An illustration of Bit the Raccoon holding a laptop, with text reading

We have a year of exciting new things to come. As we enter into the month of January, this is a great time to look at new personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. With working from home still a relevant part of our lives this is a great time to look at how we communicate, as well as ways we can freshen it up to increase collaboration and communication within our teams.

Let’s look at some ways we can improve our connection to the people in our teams and our customers.

  • Daily Stand-ups: While this is something that’s traditionally done in the developer community, it’s been something that I’ve been encouraging and implementing into my IT Pro/Operational teams as well. These can be done on a daily basis, or maybe 2-3 times a week, depending on where we are with a project.
    • Hold a daily 30 minute meeting in the morning (this might be someone’s afternoon if you’re working across time zones).
    • Each person states a) What they worked on yesterday b) What they’re working on today c) Are there any blockers? – in a round robin style.
    • After each person in the team has quickly answered the above, open it up to team discussion or address the blockers.
  • Weekly team lunches and morale building events: Encourage your team to have coffee or lunch together for 30 – 60 mins. Another idea is to set up a team morale event – quiz style fun, a team building activity, or an hour to talk about everyone’s technical side projects (i.e. home automation, learning a new tech or language).
  • First 15 minutes: Use the first 15 minutes of team meetings to chit-chat about anything, keeping in mind that you’re taking 15 minutes off the planned agenda.
  • Join a group channel on Teams or Discord that is for fun only. Maybe call it ‘watercooler’ or ‘random’ – whatever works for your team.
  • Join online tech community channels like the ITOps Discord channel.

This is a great time to not only re-connect to those around us, but also get further involved into the tech community. Communication is now more important than ever. You can also check out how to integrate Microsoft Teams into GitHub or Azure DevOps for full project traceability and communication for your teams’ deliverables. Microsoft Teams has the ability to hook into many third party applications.

In case you missed this in December, the annual Festive Tech Calendar was put together by the community, for the community. You can catch up on all the missed episodes on their YouTube Channel.

There is also the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge that offers challenges around various technical topics:

Have a happy 2022! Here’s to looking forward to the new year!