Microsoft teams project management

Top tips for using Microsoft Teams for project management and communication

March 25, 2021

One year into the pandemic, you’ve probably found yourself on at least one Microsoft Teams meeting.

Teams is the broad-use communication tool which has been used to unite remote teams. The free feature has a 100-participant capacity, meetings up to an hour long, screen sharing, and more. The paid versions—and there are several of them—can permit non-stop meetings and accommodate thousands of participants simultaneously.

Other features of Teams include:

  • Real-time chat and messaging
  • Cloud calling
  • Document storage
  • Real-time co-editing
  • Search
  • Private or public channels
  • Good security and privacy settings
  • Integration with third-party apps
  • The ability to record meetings—key for review, sharing, and in case a member is absent

Microsoft Teams has a low learning curve and most people find they are able to use it quickly. As a whole, the tool is easy to get up and running.

Chat is the key feature of Teams and is what gets the most use. Chat can be one-on-one, or chat rooms can easily be created by adding specific team members.

Chats appear on your chat pane as pinned—like bookmarked entries—or as recent files. Think of a chat as a channel. From it you can:

  • Add or share documents
  • Add files, links, apps, and more
  • Leave a chat
  • Pin a chat
  • Mute a chat—you’ll still be a part of the group but won’t get pings when new chats are entered
  • Temporarily pause notifications by setting your status to “Do not disturb”

Teams also has a highly useful calendar which can integrate with Outlook, so meeting invitations accepted in email are blocked off immediately on your Teams calendar. From the calendar, it’s easy to click directly to join the meeting. The calendar can also be configured so it shows team member vacation or out of office requests.

From the chat pane, it’s also easy to see what teams you are a part of, a record of calls, and any files that have been shared.

Chat shows the current status of members of your team based on their activity. Those work status reports include available, away, busy, in a call, presenting, be right back, appear away, and appear offline.

While Teams is a highly useful communication tool, it is less handy as a project management solution—and that makes sense, since it was not designed for project management. While it is possible to add apps to the site, there is no way to track tasks, manage resources, and generate reports.

Other drawbacks include:

  • Lack of unified search
  • Easy consumption of storage allowances
  • A limited number of channels

These drawbacks highlight the benefits of pairing Teams’ communication ability with a project management took like ProWorkflow.

Dedicated project management tools such as ProWorkflow allow teams to focus on project management and completion and include features such as:

  • Grouping of details, tasks, time, and communications in one place
  • Flexible task types and customizable templates
  • Easy timesheet entry and reporting
  • Easy contact, staff, client, and contractor management
  • Custom workflow solutions
  • Pre-loaded templates
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Customizable look and feel
  • Invoice and quote manager

While Teams is quickly becoming the go-to platform for communication, it falls short when it comes to project management. Serious workflow demands will be better handled by more sophisticated tools like ProWorkflow. For a custom quote, or to learn more about its features, call or write ProWorkflow today.

Sidebar: What to look for in a dedicated project management tool

Not all project management software is created equally. Getting what is right for you will depend on your goals and the task at hand. Key features to look for include:

  • Detail, task, schedule, and communications all in one place
  • The ability to create flexible task types
  • Easy timesheet entry
  • Easy management of contacts, including staff and clients
  • Resource management tools that let you allocate tasks and view workload
  • Customizable look and feel
  • Invoice and quote managers, including customizable templates
  • Easy file sharing and attachments like screenshots or annotations
  • Top-notch security