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Stay relevant in your Champions Team

Champions | In an ever changing, evergreen, cloud environment you should really consider a Champions program to be successful. One simple way of getting everyone together is to create a Team in Microsoft Teams for your Champs to collaborate, share ideas and so on. Here’s some things to consider for that Champions team of yours!

What to name your Team?

Might sound like the easiest thing in the world, right? Still, I urge you to spend some minutes to come up with a catchy name. Preferably a fun one. This isn’t a grey, boring area so the name should be reflecting that!

Examples of boring, possibly bad names:

  • The team for Champions
  • Collaboration area of Champions

 

Examples of more fun names:

 

Why is it important to have relevance in your Champions team?

OK, so creating your Champions team in Teams is now done. Good! You probably created some channels with an idea in mind, like “News”, “TechTalk” or “Tips and Trix”. This is great! Now you got to make sure that the channels are getting active discussions and that new content is being shared. Being a champion is a choice and it’s not made by you; it’s made by them. Your job is to provide enough value to your champions, that they feel it’s worth spending time in your team and share stuff in there.

I’m quoting the great Adoption queen, Karuana Gatimu here; “Being a Champion is not the same thing as being a early adopter. An early adopter likes new technology and is ‘early to adopt’. A Champion is a person who likes to share his or her knowledge to others and they can be early adopters as well, but they don’t have to be”.

Bottom line; Amplify your champions desire to share their knowledge!

 

There are of course many ways of doing this and at this point I’m only going to share a simple but powerful way of maintaining a good flow of information to your Champions. Feel free to use this solution for all kinds of purposes where you see fit.

 

What are we going to do?

We will set up an automatic system that will publish information based on a schedule to your Champions.

 

What do you need?

 

The SharePoint list will be our source of information. It will keep the threads subject, description, channel to post to and date to post the message.

The Flow will check the list daily and if the date in the list matches the current date, the information is published in Teams.

The creative mind will be used to come up with all the content in the SharePoint list. If you don’t have one on your own, please refer to your Champions for assistance. They tend to have great creative minds!

 

 

Create the SharePoint-list

If you’re only going to publish everything to one channel, you don’t need a column to specify this. You will however need these:

  • Teams subject
  • Teams Description
  • Publish date

 

(I have a list of about 30 tips for Teams. They’re in Swedish but could probably be translated rather easy if you don’t want to start from scratch. Ping me on Linkedin or Twitter if you want the list! Of course you can also reach me on my Teams-adress. It’s fully backwards compatible for legacy systems such as email.)

Create the Flow

Start with a new flow that is triggered on schedule. I’ve set mine to run every day at 09:30 AM but if you know your only going to be sending out tips on Tuesdays and Thursdays, just set up your flow to run those 2 days instead. The important thing is that the flow runs on the date that you have filled in as publish date in your SharePoint list.

Next step is to get the items from the SharePoint list. Just select your Teamsite and list from the drop-down menus. In Advanced option, fill in this to filter your list:

TeamsPubliceringsdatum eq '@{formatDateTime(utcNow(),'yyyy-MM-dd')}'

 

It should look like this when you’re done. Move on with a control for Apply to Each and select the Post a Message action for Teams.

OK, so just choose the columns from your SharePoint list and hit save! It should look something like this when you’re done.

 

 

Move on with a control for Apply to Each and select the Post a Message action for Teams.

OK, so just choose the columns from your SharePoint list and hit save! It should look something like this when you’re done.

Posting to different channels

If you want to have just 1 SharePoint list but have the messages posted in different channels of even Teams based on that, you can do it in 2 different ways (probably like 400 ways, but I’m only going to give you two suggestions here).

  1. Write the name of the channel in your SharePoint column and make if statements in your flow to direct the message
  2. Fill in the channel ID into the SharePoint-list and use that column as dynamic content in your flow

 

In the first scenario, you simply type the name of the Channel in your list. It’s very user friendly! You can for example put in “Tips and Trix”. In your flow, create an if statement and check if that column says “Tips and Trix”. If yes, choose the Tips and Trix channel for the Post a Message action, if no you choose General as the channel. Remember to always have General as your last resort if all else fails, so that becomes your fail over.

 

In the other scenario, you fetch the ID for the Teams Channel. This looks much messier in the SharePoint list, but the flow will instead look beautiful. In this scenario, you simply add the value from the Channel column as dynamic content into the Channel-field on the Post a Message action.

 

 

 

Where can I use this in other scenarios?

When creating a year calendar and you want to remind your peers or the Champions of upcoming events.

“Remember it’s only 2 months until the Teams summit. Anybody getting excited?”

“Give all your closest colleagues an early Christmas present in the form of a good Teams Tips now in December”

 

When you want to create schedules tasks in Planner (just switch out the action in Flow from Teams message to create a task).

“Reserve the conference room for the yearly conference”

“Buy Christmas presents for you employees”

 

Spreading awareness in any other form than Teams Tips.

“Did you know we at Contoso sells X amount of frying pans on weekly average? Might be a cool number to bring up during your next customer meeting”

“Just reminding everyone of our manuals that you’ll find on the link here.”

 

 

If you do use this, please drop me a message so I can add your scenario to my use case list. I also appreciate all kind of feedback to improve this of course!

Cheers!

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