The Workplace Potential of Microsoft Teams

by Tim Richardson | Iter Insights

The Workplace Potential of Microsoft Teams

The Workplace Potential of Microsoft Teams

2020 radically transformed the way we work. Covid has been the catalyst for the large scale uptake of remote working, accelerating a trend that was already in place. Despite there being vaccines on the horizon, remote working is now at the centre of our working lives and we will not be returning to work in offices and factories full time.

From what we have seen in 2020 it has “accelerated the inevitable”, but still we are only scratching at the surface of what is possible. For most of us, working from home means using Teams and Zoom for meetings and calls. Our work hasn’t changed, we’ve largely just replicated what we were doing before but doing it from home.

Industry 4.0 promises a marriage of physical and digital technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and the internet of things (IoT), allowing for an interconnected workplace but this is almost exclusively focused on improving process agility and capability.

Somehow, we have forgotten about how we manage factories and supply chains on a day-to-day basis in the digital world as part of this transformation. Whilst a few early adopters are starting to address this using Microsoft Teams (predominantly), Zoom etc. most are carrying on using unconnected Excel spreadsheets and some blend of email and printed documents, just as we have done for the past 20 years. Most businesses today consist of multiple `islands’, inefficiently creating multiple versions of the truth and local and often parochial decision-making.

So, we find ourselves at a crossroads: we know that we are not going back to working from the factory every day and yet we don’t have the ability to manage factory operations as effectively as we did when we were all physically present. The answer lies in understanding and using the capability of the technology we have already purchased, most significantly Microsoft Teams.

The capability that exists in Microsoft Teams, we believe is a game changer. Let me illustrate by the tiered daily meeting process, action assignment and tracking and escalation process into structured problem solving that sits at the core of most of our production operations: how many individual spreadsheets, manual data collection activities, printing of performance charts, scribbling onto Post It Notes and generally transcribing data from one system into another takes place to keep this process operating? Far too much I would expect, and none of this is value adding and surely a waste to be eliminated. How would you respond if I told you that a hybrid of on site and remote working without a single spreadsheet, Post It Note and with no data entered more than once can be delivered through Microsoft Teams?

Over the past 9 months Iter Consulting has developed this capability by using Power BI, SharePoint Lists and Power Apps that exists within Microsoft 365 and visualised this through Teams. Our initial inspiration was to enable factories to continue to operate a socially distanced daily performance management approach, but the elimination of waste and the greater integrity and ability to draw data from multiple sources into a single integrated visualisation has been compelling.

This short video should give you a flavour of what we mean:

This is only the start, and we are designing a solution where all the elements of the production system is integrated and connected in a way that shifts the focus of time and energy on improvement rather than feeding the beast to gives us the insight.

We would love to share our vision of the future with you and if you would like to understand how all this can be simply delivered then either book a demo or contact me, Tim Richardson, Development Director by mail ( or directly on +44 (0) 7786 961716

Tim Richardson
Development Director

Iter Consulting