Using Teams in an architectural design office for multiple projects

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20I%20can%20find%20time%20in%20my%20schedule.%26nbsp%3B%20Might%20be%20easier%20on%20a%20weekend%20for%20me.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1507168%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Using%20Teams%20in%20an%20architectural%20design%20office%20for%20multiple%20projects%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1507168%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EThanks%20for%20the%20reply!%20I%20remember%20Filemaker%20days.%20I%20also%20tried%20Archioffice%20back%20then.%20Currently%20trying%20to%20implement%20IngeniousIO.%20Great%20platform%20and%20one%20of%20the%20better%20online%20GUI%20but%20it's%20not%20ready%20for%20release%20just%20yet%2C%20still%20full%20of%20glitches%20and%20bugs.%20Weekend%20would%20be%20great%20if%20you're%20open%20to%20it.%20I'm%20in%20LA%20and%20can%20be%20available%20anytime.%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1551734%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Using%20Teams%20in%20an%20architectural%20design%20office%20for%20multiple%20projects%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1551734%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EI%20would%20be%20interested%20in%20a%20Zoom%20meeting.%20We%20are%20researching%20these%20topics%20now.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1619311%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Using%20Teams%20in%20an%20architectural%20design%20office%20for%20multiple%20projects%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1619311%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F88836%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Craig%20Vaughn%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3B%20-%20what%20did%20your%20firm%20end%20up%20using%3F%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ETeam%20per%20client%20%26amp%3B%20Channel%20per%20project%3F%20I%20know%20you%20can%20copy%20Tasks%20in%20Planner%20and%20rename%20so%20you%20can%20use%20unique%20for%20each%20channel.%20Our%20Team%20is%20working%2060%20projects%20simultaneously%20so%20we%20need%20a%20solid%20check%20list%20for%20each%20project.%2060%20teams%20just%20seems%20like%20overkill.%20Although%20have%2060%20plan's%20is%20a%20lot%20of%20plans%20in%20planner.%20Might%20need%20to%20delete%20plans%20check%20list%20as%20each%20project%20ends.%20Only%20solution%20I%20have%20their%20is%20to%20export%20plan%20check%20list%20to%20an%20excel%20file%20and%20save%20that%20with%20the%20project%20archive%20files.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EArchive%20is%20probably%20a%20whole%20another%20thread.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
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Occasional Contributor

We are a small firm of 20 employees.  I think I understand how Teams fits in with internal departments- like Admin, HR or Marketing. I've set those up and they are beginning to take off for us.

 

But I am trying to wrap my head around whether I would actually open up separate Teams for the 60-70 client projects we have each year.  Would the left hand ribbon just get to be too full of projects to remain useful?  Is the preferred methodology for this to create one team for "Projects" and then create separate "Channels" for each small project underneath?  I'm hesitant to do that because my "Admin" is a team and "Marketing" is a Channel under "Admin"- when I made separate new Planner "Plan" for "Admin" and "Marketing", they are actually linked to the same Planner but display different sets of tasks...  It is really confusing if I go to the Planner hub and it only shows a few item rather than all of them.  Something is not working right there.  So having said that, I'd hate to have 50+ Channels all linked to the same Planner...

 

How are other firms handling things like this?

14 Replies
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We create a Team for each client, and a channel for each project that we do for that client. 

keep in mind that the Team is the security boundary, currently you can't set permissions for each channel.

While external sharing has some limitations at the moment, they should be reduced in the near future.

 

Think of it this way, external sharing is controlled at the Site collection level in SharePoint Online, if you want to collaborate with your clients, you should have a site collection for each client (so they can't see each other's stuff). When you create a Team, you get a Site Collection with a document library that gets a folder added for each channel.

HTH

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Thanks, Dean.  That makes sense to keep it client based since about 50% of our work is repeat clients and we might invite them as Guest members for team access.

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Some other things to consider:

1. will the same people be working on all of the projects for a client or will different people be working on each project? it may make more sense to have a separate Team for each Client-Project, or this could be overkill

2. will you want to close down completed projects? if so, create a team for each project so that the files go into a separate SPO site

3. how complex are the projects? if each project is going to have a lot of phases and deliverables, you may want to have a separate Team for each project so that you can use Channels to help keep stuff organized.

 

I would recommend do a few small prototypes and gather feedback to see what works best for you staff.

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Dean, those are great suggestions.  Being a small firm and our clients have small teams, I think item 1 and item 2 are not a problem. For item 3 I think our larger projects would benefit from being a completely separate Team.   Will test it out.


Cheers.

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@Craig Vaughnin addition to Dean's comments, I wouldn't worry about the size of your Team list, it's handled in the product well.

 

The list will only show the Teams and Channels within those teams that you favourite, your favourites will be folded into a More link. You can expand that when you need to see activity, but as you are still a member you'll get notified of new @mentions through the Activity view, unfold the more to see where the red circles are calling your attention.

 

I must be in about 25 teams, but I only keep about  a screen-full favourited at any one time.

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Hello, I’m wondering what route you went with this and if you have any advice for another small firm looking to do a similar thing? Are you all recommending to use MS Teams vs MS Sharepoint? My understanding is every sharepoint site can also have aTeam site. We are fairly small and I am the only technology non-challenged person in the office. Any good templates you recommend? I want to be able to have some site for each project and then invite the client and eventually the contractor to it to share files, rfis, submittals, drawing packages, schedules, etc.
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@Thomas Fallon don't think of it as Teams vs SharePoint, these 2 apps are used in conjunction with each other and in fact, its very hard to use Teams without using SharePoint. Your understanding is correct, each SharePoint site can have a Team connected to it, and when you create a new Team, you will also get a SPO site to store the files. 

I would recommend creating separate Teams for each customer, this will make it easier to share with that customer securely. This is assuming that you don't want your customers to see each other. 

Teams is really good at providing a central place for everyone to access all of the applications they need to use. I have not seen any templates for the AEC industry. I strongly recommend doing some small scale pilot projects to explore the numerous features and options, every organization is going to want to structure their tabs and apps differently. Keep it simple, don't over design the channels, only create new channels when there is a specific need. you may want to have a channel for each discipline or for each project for a customer, its up to you.

 

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Thank you - that’s very helpful. But I am thinking I might want to create a separate team for each project so that contractors and consultants don’t have access to the other projects. This is assuming security is only set at the Team level still and not at the channel as someone else mentioned back in 2017. Thank you!
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I am also setting up a small office and considering Teams for all our office and project needs.  Microsoft seems to have come a very long way in their support for small business.  I'm curious if anyone here his turning to Microsoft after trying BQE Core (CORE), IngeniousIO (IIO), or other online platforms.  I've tried them all and can't find a good fit.  I have no IT support and thought that turning to Microsoft for answers would leave a small business like ours in the dark.  If there is a smart community such as yourselves also committed to the effort then maybe, maybe, maybe this will go well.  

 

If anyone is open to a Zoom conference at some point please reply.  Or should I say Skype conference?

 

@Thomas Fallon 

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It would be helpful to discuss what Apps you've found useful and how are they integrated? For example, Planning and Project. Are they connected somehow, so we can assign staff to tasks? Is Shifts helpful for tracking time or is anyone using TSheets, assuming you are also using Intuit products for all accounting and invoicing?
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@OBERMEYERarchitecture  I did find that there are some settings you need to do in Office 365 for some of the applications that are not intuitive.  So if you don't have IT, hopefully, you have a moderate to good grasp on the tech stuff.  I used Archioffice when I had my own business (until 2011 - when I used it it was using Filemaker, now it is online).  I really liked that for invoicing.  I did not like Quickbooks approach for an Architecture firm to invoice but I used it for the books.  We have been using Praesto since 2013 in the office I currently work in.  It is unfortunately on Filemaker and really needs to move to the web.  They say it will soon.  What I like about Praesto is I can track my consultant invoices and fees more easily.  

 

I'm open to a Zoom meeting, but don't quite know when I can find time in my schedule.  Might be easier on a weekend for me.

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Thanks for the reply! I remember Filemaker days. I also tried Archioffice back then. Currently trying to implement IngeniousIO. Great platform and one of the better online GUI but it's not ready for release just yet, still full of glitches and bugs. Weekend would be great if you're open to it. I'm in LA and can be available anytime.
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I would be interested in a Zoom meeting. We are researching these topics now.
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@Craig Vaughn  - what did your firm end up using? 

Team per client & Channel per project? I know you can copy Tasks in Planner and rename so you can use unique for each channel. Our Team is working 60 projects simultaneously so we need a solid check list for each project. 60 teams just seems like overkill. Although have 60 plan's is a lot of plans in planner. Might need to delete plans check list as each project ends. Only solution I have their is to export plan check list to an excel file and save that with the project archive files.

Archive is probably a whole another thread.