: you create a group, you add people, and everyone gets access to all the associated tools and documents.

However, due to the fact that information retention after training is usually low, sustainable adoption of such features remains a challenge in most companies.

What if end users were able to use the features even if they didn't remember how to use it? A digital adoption tool like VisualSP makes this possible.

The plug-and-play add-on application provides end users with contextual help at the moment of need, every step of the way. Wherever a user is within the interface, an exact applicable help item is either visible automatically or visible with a click of the mouse. Help items come in different mediums: videos, pdf, images, and walkthroughs. You can add your own help items to guide your team members through your chosen collaborative business processes.

You may create interactive walkthroughs to serve a variety of purposes: for example, outlining what a team member can and cannot do so that when they navigate the interface, they know exactly how to proceed. You can provide your team with contextual help items that show how to approach all the collaborative tasks related to your Office 365 Group. Typical tasks include:

  • Creating new Groups
  • Finding and joining existing Groups
  • Working with all the integrated applications
  • Viewing, editing, and creating shared notes
  • Working with shared files
  • Managing shared calendars
  • Using shared emails
  • Interacting with members
  • Reading alerts; etc.

Plus, you can track consumption of help items using built-in analytics.

Track progress toward mastery of the feature

Digital adoption platforms usually come with native advanced analytics capabilities. Exploit the feature to track team members learning activities and measure the gradual improvements toward greater adoption of the collaborative tool.

Increasing usage of Office 365 Groups is a sure way to more collaboration opportunities. When a contextual help system provides guidance, everyone can use the tool without friction. Quickly, employees attain mastery and collaboration becomes a habitual way of getting things done.

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