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Understanding the Challenges, Benefits, and Best Practices of using Microsoft Teams on AEC Projects

Collaboration in the AEC sector has always been a challenge. The industry involves multiple stakeholders, internal and external, working on projects with varying timelines. Add to that the remote work scenario post-pandemic, and you have a recipe for even greater complexity. Microsoft Teams has become a lifeline for AEC professionals. Whether your firm has offices worldwide or you’re dealing with dispersed teams, Teams offers a cohesive and efficient platform for collaboration.

During a recent episode of the ProjectReady Podcast, “Microsoft Teams and the AEC,” ProjectReady CEO Joe Giegerich and Head of Development Shaili Modi-Oza discussed challenges and best practices for managing and maximizing the use of Microsoft Teams for over the course of an AEC project.

Read on to explore some of the key points discussed during this episode and gain a greater understanding of what’s possible when using the powerful collaboration solution that is Microsoft Teams. Or, if you’d rather listen to the episode, click on the player below.

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More Than Chat: Unboxing The Value Of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a robust collaborative tool designed to streamline project collaboration. Its intuitive interface offers features such as messaging and document collaboration, as well as the fact that it is a readily available solution that’s offered as part of the Microsoft 365 tech stack (which means many organizations already own it). As a result, Teams has become the preferred choice for many organizations.

So many users also love the solution because of its ease of access across various devices, including web browsers and mobile phones. This means, as employees become more mobile and less likely to retreat into the physical office space, with Teams, collaboration from anywhere is, indeed, seamless.

However, while Microsoft Teams offers incredible potential, its ease of use can sometimes lead to organizational challenges. For example, the ease of Teams can result in unregulated sprawl, where users create numerous Teams channels without a clear structure or purpose. This sprawl often results in mass confusion and frequently hinders effective collaboration while thwarting a company’s attempt to enforce a range of policies and procedures.

Confronting Teams Challenges Head On

One of the most significant challenges Teams presents is ensuring the proper security and management of documents. For example, the default document library found within Teams can be an open-access area, which makes it challenging to enforce granular security settings.

It’s crucial to ensure the protection of sensitive documents and maintain data integrity. Especially throughout the AEC. With so many team members coming and going on a project, ensuring proper and rights of access can produce a ton of overhead and risk if not managed effectively.

To address this, organizations should consider creating a separate Team for each project and a separate SharePoint site where they can manage security and permissions more granularly. This approach not only improves security but also helps teams organize documents, conversations, and group mailboxes in the context of the project. Plus, with access to teams you also have access to SharePoint as well as it is all a part of Microsoft 365.

Finally, while creating a Team may appear to be straightforward, improper Teams protocol can lead to clutter in the absence of governance. Users may inadvertently create Teams without understanding the broader implications of adding unnecessary complexity to the environment. To ensure proper control, organizations should ensure that proper Standard Operating Procedures are put into place.

Teams Continue To Evolve

Microsoft has been continuously improving its APIs, making it easier for developers to integrate Teams with other applications. This evolution of APIs has streamlined the integration of Teams with various tools, enhancing overall efficiency and collaboration.

ProjectReady Extends The Power Of Teams

ProjectReady offers a seamless solution to handling these challenges by automating the setup, security and integration of Teams in conjunction with other systems in play. By removing the administrative overhead involved in managing Microsoft Teams, AEC teams can hit the ground running and maximize the collaboration capabilities available with the product.

Tap Into Microsoft Team’s Full Potential

Microsoft Teams offers immense potential for the AEC industry to improve collaboration, particularly in remote and dispersed working environments. However, organizations must address the challenges related to governance, security, and document management to maximize the benefits of Teams. By adopting best practices and leveraging solutions like ProjectReady, companies can unlock the full potential of Microsoft Teams in their AEC projects.

If you would like to learn more about ProjectReady’s full integration of the M365 tech stack, click here . Or, if you currently use Teams but are tired of the sprawl and need a better way to find the right Teams Channel, let us know and we will help you develop a collaborative project information management strategy that works best for your organization’s unique needs. In the meantime, feel free to check out some of these additional resources for more insight into how you can use M365 better in the scope of your projects.


Additional Resources: