Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Parallel Approvals in Microsoft Teams

Having just got back from 3 days at the MCT Connect and MCT RL conference, I am looking forward to the conference season. Sounds weird to say it like that. But I guess what I am trying to articulate is that after having had good fun at Ignite, MVP Summit and MCT - all large multi day events, I am looking forward to getting back to speaking at singular day events and user groups where you can kind of rock up, do a nice session, and exit stage left, maybe catching one or two other sessions in the process. Transactional. Light. I am sure many circuit speakers understand where I am coming from. Now, for me, the 2021 conference season kicks off with a trip back to the Reactor where I'll be speaking with Vesa Nopanen on approvals. We've got a lot of demo lined up and we need to try it out for Marathon the week after. But when I was stitching the session together I thought of an idea that I wanted to explore a few months back when I was doing blogs on approvals but never got around to, which was parallel approvals. You see, if you are like me who operates across departments or support multiple business units within a group, parallel approvals are important because approval needs to come from multiple independent stakeholders. Imagine this scenario, I used to be Head of Professional Services where I worked, and when I was designing and developing new Professional Services items I used to need technical, financial and commercial sign off. They wouldn't make the decision together because they are all independent, and so before an item could be released all the stakeholders would need to evaluate it based on their respective reviews before it could go to market. I know, I know, I still have that blog on Viva Connections to do and that's probably more relevant and in vogue, but hey I have an approvals session on Tuesday and the completionist in me hates leaving things I meant to cover previously

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Using Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to stop data leakage from Dataverse for Teams Apps such as Bulletins or Employee Ideas

Last month, I wrote a bit about the new Power Apps Templates in Teams - Bulletins and Employee Ideas. I really liked them. They are really useful for bringing in new functionality for Teams and filling some gaps, they can be used by both users inside the Team where they are deployed or outside of the Teams via the broad distribution functionality. They can be extended by developers looking to build on the functionality which already exists. However, in thinking about how these apps can be extended we must also put our security and compliance hats on and think about how the ability to extend them can be controlled - particularly in terms of connectors and data leakage. You see, when we start using these apps we will begin adding data - company data. In the case of bulletins we add things like company news, URL's and even contact details. In the case of employee ideas we add ideas about how the company may improve and these ideas could - for example - be based on company data or expose where the company is lacking. Whilst we like to believe that everyone who has access to modify these apps have the best of intentions, it is too big a risk to simply assume that data will never be exposed - accidentally or maliciously via connectors to places where it shouldn't be seen to audiences who should not see it. A good example is Twitter. Our data makes it onto Twitter it could seriously damage our brand and we could be facing some legal consequences

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Forms to the Flow, to the List, to the Team and Yammer using conditions and approvals

I had a lot of fun writing the last blog on approvals. So I'd thought I would double down and use the Forms app with Flow and Lists which we can surface into Teams and then push out to Yammer by the way of conditions and approvals. I thought it would just be cool to cover a real world scenario which you could apply, customise to your needs to take parts and use them in your own flow. Rather unusually given the length and amount of apps involved I haven't got much to say - I really hope you really enjoy this one

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: An Approval process for List Items using Lists, Teams, Power Automate, Outlook and the new Approvals App

It's been a bit of a frustrating day. I wanted to write a blog on something else - something new and ultimately it didn't pan out. Kind of like a gold rush except there was no gold, a lot of time was squandered and the opportunity cost of doing that was getting into the new approvals app - something that interests me quite a bit. Nevertheless after a borderline rage quit I decided to eat, go chill with the family then get back in the game - and so I am going to write about the approvals app - except I thought it would be good to do so in the context of Lists, since as mentioned in the last post I am using them a lot these days. Think of this scenario: I have an event, or an itinerary, and for every item on that List, I need approval to be able to do it, or to use it, or to even have it on the List since it's needs to be sanctioned. In my job when I roll in technical courses, these need ultimate approval from up on high to be run, a number of criteria need to be met. So bringing some of my favourite apps together - Lists, Teams and Power Automate, the approvals app and getting retro with Outlook, mmm a bit of late night cooking with apps

Microsoft Lists Fundamentals Part 2

In Part 1 of this fundamentals blog series, we looked at the very basics of Microsoft Lists: how to access lists, how to create a list from a blank list and populate it with new items and columns, how to switch between recent lists and my lists. In addition to looking at how to create lists from existing SharePoint Lists and templates, we looked at how to favourite a list, how to customise list, how to share a list inside and outside the organisation and how to delete a list. We are now going to advance into some more ways we can work and manage Lists, including beginning to surface them into Teams with Flows