Collaboration Tools Explained

Regular Contributor

If you are in the Office 365 space and face the challenges of explaining when to use what tool this humble piece is for you!


Since the emergence of Yammer, One Drive, and most recently Microsoft Teams. I've often dealt with the infamous "just tell me what to use" statement and I personally can relate. After all, productivity tools, when used effectively should be more of an invisible experience.


Meaning, just like a faucet is a conduit for releasing water we don't think about it we just "turn it on" or "turn it off".

As such, technology tools like Office 365 should be a seamless experience where any person, regardless of their role can effectively plug in and get his or her work done.


With this in mind, I took a step back and began crafting a simple framework (born out of countless knowledge shares from generous people in the Microsoft Tech Community, Twitterland, and Yammer External Networks.) If you find the following information useful, the credit in all honesty goes to them for giving so much of what they know to help me understand and to better explain the use of collaboration tools for our people.


Without further delay, here you go! Feel free to comment and provide feedback :-).

5 Replies
Wow...this is great! Can't wait to dive in. Really appreciate you taking the time to create this resource!!!

Here's my work in progress Office 365 on a page ...

@Larry Glickman means a lot coming from you Larry! :)


We've gone through many iterations to get to where we are today. The truth is, what is working for us may not work for others. But, I will say the metrics truly support this approach. Below is feedback from our leader which includes some numbers in terms of how we've seen adoption grow in Collaboration space:

"In less than one year the ACTIVE users of teams has almost doubled, and it is now being actively used by over 25% of the organization monthly.

I think what’s most important about this is the month to month returning users being in the 90% range. That just means the people who are using teams are continuing to use and get value out of it monthly.  Additionally, the running average of about 200 new users per month. That’s really great work when combined with the idea that this is almost 100% a grass roots effort with no major project pushing this forward - except CLARITY about how we recommend users to engage with each tool. Also, Yammer and OneDrive are now actively used by 50-60% of the organization monthly.

All of that is continuing to drive as much value as possible out of the investment we are making in o365 every year."

@Garry Rawlins I like the circular visual and notice you are taking on the same approach with your organization. May I borrow your image to use internally?

@Lillian Diaz  Sure - I often show it at conferences that I speak at - I did think about using the inner loop / outer loop but I wanted something that showed ideas -> work output -> knowledege -> feedback and off you go again.  If you want the slide to edit let me know ...


We also have huge take up of Yammer and Teams ... with Teams we are taking a 'consultancy' style approach to deployment.  One hour awareness session and then I turn up and we configure the Team together ... time consuming but it gets people thinking differently.