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Map Your Microsoft 365 Information Architecture

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

July 7, 2021


Open New Pathways to Better Organizational Communication


“There’s just not enough options,” - said no one, ever - about the breadth of the Microsoft 365 portfolio of intelligent business applications. Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365: SharePoint, Teams, Outlook, OneDrive for Business, and other Microsoft applications stand out among the top options available to organize operations and promote open communication and collaboration at your organization.


However, therein exists the challenge of “too much of a good thing” — the more choices you have, the more it necessitates committing to a consistent structure. Simply put: perfectly pair the right Microsoft application with the job, and get your teams to march to the same beat. Without a strategy, you can face the frustration of operational inefficiencies.



Here’s an example. It’s not uncommon for companies to use OneDrive in what they think is a collaborative capacity. But that isn’t OneDrive’s intended function. The purpose of OneDrive is cloud storage and file sharing. Sharing a file with someone is just one action that contributes to collaboration. If this is how teamwork happens at your organization, then you could be missing out on opportunities to leverage powerful tools like SharePoint and Teams to build a collaborative culture through effective intranets, work spaces and centralized communication.


It may sound obvious, but ineffective communications and collaboration kills productivity. Not to mention the problems that arise when data organization across the business lacks consistency and logic.


If taking a hard look at your organization’s current information architecture and formulating a new, long-term strategy seems overwhelming, fret not. It is an effort more than worthy of the investment. And with the help of JourneyTEAM, the process of finding the best way to effectively incorporate the Microsoft 365 applications you already use becomes a whole lot easier to navigate.


Here’s how we can help.


Whether you’re a startup just formulating a plan for the first time, or you’re well-established but need to revisit the drawing board – it’s never too late to evaluate your communication streams and structure your information architecture. If you make small, one-off changes to a system that already doesn’t work, you aren’t fixing something that’s broken. In fact, you may make it worse in the long run. It is also important that your organization wholly adopts the new processes as part of using Microsoft 365 applications in their daily workflows. It’s not just for consistency, but for the added benefit of an improved security posture as well.


When engaging the help of JourneyTEAM, we work with you to thoroughly analyze your business; identify the ways you communicate, and how your data is organized. From here, we can map out exactly what Microsoft 365 and Office 365 solutions you need for interactions/communications, and knowledge management of your documents.


We first look at all the different content and communication platforms at your organization and how they are being used:


  • Organizational Content & Communication

  • Ad-Hoc Conversations

  • Individual

  • Collaboration Groups

Let’s explore just some of the ways these types of communication can and should be leveraged.


Organizational Content and Communication


One highly effective way to disseminate important information with your entire employee base is with a SharePoint intranet. Your intranet should be the primary source of corporate-approved, company-wide internal communications, while also serving departments or divisions with individual sites for collaboration or knowledge bases.


It’s easy for intranets to unravel and become ineffective without following best practices. Standard operating procedures can formalize distribution to the appropriate audiences and structure where content should be published. For example, the main site would not be a place for collaboration, but collaboration can happen individually under each department’s site. Without permissions or procedures in place, confidential content could become public across your entire organization.



Whether you need to set up an intranet for the first time or need to make some minor tweaks to your existing intranet, we help customers at all the different levels. This could be a basic “intranet in a box” to the most complex and extensive intranets.


Another common area where organizational content may be stored and shared internally include specific drives for specific audiences, distinguished by a letter-system, for example, S: for Sales, or H: for Human Resources. This system of organization can be effectively translated and brought into a new information architecture, maintaining the familiarity of a known method.


Ad-Hoc Conversations


Ad-hoc conversations consist of chat, file sharing, screen sharing, emails, co-authoring and meetings. It’s important to promote opportunities for these day-to-day interactions to occur naturally, but supported by your Microsoft 365 repositories and communication platforms.


Individual


OneDrive for Business falls under “individual” collaboration in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Other individual communication tools include email, chat and calendar.


When creating a strategy around your information architecture, it’s imperative to identify where ad-hoc conversations and individual collaboration take place in your overall Information Architecture and make sure your teams know when to seize the opportunity for greater collaboration opportunities through Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.


Collaboration Groups


Office 365 groups can easily go astray. It’s possible, based on the admin setup and permissions in place, that any licensed user at your organization could unknowingly create an entire Office 365 group, spawning with it a SharePoint Team Site, Mailbox, Calendar, Power BI Workspace and more, simply by creating a new team in Microsoft Teams. There are several other ways the average user can unintentionally create groups.



Your Microsoft 365 groups should represent your organization. The more groups that exist, the more confusing it can become when, say, provisioning a new user account in Azure AD when onboarding a new team member. A clean and accurate list of groups allows you to get employees set up with the correct access the first time.


Some guidance from a trusted partner goes a long way.


Some other potential areas where file-sharing and collaboration may happen that would benefit from an evaluation include communities, internal and external workspaces, clients, projects, and more.


As described above, JourneyTEAM now offers an Information Architecture assessment service designed to thoroughly evaluate your organization’s use of Microsoft 365 applications for document storage, communication and collaboration. Based on our findings, we will work with you to create a plan that will help you develop an Information Architecture and implement a mature strategy that streamlines your operations and maximizes the potential benefits of effective communications with the help of Microsoft.



NEXT STEPS:


1. Join a free consultation and ask all the questions you wish.


2. Plan your Deep Dive meeting – Get your organization’s Customized Solutions presentation.



GET STARTED. Click the form below:




Why JourneyTEAM


JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have extensive knowledge of each of Microsoft’s products including Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and can help you tailor the software to fit the exact needs of your organization. We have solutions for solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. JourneyTEAM specializes in the industries of Finance, Media & Communications, Capital Equipment, Manufacturing, Installation, and Service. Whether you’re looking for total project support or someone to help you along the way, JourneyTEAM will provide the exact level of support you need. Contact us today to get started. info@journeyteam.com



Some of Our Awards:

  • 2019 and 2020 Microsoft US Partner of the Year for Business Central and Media & Communications

  • Microsoft awarded us the 2020 Crystal Eagle Award (Top 5 in the world) for Business Central

  • Okta Certified Professionals

  • VARS Stars 2019 and 2020 Winner

  • 2020 Inc Magazine Best Places to Work

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