• Here’s a busy manager with 25 direct reports who was finding it tough tracking her teams training courses and getting her own job done. However, she now uses Viva Learning. Quickly sends her team links to useful courses in private Chats, and tracks the teams training activities. This is supporting their personal development, and helping her focus on her own work.

    Open Viva visions

    Culture is something that needs to adapt and change, and you’ve got to be able to have a learning culture. The intuition I got was from observing what happens in schools. I read a book called Mindset. In there there’s this very simple concept that Carol Dweck talks about, which is if you take two people, one of them is a learn-it-all and the other one is a know-it-all, the learn-it-all will always trump the know-it-all in the long run, even if they start with less innate capability.

    Satya Nadella | Carol Dweck

    Love! However, try adding a small, but important word with huge implications …

    Try!

    Viva Visionary

    That’s all it takes to start a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. Since our parents first encouraged us to try and feed ourselves, try doing up our own shoe laces, try growing some herbs in a little pot. If we had not tried over and again to learn something new we would be in a terrible place.

    Consider every day as a school day!

    Walter S. Young

    So consider every day a school day and try building a growth mindset in to your life! Viva Learning with Focus Time is intended to make this easier in a hybrid workplace. We are all capable of a lot more than we thought!

    Focus Time helps you think clearly without any interruptions from email notifications and alerts from other apps.

    Here’s Merethe Stave views on Learning and Knowledge. An MVP and CloudWay colleague. We are learning new knowledge together every day. Read her insights on how our new digital tools can help us improve our learning experiences and the propensity for new knowledge.


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!

  • Warm welcome inside my visionary Viva advent calendar – not just for Christmas!

    During this festive season I invite you to open a daily cloudy window on a current employee frustration; alongside a visionary Viva employee experience, nurturing a culture of digital wellbeing. People already using Viva are saying:

    Now have quick access to company news and views!
    This is a great work-life balance!
    This helps me focus!
    Now have easy to reach shared content!
    This has improved my productivity!

    Brilliant business benefits however, understanding the challenge we face these days and what leaders can do about it is the frustrating and difficult next step and that’s how we can help you in …

    Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops

    Secure you Secret Santa gift and discover how Viva helps your business deliver personalised experiences to your employees with news, tasks, and conversations; provides data-driven insights and recommendations; organises content and expertise; and delivers formal and informal learning when and where it’s needed. ​

    Workshop Agenda:

    After the workshop you will have a clear understanding of how to get started with Connections in the M365 license; and a business case ready for Topics and Learning​. A separate workshop is offered for Insights.

    Request a workshop, don’t leave it to next Christmas to find out how you can best support your staff in a hybrid workplace. Simply request a free workshop or contact me at CloudWay.


    Please note that MS Cloud Accelerator Workshops can be run for customers and partners world wide, and CloudWay has specifically been chosen to run these workshops for select customers, which typically would not be eligible, all sponsored by Microsoft! So are you evaluating Microsoft 365 possibilities and have less than 40% adoption? Then you might be eligible for Microsoft Cloud Accelerator workshop for Microsoft 365.


    Follow the Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!


  • Towards the end of last year, myself and a bunch of MVPs were invited to put our Thinking Caps on and envision Microsoft new features across not one, not two but three MVP blog/podcasts. On a personal note I am genuinely humbled to stand on the shoulders of giants and share my thoughts in this space.

    One of my whoa predictions is how Viva Ally might align objectives with key results and company performance – filtered by Viva Topics.


    Thank you! Yaroslav Pentsarskyy for 6 Microsoft MVPs Share What’s to Come in 2022 and Beyond as Microsoft Matches Technology to a Changing World — Origami (origamiconnect.com)


    Thank you! Daniel Anderson for sharing 21 Microsoft Teams Tips, Tricks and Best Practises with these MVP predictions


    Thank you! Tom Arbuthnot & Rob Scott at UC Today for sharing these MVP predictions


    And please note I am posting this on a Friday. CloudWay has employees in 5 countries, and difficult to give everyone a day off on Fridays so introduced #NoMeetingsFriday where:

    • You are still at work, but no billing is expected.
    • No internal meetings are booked.
    • No recurring customer meetings are booked, if you MUST have a customer meeting to keep the momentum going, then do that.
    • Spend the day for personal growth through listen to podcasts, YouTubers, books on audible while you work out, mown the lawn, take a hike or while getting errands done.
    • Spend the day reaching zero inbox and convert actionable emails to ToDo tasks and declutter your mind.
    • Investigate new technology, write blogposts, make YouTube videos, prepare new talks or plan community events.

    Perhaps others will try #nomeetingfriday in 2022 to achieve a better work-life balance by doing less community stuff and work at weekends!


    Discover free Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!



  • Frontline Workers (FLW) make up a massive part of our global industries spanning everything from food, beverage and entertainment sectors to public safety, national security, transport, gas and oil, information technology, financial services to health, social care, education and childcare. And running the benefits and justice systems, religious staff, funeral services, journalists, broadcasters and more!

    These days you will find these workers happily using their personal mobiles with barely a second thought with unapproved shadow-IT cloud apps like SMS, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to quickly stay connected with their teams; at no additional cost to them or the company – which sounds great.

    However, the bad news is many Legal, HR and Security implications why they should NOT use these unapproved apps to manage what are often, confidential conversations about your business.

    But it’s a bright new year so let’s consider exciting good news first!

    You can now easily onboard FLWs using only their phone number and give them full access to #MicrosoftTeams channels, Shifts and the new intranet based Viva Connections with Yammer to share news and views. Also invite them to Teams calls and share documents with them. Using F1 Microsoft365 SKU.

    Watch this quick video that explains how to do this. We hope this video helps to shine a bright secure light on the importance of the Frontline Worker and finally connect them to their teams securely with the huge bonus of having M365 approved cloud apps, documents and Viva Connections (the company intranet) at their fingertips.

    Now the bad news why you should not use WhatsApp etc at work!

    Corporate use of WhatsApp is strictly prohibited, as stated in its terms and conditions,: “You will not use (or assist others in using) our Services in ways that: involve any non-personal use of our Services unless otherwise authorized by us.”

    And …

    “If not given company-approved cloud tools, FLW risk company and data security and regulatory compliance to use their own. 53% of FLW’s use messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger up to 6 times a day for work-related reasons, but 68% said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.”

    power_frontline_workforce_with_cloud_whitepaper.pdf (google.com)

    Two personal experiences:

    I wondered why my husband had not responded to some of my random WhatsApp messages a few weeks ago (don’t laff!). When asked he said he was invited to use WhatsApp with his construction project team and therefore ignores alerts on his phone after work and at weekends. So we are now back to using SMS.

    And secondly, I am part of a local community forum that recently formed to lobby the local council in making improvements to our streets and pavements. They were using email to communicate so I suggested creating a WhatsApp group. They were delighted and agreed. However, I had to add all the forum members to my phone Contacts before I could invite them to our WhatsApp’s group.  I now have about 20 random contacts on my phone.

    So, anyone using it for work, the group Admin will also have to follow this process of adding personal phone numbers to their contacts – this contravenes most HR policies!

    Therefore WhatsApp etc are perfectly good apps for personal consumption – but not appropriate for work – so consider MS Teams with SMS authentication that ticks all the Security, HR and Legal boxes!


    Discover free Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!

  • The “Employee Experience” starts from the moment a new hire is on-boarded into a company to the day they leave and that can be an emotional rollercoaster. We can now make that a much improved experience as …

    Viva in Spanish and French roughly means to enjoy a long life!


    I

    Open Viva visions

    Microsoft Viva, a reimagining of tried and tested old features in Outlook, SharePoint and Yammer. With new AI and powerful analytics that are easier to access and manage. To spark better employee engagement, improve hybrid work productivity, nurture personal development and enable empathetic leadership.

    The format of my 11 stories over the past 21 days has been bite sized chunks (advent calendar windows) to make it easy to consume. Viva is a veritable employee feast! In summary …

    Viva Insights is the most popular module at this time. Already freely available in Workplace Analytics just rebranded Personal Insights. With strict privacy protection so only the individual can see their own data pulled from their own Outlook calendar and emails in modern activity reports.

    To use Managers Insights that give a temperature check of how a team is performing and perhaps feeling, with better working tips, you need to up your licence, and have more than 10 direct reports.

    Viva Learning is ranked second in popularity at this time. Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be difficult to find, navigate, clunky to update with additional costs to host.  Viva Learning is far easier to access as built on SharePoint with a robust backend cloud framework using Lists to manage links to a multitude of sources. And with quick links to share on Teams.

    If you want an easy to build out-the-box intranet that looks as good as you see on the internet, then Viva Connections is for you! Basically Modern SharePoint and Yammer on the desktop, reached through the lens of Teams, with a simple to use app from a corporate or personal device. Perfect for F1 or F3 Front Line Workers.

    It’s time to cut the Slack and disconnect disruptive tools like WhatsApp!

    I eagerly await the first previews of the brand new Viva Topics feature as part of the new employee experience. Touted as very good for onboarding new hires to help them find new information in the flow of their work, hovering over specialist unusual words. Also capturing priceless tacit knowledge from trusted information workers heads as they exit a business after a long tenure – turning it into discoverable explicit knowledge in documents.


    And if these fantastic four big featured modules are not enough to get our heads round we have a fifth module to be released towards the end of 2022. Ally.io – the icing on the enterprise cake that I imagine embedded in all the modules using Topics as filtered tags to performance content; aligning personal objectives with company key results, sharing real time growth and company performance updates.

    To get an appreciation of what this ALL means I chatted with a Realist on what works right now and the licencing implications from F1 to E5.

    I also shared my average day, (with some poetic licence) on how I use Teams and Viva.

    So, its time to wrap up my calendar (without the cat stuck inside!) and go on holiday with an immense satisfaction, as encouraged by lovely new CloudWay colleagues, generous MVP mentors with a cracking sense of humour, I put on a Growth Mindset Hat and tried to learn something new. I have a shiny new blog site with 12 blogs created in just 21 days, and at least 4 story ideas to kick-off 2022 >>big grin<<

    I end my Viva visions at this point with a round-up over the past 5 years on my insights and experience with adoption and change management based on the ADKAR framework.  

    It’s all very well IT switching all this fantastic stuff on but you need people with relevant up to date content and good digital literacy skills to bring it to life; with leaders who demonstrate empathy and encourage digital wellbeing in the new hybrid workplace. It’s here to stay whether we like it or not.


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!

  • This IT manager ran a comms campaign for people to volunteer as Teams Champions at a lunch time roadshow resulting in some keen people, who rocked up for free swag but barely engaged with the new ways of working or advocated it.  However, a new IT manager is now using Microsoft Productivity Score that reports high-end users. These are the real champions to focus on!


    I

    Open Viva visions

    Microsoft Viva adoption is like pet adoption because both have a mission to, turn frowns upside down!

    Me and my husband adopted two beautiful dogs from Ireland 5 years ago. Both surpassed their mission and gone on to be Pets As Therapy approved volunteers. Over the past few years visited nursery schools, retirement homes. When they could no longer visit at the start of lockdown went virtual. Come January, and then once a month will visit a facility that supports mental wellbeing, building self-esteem, relationships and communication.

    So why is Viva adoption like pet adoption? It also supports wellbeing, building self-esteem, relationships and communication just like my pets are doing (;o)

    And, nurturing the culture of an organisation to shift to a Modern Workplace with improved productivity, with happy, empowered people collaborating from the day they are hired to retired, or leave.

    So, start by building a Champion Community that drives engagement of the new tools with a mixture of high end user technical expertise, good social skills and a Growth Mindset to try new things.

    There are possibly 3 ways to crowd source a Champion Community:

    • Leader nominates people from their team they feel might make good Champions. Over time this has proved not to work as perhaps these people might be overwhelmed with their own work, or perhaps don’t feel comfortable sharing their knowledge or just not using the features yet.
    • Run a comms campaign for people to volunteer. This can drum up some keen people, particularly if you offer free stuff and also say it’s an opt in/opt out programme. They shuffle along take the swag and often don’t actually promote new ways of working.
    • So with experience we found using Microsoft Productivity Score a very good strategy!

    This way you discover high end users in a report. You can then:

    • Invite them to a kick-off discovery session and walk them through the champion programme outlining the benefits; to them, their team and ultimately the whole company. 
    • If they decide to join, enrol them into the Champion Management Platform – Microsoft Adoption.  This will help you onboard, manage, and inspire champions. Installing this solution inside Microsoft Teams will provide a hub to track the champions’ impact on your employee learning initiatives, your adoption program progress, and recognise them with popular Digital Badges showcasing their contributions.
    • Another nice thing to do is encourage them to name their new tribe with something really meaningful to company, sector or country. I’ve known Bees, Pioneers, Yambassadors, Ninjas …
    • The next step is to create a learning hub for all the training materials; it might include train-the-trainer slides, demo videos, quick guides. 
    • Perfect for Viva Learning with an app in Viva Connections accessible through Teams on mobiles.
    • This should be an open forum so Yammer is good. Teams might also be used but tends to be for a group of people who already know each other. You are looking to encourage an enterprise-wide cultural change and that is where Yammer rocks!

    Encourage “Working Out Loud”. Sharing their modern workplace behaviour with a view others might find it helpful, and others might help them improve even further …

    John Stepper

    Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of nurturing a number of immense collaboration networks. Most notably the original GSK Yammer network where I was a Digital Comms Manager & IT Business Partner about 8 years ago. Here’s some success stories I helped curate at GSK: Yammer adoption & consumption #YammerMagic – Microsoft Tech Community

    More recently Teams user adoption at Department for Work & Pensions: DWP MS Teams pioneering user adoption programme to 114,000 staff by Lesley Crook and Alex McKnight (commsverse.com)

    What really helps shift the needle is when these people are at a point they are so passionate about their new ways of working they want to share their success. An easy format is to document how they used to work before the new features; and then share how they currently work with the new tools – and the all important business benefits! Try asking them this:

    “If the new tools were switched off tomorrow how would that make you feel?” That usually gets creative writing juices flowing!

    Success stories are priceless and powerful! The trick is to make other teams envious of how another part of the business is suddenly improving their performance using the new tools – and are so happy about it!

    To help instil the right behaviours and bring others along I created a model similar to Edward de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats. This is six coloured top hats used to help with parallel thinking for groups to plan thinking processes in a detailed and cohesive way, and in doing so to think together more effectively.

    I switched the top hats to (5 or 6) different types of hat. Consider this model as the Collaboration Change Agents. Please do not think of these change agents as individuals. You will never find them working alone. What you will find, on a daily basis are passionate people pivoting, switching hats, across (5 or 6) fictitious personas. Nurturing business success in collaboration, productivity and digital wellbeing technology in the flow of their work. I iterated the model a number of times to align to Yammer, then Teams and now Viva!

    In these uncertain times, new behaviours need to be nurtured to support our new ways of working in a hybrid workplace with empathy from leaders and colleagues alike. This table simply shows the right behaviours needed for Connections, Topics and perhaps the fifth module Ally.io (to be integrated towards the end of next year) – to nurture new tools success, consumption and our sanity!

    Pets definitely help (;o)

    My view is that Viva Learning and Viva Insights do not really need Champions as the content comes from explicit data and/documents in M365, AI and Outlook.

    More great tips on how to Become a Champion – Microsoft Adoption, and a video on how to use Microsoft Productivity Scores. And the all important, Adoption technical guidance from https://tracyvanderschyff.com/

    Great video …

    Read these Microsoft customers stories with Viva themes.


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!

  • This person sometimes suffers with anxiety; often effects their sleep & can be detrimental to their health. With encouragement from their manager, now use Headspace meditation app, Virtual Commute & Quiet Time on their mobile & have downtime in between work, helping them focus!


    I

    Open Viva visions

    Here’s some nice easy ways I am using Personal Insights on Viva Insights in the flow of my work to protect my digital wellbeing:

    • Send Praise to a colleague for being so helpful as the giving is as nice as the receiving.
    • Mark my calendar as Focus Time and work for 2 hours free of alerts and notifications, working on a PowerPoint presentation making comments to two other colleagues on different time zones.
    • Time for a midday breather so walk the dogs with a Headspace Meditation on my mobile with my Teams certified headset.
    • At 4pm each day get a notification on Teams to reflect on my day and note my mood, selecting a smiley face in my personal Viva Insights.
    • Then another notification reminding me to wrap up my day with a Virtual Commute
    • This helps me to complete outstanding Tasks and view my meetings tomorrow pushed from Outlook.
    • My Quiet Hours & Days are set from 6pm GMT so time to relax with no notifications from colleagues pinging on my mobile from other time zones who are continuing to work; until I start work again the next day at 9am.

    I end my very productive day with the satisfaction I am working smarter not harder on Teams with Viva Insights; and my digital well-being is in great shape with my Personal Insights.

    Digital Wellbeing podcast with MVP, Stale Hansen and 4 friends

    Discover what a Viva day in the life on Teams actually feels Like!


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!


  • This Comms lead in a manufacturing organisation with 70 factories spent a lot of effort on the “old” Intranet-App with now, frustrating limitations. However, recently rolled out global navigation and #vivaConnections together as the mobile experience with a BOYD strategy on #msTeams. Staff across ALL roles love it. Quick access to real time company content in the palm of their hand!

    Open Viva visions

    Viva Connections, is a personalised desktop, and mobile app on the left rail of Teams.

    This is how Leaders and Comms Teams can now easily reach the shop floor, a space that has frustratingly eluded them until now! They now have at their fingertips so many ways to engage ALL staff fast with:

    • Corporate News Feed, intended for everyone in the company and ensures staff have access to the latest information that drives the brand on Modern SharePoint.
    • Regional News Feed, that impacts how employees go about their day on Modern SharePoint.
    • Location News Feed, for staff where they are based; perhaps a factory or a retail store and might include staff recognition, health and safety updates, local company sports an social clubs and staff charity events on Yammer.
    • Employee Resource Groups for perhaps Working Parents, LGBTQIA+, Military, cultural or ethnic communities on Yammer.
    • Shared interests with cycling, baking, pets and photography. Also excellent for when leaders visit sites and staff take selfies with the C Suite and share on Yammer.
    • Events like Townhalls or team celebrations; if they missed an event can watch again on Stream, Microsoft’s version of YouTube.
    • A dashboard to useful resources; where you manage your Tasks, and Shifts, booking a safe desk, read staff canteen menu, company address book, manage expenses, book holiday, read payslips etc

    You could do all of this on SharePoint with Yammer webparts before; but it was limited on how you shared the content with all staff.

    The big game changer! Viva Connections gives Front Line Workers easy access to company content through the left rail of Teams, on their own personal devices.  

    However, there appears to be 3 Frontline Worker device strategies in play:

    • Access to a shared computer kiosk; as devices might not be allowed on the production lines; high security facilities like a prison, or a behavioural health units, or don’t have hands-free capabilities.
    • Shared devices like at M&S with SurfaceGo2.
    • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and/or access company content from a browser at home in your own time.

    To enable employees to access company content from their own devices (BYOD), you need to protect your company data. Use Microsoft Intune a cloud-based service that focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). You control how the devices are used, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. You can also configure specific policies to control applications.

    There are also Front Line Worker (FLW) license considerations. The main difference between Microsoft F1 and F3 Licenses is that F1 is an essential cloud solution for FLW workers of an enterprise and business. Microsoft F3 is a licensed feature for FLW and automates everyday tasks and procedures with Power Automate.

    Many FLWs are already using their own devices to keep in touch unofficially on WhatsApp or Slack. Switching to access through the lens of Teams you get cloud security, compliance, collaboration and productivity features.

    There has never been a better time to open up a FLW BYOD hybrid workplace, employee experience on Viva Connections.

    My vision is that 5th Viva module, Ally.io to be introduced towards the end of next year, could make sharing corporate strategy news super easy. As the Comms Team might share Ally.io key results in Connections News on how the company is performing. And our personalised Dashboard might pull from business intelligent Topics aligned to our personal objectives. Nurturing a connected and engaged employee experience with real time data that possibly ALL staff can be part of.

    Lots more here!


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!


  • This person knows their knowledge on a project will be lost when they leave next month after 5 years of dedicated service; this was making them sad. However, they are now a Topic Centre Champion and their knowledge is easy to find by others. When they find the name of this persons project; hover over the word and a “topic card” pops up with useful content.

    Open Viva visions

    I love the “knowledge iceberg” metaphor. I blogged about this a few years ago in relation to Yammer; how the product helps differentiate and cut through “explicit” and “tacit” knowledge sparking serendipitous conversations!

    You what?”

    Here’s an update taking in the Viva suite; enables curating priceless tacit knowledge that we all have, that can become explicit knowledge once you share it with collaboration features. Then discoverable, going forward in Viva Topics!

    EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE is expressed and recorded as words, numbers, codes, scientific formulae, and musical notations. Easy to communicate, store, distribute and found in books and on the internet. At work explicit knowledge is the tip of the knowledge iceberg found in emails and file shares. Also on the Intranet as primarily a one-way push of company information.TACIT KNOWLEDGE is unwritten, unspoken, and a vast hidden database of knowledge held by humans based on emotions, experiences and observations. Acquired through collaboration with other people and shared activities.

    Viva is intended to improve the employee experience from the moment staff are hired to the moment they leave.

    And, everyone is expected to create formal documentation at work from time to time. This is explicit knowledge, but we also need to spend time nurturing collaboration networks, sharing, supporting each other; and perhaps innovating too.

    Our digital wellbeing needs to also be considered in our new hybrid workplace and these continued uncertain times. We need to take time out to relax from work. We can now find support in Personal Insights with virtual commute, shorter meetings with appropriate breaks, daily briefing emails from Outlook, focus time, headspace meditation and quiet hours/days.

    This allows the brain time to relax and perhaps even spark ideas; we can quickly share in conversations from our own devices, as if sitting together in the office – but actually sharing our thoughts, ideas and expertise perhaps in Yammer or Topics. I’ve had my best bursts of creativity walking the dogs. All examples of tacit knowledge!

    Here’s a customer story using Viva Topics, from staff at Northumbrian Water who can now identify assets, construction projects, and even processes for the work they do, without leaving the applications they’re in or running a massive search query, whilst working in the field.

    MVP, Joel Olsen published his “iceberg of knowledge” infographic comparing SfB and contrasting Teams.

    So, consider Working Out Loud and sharing your work with a view others might find it helpful; and others might help you improve your work!

    Teams features with the SharePoint backend is the place to store our explicit knowledge. There are now so many more quick ways to share priceless tacit knowledge that then becomes discoverable explicit knowledge – found by hovering over an unusual word or acronym.

    • Channel Conversations in the “main arena” is Teams equivalent to Yammer, the difference here is conversations are often focused on a file uploaded into Teams. Those uploaded files are actually stored behind the scenes in good old SharePoint with “one version of the truth” and co-authoring.
    • Chat in Teams Meetings captures vital tacit knowledge shared in the moment and allows questions to be raised as participants are presenting and saved for a period of time to refer back to via the meeting in your calendar.
    • Checkout Merethe Staves blog: Channel It!
    • And we have …
    • Whiteboard can be shared for meeting brainstorming with sticky notes and coloured pens and shared as a link after the meeting
    • OneNote can be added into a Channel Tab as a collaborative meeting or project notebook.
    • Planner can be added into a Change Tab as a lightweight collaborative task tracker.
    • A picture paints a thousand words with instant silly emojis, stickers, gifs and memes encouraging “work-life” balance.

    Tacit knowledge also fits, of course, into Viva Learning as builds on the collection of life’s experiences, education and training that resides outside conscious awareness. It’s the knowledge one possesses that helps tap into intuition, a vital component to making high-stress, high-consequence, and split second decisions. As you go through life you purposefully acquire a lot of information.


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!


  • Before Covid this person looked forward to meeting up with their department in the canteen for lunch once a month or so; when one of them awarded employee of the month. With Viva Insights now enjoys praising colleagues in the moment, and others can join in with the recognition. This is a great work-life balance!

    Open Viva visions

    There are soooo many fantastic features at your finger tips in personal Viva Insights to support digital wellbeing.

    I start with the Praise feature, a simple messaging extension of Teams with the option to send an array of recognition badges to colleagues in both Chat and Channels.

    You can also Praise in Yammer.

    I shared my thoughts about this a few weeks ago on LinkedIn.

    Try to use whatever you prefer in the moment as get the same fuzzy good vibe – not just receiver but giver too. Priceless!


    Your Mission: Praise someone today

    Well done and thank You!


    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!


  • These cool MVP cats jointly presented at the M365 UK User Group on 8 December. They shared their pragmatic Microsoft Viva views alongside predictions for next year, through the lens of Teams. Catch the recorded chat here soon.

    Open Viva visions


    Realists are practical, logical, and judge an event as it occurs. They accept a situation as it is and prepared to deal with it accordingly.

    At this session the Realist shared her experience and views on the current state of the Viva tools as well as how to configure the Viva modules.

    Discover MVP Teams Queen, Sara Fennah’s blog.
    Visionaries are imaginative, creative and inventive. They are effective communicators because of a big imagination.

    At this session the Visionary shared her experience and predictions on the improved Employee Experience, business benefits using Viva and user adoption.

    Discover MVP Viva Visionary, Lesley Crook’s blog.

    So are are You a Realist or a Visionary? Does not really matter as both are equally cool!

    Visit Santa’s Grotto at Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Workshops!


    Follow my Viva visions

    03 Dec: Cloud Conversations Podcast: My productive and satisfying day in Viva on Teams..
    08 Dec: M365 UK User Group: A Viva Visionary chats with a Viva Realist (Sara Fennah, MVP)
    08 Dec: Yammer Community Festival: Looking forward to catching up with old and new Yammer fans and hearing great success stories
    25 Feb: Scottish Summit: MVP’s – Kevin McDonnell, Zoe Wilson, Ana Ines, Sara Fennah, the Viva Visionary and more!