Office 365 Groups: Practical Usage Guidelines

Groups in Office 365 simplify teamwork. Creating the Group is easy. But getting the entire team to utilize it effectively is another matter. This article shows a step by step process of bringing your team together using Groups. Technology is only 50% of the story, rest is psychology!

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How to deploy Office templates using Group Policy

This article is for IT professionals only. Office templates are created by users. How to make common templates available to all employees (or specific groups)? Here are the approaches available.

Using File Folder / SharePoint Document Library

  1. AD and GPMC is required.
  2. Put all the templates in a central shared folder or a document library.
  3. Install and download Group Policy admin templates for Office.
  4. Open Group Policy MMC, open Admin templates – MS Office <ver> – Shared Paths
  5. Change the setting Enterprise Templates Path
  6. If server share provide UNC Path.
  7. If SharePoint library, add that as a network location (or map as drive in login script).
  8. That’s It. Now users can see templates in Word, Excel, PowerPoint – File – New

Using content types

  1. Create a document library
  2. Give read only access to all users
  3. Create and map a content type
  4. Add templates to the content type
  5. New button in the document library will now list all mapped templates

Enjoy.

How to succeed in office politics using Office

Here is the recording of my session in Pune DevCon – a gathering of developers in Pune, India. Please pardon me for using Hindi language intermittently. I needed to use local language for maximum impact.

Thanks to Mahesh Mitkari, Mayur Tendulkar, Vikram Pendse and team for arranging a great event. Enjoy!

This is a live recording. Please pardon the background noise and poor video quality.

Don’t just make charts the way boss wants. Use Recommended Charts

There are two types of charts. First type is a chart which you create to interpret data more effectively. The second type is more common. These charts are created billions of times everyday – why? Because boss wants it that way!

In this article, I am going to attempt to change the mindset of all users of Charts. Please spend 5 minutes of your time reading this article and trying out a new thought process. I am confident that it will add value to your life.

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Photo credit: Elsie esq. / Foter / CC BY and salendron / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 3 – Nobody is officially responsible for effective utilization

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This has been a problem even before Office 365 was introduced. When it comes to ANY office product, there is NOBODY responsible for implementing it fully and ensuring that it is effectively utilized.

Photo by W. L. King, Millersberg, Ohio; by courtesy of Military Intelligence Div., General Staff, U.S. Army.

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Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 2 – Phased Release: Underutilization by Design!

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In my opinion this is the worst Worst Practice. The full list is available here. Here I will discuss why phased release is bad and provide a better approach. The primary objective is to increase efficiency across the organization rapidly using the integrated Office 365 platform. Your inputs are most welcome.

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Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 1

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Office 365 is now an established and popular product. I just finished a 6 country tour where I met top 40 customers who are in various stages of deploying Office 365. I have made a list of common mistakes / wrong approaches / misaligned priorities / counterproductive behavior. Read on to ensure that you don’t repeat these mistakes. More importantly, if you have already committed the mistake, the corrective approach is also provided. This series is more relevant to CIO, IT team and the deployment teams.

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Office 365 ROI calculations: Are you including the human cost?

ROI calculations are commonly done in the pre-sales stage, while evaluating investment decisions. There are many methods of calculating ROI. This article is not about the methodology of ROI calculation. It is about the one important aspect which is often left out from the calculation.

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