Microsoft Teams had been continuously evolving, adding new features to enhance collaboration and communication within organizations and groups. However, there was no specific feature called “communities” in Microsoft Teams at that time. It’s possible that this is a new feature introduced after my last update, or it could be a feature that’s planned but not yet released.
Typically, Microsoft Teams focuses on features like channels, chat groups, meetings, and collaboration on files, which serve to create community-like environments within an organization or a team. Here are some general guidelines on how to use Teams effectively for community-building purposes:
How to use the new communities feature in your Microsoft Teams
Start a New Team:
- Open Microsoft Teams and click on “Join or create a team” at the bottom of the Teams sidebar.
- Choose “Create team” to start a new community. You can create it from scratch or from an existing group or team.
Set Up Your Team:
- Name your team and add a description to let people know the purpose of the community.
- Choose privacy settings: ‘Private’ (people need permission to join) or ‘Public’ (anyone in your organization can join).
- Invite people to your team by entering their email addresses or names if they are within your organization.
Standard and Private Channels:
- Within your team, you can create channels for specific topics or discussions.
- Choose between standard channels (open to all team members) or private channels (for a subset of team members).
- Add descriptions to channels, and pin important files or tabs for easy access.
Using Features for Community Engagement
- Schedule regular meetings using the Teams calendar.
- Use video conferencing features for more engaging discussions.
Share and Collaborate on Files:
- Utilize the SharePoint integration to share files and collaborate in real-time.
Utilize Chat Functions:
- Encourage ongoing conversations through the chat feature.
- Use @mentions to notify specific members.
- Enhance your community with additional apps and services integrated into Teams.
Set Up Notifications:
- Customize notification settings to stay updated on specific conversations or channels.
Since software and features are constantly evolving, it’s important to stay updated with the latest releases and updates from Microsoft.