No, it’s not you, it’s MS Teams

Software decisions are made on lists of benefits, feature comparisons and metrics.  HOW the software works in everyday life, is discovered by the teams who have to make it work. Problems only come to light when users try to use the system to get work done.

But if it’s Microsoft, it can’t be BAD?

Many organisations invest in Teams because it is a Microsoft Product. It’s an easy decision – no manager can get into trouble investing in Microsoft? Integration with Office makes the MS Teams easy to sell, but in practice, it prevents Teams from being an effective collaboration tool.

“If I want to create a new category, I need to get approval from IT.  When I need to invite a contractor to participate, I need to convince IT that the benefit of adding this particular vendor to Teams outweighs a raft of vague “security” concerns. In the end, it’s not worth the trouble of asking and I end up using email, weTransfer and Zoom.”

By creating a product that can satisfy the IT policies of their enterprise customers, Microsoft has unwittingly created a platform completely unsuited to flexible and open collaboration.

If your project teams are NOT employees of your company, MS Teams is hard to work with.  It is not suited to collaborating with:

  • members and leadership of an Association or industry body
  • joint venture partners
  • contractors or temporary workers
  • volunteers
  • students
  • once off participants

What are the worst frustrations?

Several of my clients have moved from Microsoft Teams. In gathering user research and experiences, here are comments from actual users:

  • “I’m so tired of having to click around in Teams trying to find something. I shouldn’t have to jump around everywhere. This app is the complete opposite of efficient.”
  • “Teams uses 500+ MB of memory. CPU fan runs non stop. Crashes when starting up.”
  • “[Teams] simply cannot understand that when you’re an IT consultant, you have multiple accounts with multiple clients! Whenever I get a project I pray it is not using Teams. Being able to join the team would seem to be the most basic of functions.”
  • “[Teams] is convoluted, complicated, irrational, illogical, unfriendly. It’s quite impossible to keep up with the constant confusion generated by an endless stream of unintelligible changes and a lack of up-to-date documentation.”
  • “Integration with SharePoint is maddening (but then everything about SharePoint is maddening).”

What you need:

  • Easy to add users and link them to multiple projects, where they have multiple roles.
  • Tracking – who has read what, who has seen what
  • Rich content – not just Office documents and files
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Good documentation
  • Cross referencing and tagging
  • works with all Operating Systems
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