Welcome to your source for the November Digital Workplace Updates! This month we’ll feature some news from Ignite, but if you’d like the entire book of news, I’m linking it here.
Many of the updates in the book of news are items we can help you with for your longer-term strategic plans.
Viva comes in multiple modules
- Viva Connections (free) – Company News and Resources Hub in MS Teams
- Viva Learning – App for Teams that aggregates Learning Content
- Viva Insights – Wellbeing App for Teams that provides personalized activity insights
- Viva Topics – Solution for organizational knowledge
The Viva story keeps getting better! At Ignite, Microsoft introduced a Viva Suite with reduced pricing of $9.00 per user per month. If you buy Viva Suite, then when Ally.io gets rolled out in 2022, you will get that as part of your Viva subscription.
- What is Ally.io? It’s OKR software! The OKR (Objectives and Key Results) goal-setting framework was designed by Andy Grove, former President at Intel, as a way to achieve measurable workplace goals through company-wide alignment, agility, and transparency.
Let’s get started on your Viva journey today! We can help you bring your Modern Intranet into Teams with the free Viva Connections module now.
In more immediate news – Here is what has gone to general availability or is right around the corner.
Microsoft Lists Updates
We have multiple updates on Microsoft Lists rolling out in November. The most exciting one is Custom List Templates. You should now be able to create a list, save it as a template and be able to reuse that list template. You also will be able to manage which list templates will be available to which users based on their job role.
Visual updates to the list creation dialog and the addition of a From your organization tab when creating a new list. This new tab is where your custom list templates appear alongside the ready-made templates from Microsoft.
Custom list templates can only be uploaded by a SharePoint administrator for Microsoft 365 by using PowerShell cmdlets. For consistency, the process of defining and uploading custom list templates is like the custom site templates experience.
To define and upload custom list templates, admins will use the following site template PowerShell cmdlets:
- Use the Get-SPOSiteScriptFromList cmdlet to extract the site script from any list
- Run Add-SPOSiteScript and Add-SPOListDesign to add the custom list template to your organization.
- Scope who sees the template by using Grant-SPOSiteDesignRights (Optional).
The visual updates for this feature will be seen by end-users in the updated user interface (UI) when creating a list.
The From your organization tab will be empty until your organization defines and publishes custom list templates.
What you need to do to prepare
You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.
Also available now in Microsoft Lists – create any list with a start and end date and then create a nice modern calendar view which you can embed in SharePoint sites. You might have missed embedding a calendar with a month’s worth of data onto a page since switching from classic. Now you have that ability again!
Lists is available for iOS and Android so you can view and edit your lists from your mobile devices, and if you need to visualize your list in a way a little more complicated than your views, you can connect to your list data in PowerBI and provide more complex reporting.
Microsoft Teams Updates
Co-organizers in Teams
Organizers will soon be able to assign the co-organizer meeting role to up to 10 specific people they invite to their meeting. Co-organizers will be granted most of the capabilities of the organizer in the meeting, including being able to access & modify the meeting options for the meeting.
Usage of the co-organizer role for a meeting will be optional. If users choose not to use the co-organizer feature, there will be no change.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 81391. This feature is rolling out in late November and complete by early December.
Once this feature has been enabled, a “Choose co-organizers” meeting option will be available. The default value for this option is “None.” The option operates similarly to when “Specific people” are selected as presenters for the meeting. The meeting organizer can click on the selector box to open a dropdown menu where they can choose from the list of qualified people who have been invited to the meeting.
To qualify for the co-organizer role, an invitee must be using an account that is on the same tenant as the organizer’s account. Organizers will be able to assign the co-organizer role to up to 10 people.
Co-organizers will be displayed as additional organizers on the meeting roster, and they will have most of the capabilities of an organizer in the meeting. Co-organizers can do the following:
- Access and change meeting options
- Bypass the lobby
- Admit people from the lobby during a meeting
- Lock the meeting
- Present content
- Change another participant’s meeting role
- End the meeting for all
Co-organizers cannot do the following:
- Create & manage breakout rooms
- View & download attendance reports
- Manage the meeting recording
- Edit the meeting invitation
- Remove or change the Organizer role
The “Only me” selection for the “Who can present?” meeting option has been updated to reflect that this will apply to “Only me and co-organizers.”
The “Only me” selection for the “Who can bypass the lobby?” meeting option has been updated to reflect that this will apply to “Only me and co-organizers.”
Usage of the co-organizer role for a meeting is optional. If users choose not to use the co-organizer feature, there will be no change.
View Switcher- a new dedicated menu of view options in Teams Meetings
This new feature will place all of the view related options that are found in Teams Meetings (Gallery, Large Gallery, Together Mode) into a separate, dedicated menu called View Switcher. This will show up on the top left of the meeting window.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70754. You will see this starting in late October and be Microsoft expects the rollout to be complete in mid-November.
Anonymous Join Policy
Administrators will be able to control the ability for anonymous users to join a Microsoft Teams meeting using a new per-organizer policy. We are looking forward to being able to have some flexibility for some users with this policy.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 87503.
When this will happen:
This will begin rolling this out in mid-November and expected to complete in late November.
How this will affect your organization:
This policy will provide administrators more granular control by enabling them to allow specific users, or groups of users to admit anonymous users into meetings they organize.
At launch, administrators will only be able to set the new policy using PowerShell. At a later date (no firm timeline as of today), the policy will be able to be controlled using the Teams admin center. We will notify you when this happens via a future Message center communication.
Collapsible section Anchor Links
On SharePoint online modern pages, anchor links are automatically added to H1, H2, and H3 headings when you add those in Text web part. Similar anchor links are now available on collapsible section headings as shown in below image. When you hover over section heading, you will see a link symbol. Clicking this link will give you the full URL of modern page, including the anchor in browser URL bar. You can also right-click on the link to copy it.
Content type sync enhancements
Microsoft previously announced a rollout of a new sync mechanism for Syntex and SharePoint content types and the subsequent phasing out of the old mechanism. This new mechanism is now fully released to all customers.
With the new sync mechanism content generally available now, the phasing out of the previous sync mechanism will begin per the below timetable.
- Targeted Release (entire org): will begin rollout in early November and be completed by late November.
- Standard Release: will begin rollout in late November and be completed by early December
When the previous sync mechanism is phased out, newly published content types will be visible for addition to lists & libraries only via the modern experience. If a published content type is not used in any list or library on the site, the site will not receive republished updates until the content type is used again.
SharePoint site template management updates
The big update here is that admins will be able to decide which Microsoft-provided templates will be available to SharePoint site creators. Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85566.
When this will happen
- We will begin rolling out the PowerShell cmdlets to Targeted release (select user and organization) in early November and expect to complete Standard release in late November. The minimum SharePoint PowerShell version required is 16.0.21610.12000.
- We will begin rolling out the new “From your organization” view to Targeted release (select user and organization) in late October and expect to complete for Standard release in early November.
Some users may see this feature before other users within the same organization.
Updates to Viva Insights
Viva insights Manager insights
This month, Viva insights is releasing expanded insights for managers and team leads. Viva Insights features for managers and team leads will be available to users with a Microsoft Viva Insights license. These new insights expand the value of Viva insights to managers and team leads who have at least one direct report.
This was formerly 10 direct reports!
Viva insights stores a team definition that is built upon your org data from AAD.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85622
When this will happen:
Targeted release in early November and rolling out to Standard release starting mid November.
How this will affect your organization:
The following changes will be reflected in MyAnalytics in the coming month
- The Leadership tab in MyAnalytics, currently available as in Targeted Release, is being replaced by a Viva insights Team experience on the web. Starting in Nov, 2021, users with a Viva Insights license will be able to access the Viva Insights team experience at insights.viva.office.com as well as via the Microsoft 365 app launcher on Office.com. Users will have access to the Leadership page in MyAnalytics until January 31st, 2022, after which the URL for this page will start redirecting users with a Viva Insights license to the new experience on insights.viva.office.com.
- Catch up with your team card in the Viva Insights add-in for Outlook, currently available to all users with a MyAnalytics service plan, will require a Viva Insights license starting on Jan 31st, 2022.
New features (in the coming month)
- Viva Insights team home page
- The team home page provides managers and team leads insights on their relationships with team members that can help boost team productivity, wellbeing, and engagement.
- My team tab updates:
- Viva Insights will release a major update to the My team tab. This tab is currently available to users via the Viva Insights Teams App. The update consolidates all of our Manager insights into a single canvas.
- Manager briefing card:
- For eligible users, a “Catch up with Your Team” card will begin to appear in the daily briefing email from Microsoft Viva.
- Manager digest email:
- The monthly digest email from Microsoft Viva- which currently helps users to reflect on their work patterns across focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration.
Updated to Microsoft Planner
Rich text and images in Planner task notes
Microsoft is adding support for rich text (bold, italics, underline, etc.) and images in the Planner task notes field.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85688.
When this will happen:
We expect to begin seeing new rich text task notes field in mid-December and we expect to complete the rollout by early February.
Updates to Microsoft Loop
We eagerly anticipate a release of Microsoft Loop allowing us to navigate through our shared spaces and catch up on everything in one location. Microsoft Loop consists of three elements: Loop components, Loop pages, and Loop workspaces. Microsoft Loop components enable a new way to collaborate and work together. Instead of sharing files, notebooks or relying on chat Loop enables simultaneous way to create and edit content.
Loop components help you to collaborate and get your work done in the flow of your work. Loop components can be as simple as lists, tables, notes and tasks or as sophisticated as a customer sales opportunity from Dynamics 365. Loop pages are flexible canvases where you can organize loop components. Think about widgets or web parts you can easily arrange to see all your important information in a glance. Loop workspaces are shared spaces that allow you and your team to see and group everything important to a project or other shared goals. See more about Loop here on Microsoft’s announcement page.
Hopefully these updates have armed you with the most important things to know about what is happening your Digital Workplace.