Apr 21 2022
- last edited on
Feb 01 2023
Apr 21 2022
- last edited on
Feb 01 2023
Hello, my team is growing and we need to configure Office 365 to more effectively get work done together. I run a small law firm, but really, we're just a project management company with subject matter experts. Office 365 has a lot of tools that can help with this and I'm looking for inspiration on how to use them properly.
When it was just me, people would email me, I would respond with details about the project, and then break it into steps, using Outlook, OneDrive/SharePoint, MS Word, and etc. to get things done. I'm pretty geeky so I've customized the tools to help. Using tools like Flow/PowerAutomate, Integromat, Wordpress and some Python.
But now there's way too much to do. People still email me, but it's a pain, because often I'm delegating it to someone else. My clients love email, and many of my peers force clients to use clunky, hard to use portals. I do this for certain kinds of secure communication, but my willingness to primarily use email gives me a competitive advantage.
I want to switch to a system where people email team@ instead of me directly. That email would go into a place where any of us can see it, reply to it, but also possibly provide internal comments on it. We'd like to make a todo list of tasks that go with it, possibly having this done automatically based on a template. We'd like to have a historical view of things, since some projects take months or more to finish. We also need reminders and due dates and a way to see what needs done now vs. later.
MS Teams seems like a logical tool for the group communication. I do not see any way for my team@ shared mailbox to be linked into Teams. In my mind, I'd create a conversation for each project and then when messages come in, we'd push them into an existing or new conversation. Then we could either reply to the client from Teams or add internal only comments. Likewise, this conversation in Teams would have some check lists and due dates. Similarly, there should be a place for shared files related to this project that we can work on together.
To me, this seems like the type of thing lots of companies do or should be doing. But I just can't find a way to get it done. Do you have any tips on which tools allow my team to interface with external customers?
Apr 22 2022 12:41 AM - edited Apr 22 2022 01:47 AM
my first thought was using MS Planner or MS Lists (SP lists) in combination with Power Automate to track your customer requests.
Just a quick example of ms planner
Available triggers for Planner:
Power automate has great cabapilities to create Task items or react to certain changes in the Planner.
Process Idea using MS tasks:
1) Customer mail incs at shared mailbox team@
2) Power Automate creates item in tasks in a certain bucket with reference to the mail, attaches the mail as attachment to the task, fills the task with template 2Dos, marks the case in regards to certain critieria or status
3) Power Automate: Time scheduled flow that checks all items in the planner from time to time an reacts on certain status, buckets or flags.
E.g. when Planner Item is in bucket "A" and a User is assigned forward the mail to the assigned user.
Example of each individual case in planner (there is even a comment section a little bit lower)
With some scheduled flows on each bucket of the planner you can almost create any custom reminder or even use the standard reminding functionalities of planner.
You can implement this in any MS Teams channel and share the planner with the individual employees. If you want to seperate the cases more then work with multiple planners and flows.
I think MS Planner should do the Job here for you, as far as I understand your requirements. SP Lists (MS Lists) would be an even more costumizable solution.
Apr 22 2022 06:38 AM
@LimeLeaf thanks, that is very clever! I admit to not really using Lists much so I will have to play with using it like this.
I thought for sure the first answer would be something related to MS Teams. This looks like a fun automation to try.
Apr 22 2022 10:16 PM - edited Apr 25 2022 05:15 AM
@MattNuzum you're welcome - MS Lists(SP Liste) is also a great tool for collaboration and to track any type of work or project. It‘s more customizable then MS Planner as you can define the fields and types as you like. You can even build easily a Power Apps Form on Top of it.
Just to make clear, my example above is fully MS Planner.