A how-to guide to help you host effective recurring department meetings with Microsoft Teams.
Organizations often have the need to hold recurring weekly meetings to keep projects or programs on track. With advances in technology and the current work-from-home culture, the concept of sitting around a boardroom table taking pen and paper notes has gone out the window. This blog will describe how to host a recurring meeting with your team, and dive into some of the basic features of Microsoft Teams that will facilitate a productive use of time.
In the following guide, we will set up a recurring team meeting Channel that has these features:
This article assumes that the members of your team are licensed Microsoft 365 [LINK] users with a plan that includes Microsoft Teams. Here [LINK] is a comprehensive licensing guide in case you are unsure if you have access to the features outlined in this blog. In addition, this article assumes that you have a Microsoft Team entity created for your department or for the group of folks that you’d like to be a part of your recurring meeting, for example: “Management Team,” or “Accounting Team.” For this example, we will use a “Sales and Marketing Team.”
The first step to creating our meeting space is to create a Channel in our existing department’s Team. This will house all of our additional tabs that hold meeting minutes, action items, etc.
1. First, select the ellipses menu (…) and click on Add channel.
2. Let’s give our channel a name that will correspond to the meeting name of the recurring invite that we are sending out. In this example, our channel will be “Weekly Marketing Meeting.” If the channel and meeting are for everyone on the Team, select Standard for Privacy. If the meeting and channel are for a subset of folks that are part of the original team, select Private.
3. By default, your channel will come with a few tabs. These tabs are as follows:
Posts - This tab will allow you to chat with the participants of the meeting both during the meeting and outside of meeting times. Conversations should be limited to discussion around the meeting and its content, and other conversations should be posted in their respective Teams and Channels.
Files - This tab is a window into the SharePoint folder of documents that have been created behind the scenes for your Channel. Here, you can store documents and content related to the meeting. Also note, you have the option to select “Open in SharePoint” if you would like to use the rich SharePoint Online experience for managing your files (or adding workflow, approvals, etc. to your documents).
Wiki - Since the Wiki is not very relevant to our Weekly Marketing Meeting, let’s remove this tab by right clicking, and selecting “Remove” from the menu.
Next, we will set up a meeting agenda that is always available to our attendees so that they can reference back to it all in the same Teams interface while they are attending the meeting. For that, we will create a simple SharePoint page and add it as a tab in our new Channel.
1. First, we open our Sales and Marketing Team SharePoint Site using the button in the previous Files tab Example (“Creating Your Channel” #1b). Then, create a new page by first selecting “Pages” on the left and then selecting “New -> Site Page”
2. Give your page a name such as “Weekly Meeting Agenda” and then select the + to add a Text Web Part to the page. Paste your meeting agenda into this text area.
3. Feel free to use any additional web parts to spice up your page in any way you see fit. I typically turn off the comments feature as well since this is a page that will not require much feedback. Once you are finished. Go ahead and Publish the page.
4. Now, we’ll add our newly created page to a tab inside of our Channel. Select “+” to “Add a tab” and then select “SharePoint Pages.” Select your newly created page and rename your tab to “Meeting Agenda.” There you go!
Finally, we need to add an Action Items list to the Channel so that in each meeting, we can review action items set from the previous week and set new action items for the next meeting. We will do that by creating a SharePoint Task List and adding it as a Tab in our channel.
1. Start out by navigating once again to the SharePoint site that is associated with our Sales and Marketing Team (see step “Adding a Meeting Agenda” #1). This time, we will navigate to “Site contents” and then select “New -> App” as shown below.
2. Here, select the “Issue Tracking” app type, name the list “Action Items” and then click “Create.”
3. Now, let’s again add a new tab to your Channel.
4. This time we will select the SharePoint option, and then choose “Any SharePoint Site.”
5. Now, paste a link directly to your newly created SharePoint Action Items list and select Save. Now you have a storage place for action items in your channel!
The last and most important step will be sending out a meeting invite directly from your newly created channel. This easily ties together all of the great features that you’ve just added to your meeting space. You can do that by simply navigating to your Channel and selecting “Meet -> Schedule a meeting” in the Teams user interface. After selecting this option, you will receive a standard meeting invite interface where you can invite all required members of the team, add notes and a Teams invite, and select a recurring day at time. Enjoy!