Microsoft Loop Components: Reaching people where they are working
I think it was the right strategy to launch Loop as components in a Teams Chat experience first. One of the core tenants of Loop is that you will be able to share Loop content across many Loop-aware applications, such as Outlook and OneNote.
As we use Loop in Teams chat, we become familiar with co-authoring and collaboration embedded in our conversations. We begin to form an awareness when opportunities arise to start a Loop, wherever the conversation is, and start collaborating. If Loop had launched as a full app, we would probably focus on starting Loops from the Loop app. It would take longer for us to form a habit of starting a Loop in a conversation.
Microsoft’s strategy for launching with Loop Components in Teams Chat
How does the Microsoft Loop Product Group think about launching Loop with components in Teams chat? Greg Howard, Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Loop had this to say at the February 2022 meetup of the Microsoft Loop User Group.
“Having the ability to put all your work in one place, to organise it, that really is sort of a Loop Workspace promise which comes with the Loop app down the road. But having these easy to use portable components that go with you to wherever it is you already do your work, we see that as really important to help pull people into the ecosystem. People who are used to working in Outlook, working in Teams, working in Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, making sure that we can introduce these components to the places where you’re already getting your work done feels like it’s really important to spread this message of how we can collaborate on more light weight ways from across the product suite.”
Greg restates the vision of Loop Workspaces and the Loop app as a place to organise your Loops, and the work contained in them. But he also emphasises that Loop components are an important experience that extends lightweight collaboration into the places we already work. He reminds us that Loop components will be in Teams and Outlook, but that it will also extend into Office applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint. That’s an exciting hint at the integration planned for the future of Loop across Microsoft 365 and Office applications.
OneDrive for collaboration and storing Loops?
There have been strong opinions shared about the current storage location for Loop pages. That is, in the OneDrive of the person who creates the Loop. I think we do a disservice to our people when we say they shouldn’t use OneDrive for collaboration. Mic of our collaboration begins on a small scale, like in a private chat. It may eventually move to a team and a space for wider collaboration.
Rather than saying we shouldn’t collaborate in OneDrive, we should be building people's skills in moving files to a team or team site. Help them to recognise when to move a file. Show them how to choose the right place to move it, or when it’s appropriate to create a new team.
I think that storing Loops in OneDrive is the right location for private chats. OneDrive is my drive. I can share a Loop with whomever I want to collaborate with. The people in a private chat may not have a team in common. It would slow the flow of collaboration if we had to stop and create a new team, or spend time discussing which team we have in common and if it’s the right place to start collaborating.
Today, Loop loses the ability to embed in conversation when we move it from OneDrive to a team. I expect this will change once Loops can be created from a Teams channel. But I still encourage people to shift a Loop page to a team when they want to widen the collaboration with the whole team.
So don’t hold back on using Microsoft Loop, waiting for the full application to arrive. Build your skills collaborating in the conversation you are in. Get familiar with the embedded Loop experience that will start popping up everywhere across Microsoft 365. The Loop application will eventually arrive and help bring our Loops together. But don’t stay out of the Loop till then.
Originally posted at https://modernworkmentor.com/blog/microsoft-loop-reaching-people-where-they-work on February 25, 2022.
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