SharePoint in Microsoft 365 is continuously evolving and improving, especially in areas where Microsoft can refine the first-run experience and guide people to the best use and adoption of the technology that supports their day to day.

 

Today, we expand the in-product help that appears at the top-right of your SharePoint team sites – to make people’s first SharePoint experiences with sites that much easier and actionable. This is especially true for those who help manage sites and train people at scale within your organization. The question is, how do you get the most out of SharePoint and other integrated apps today? How do you ensure a great first-run experience for your people? What is the next step?

 

SharePoint Next steps appear when you click on the megaphone icon in the upper-right of the site.SharePoint Next steps appear when you click on the megaphone icon in the upper-right of the site.

The answer lies in two options: one “self-service” approach and one “at-scale” method:

  • Self-service | people click Next steps and choose from the suggested tips to improve teamwork collaboration.
  • At-scale | SharePoint admins perform bulk operations across multiple SharePoint sites at once

No matter which option you choose, your site(s) get improved list and library experiences, an updated home page, and mobile readiness.  You, too, can the added benefit from other integrated apps such as Planner and Outlook; this process is often referred to as “groupify” as it begins with adding a new Office 365 Groups membership. Updated sites then present helpful, first-run experiences to guide people through the upload of their first set of files, posting news articles for other team members, and adding others as new members.

 

And with one additional, sequential step you add a Microsoft Teams team as an additional app for your team members to bring communication alongside content; this is sometimes referred to as “teamify” as you are adding a Microsoft Teams team to your team site; yes, a mouth full, but well worth using beyond saying.

 

Let’s dive into the details of both options …

 

Self-service “Next steps” tips improve SharePoint site first-run experiences

We’re expanding the in-product help that appears at the top-right of your SharePoint team sites. More and more, SharePoint in Microsoft 365 helps people get the most value from new sites by providing contextual, actionable help. And today, we’re pleased to announce the expansion and location of the Next steps panel.

 

Left-to-right: “Next steps” showing from a classic team site and “Next steps” showing from a group-connected team site. Simply click on the megaphone icon to bring up "Next steps" tips from the Office 365 suite header at the top of the SharePoint site.Left-to-right: “Next steps” showing from a classic team site and “Next steps” showing from a group-connected team site. Simply click on the megaphone icon to bring up “Next steps” tips from the Office 365 suite header at the top of the SharePoint site.

The SharePoint site “Next steps” panel provides helps for a great first-run experience. All to help you move forward as a team and work out-loud and with confidence and awareness on how everything works in and around your SharePoint site interaction.

 

Currently there are four tips (cards) site members and owners may see within the Next steps panel:

  • Upload files – Collaborate on shared content with your team; encourages people to Upload a document.
  • Post news – Communicate with your team by sharing updates and announcements; helps Create a news post the first few times.
  • Invite team members – Engage with your team by adding them to your site’s group; makes it easier to see how to Add members.
  • Power your site with apps – Promote team collaboration on shared content by adding a team email, calendar, notebook, task management tool, and more; integrates additional capabilities when you Add apps to your site. #groupify

These tips help your users customize and improve their team sites. Tips are useful for anyone learning more about SharePoint or setting up a new team site for the first time.

 

Note: the “Power your site with apps” card will appear only on classic SharePoint team site that have not yet connected to a new Office 365 Groups group. Once this update has run, that option will no longer appear for that team site and the additional “Invite team members” may then appear.

 

For clarity, we also wanted to take a moment to highlight the other four top-right icons you will see above and to the right of your site – next to Next Steps:

  • Notifications – people will see various alerts from across Microsoft 365 services based on their notification’s preferences.
  • Settings – this gives access to deeper level site settings, like Site contents, Site information, Site usage and more.
  • Help – this pulls in contextual “how to” information from support.office.com
  • Your Office profile – where you can be you and adjust your account settings and Office profile.

Note: “Connect site to a new Office 365 group” may still appear in upper-right gear icon. This is the same as the new “Power your site with apps” Next steps card.

 

Learn more how to connect your SharePoint team site to a new Office 365 group.

 

At-scale, SharePoint admins plan and move multiple sites to modern experiences

Beyond individual site owners being able to connect to new Office 365 Groups from either the new Next steps action described above, it’s important to note that SharePoint admins can do this at scale using bulk operations across numerous sites deemed ready for modernization.

 

You can perform a bulk operation (known as a group-connection) in which you connect an Office 365 group to a series of sites at one time. This option is preferred for enterprise customers because it enables you to control the configuration (public/private, site classification, alias name) – and save time doing it on behalf of people and sites that qualify and request it.

 

Below are the two main steps to plan and execute the move to the latest SharePoint and Office 365 Groups experiences at scale:

FIRST | Use the Modernization Scanner tool to better understand classic SharePoint sites and the available capabilities to modernize them. The tool provides factual data about optimizing lists and libraries, connecting to Office 365 Groups, rebuilding classic publishing portals, workflow, blogs and more. Using the dashboards generated by the scanner you’ll be able to better assess the readiness of your sites and plan moving forward and any suggested remediation guidance.

 

Select the SharePoint Modernization Scanner option you want in the dropdown and then the checkboxes will show which components will be included in the scan. The "Office 365 Group connection readiness" component is the main component that will be included all scan modes.Select the SharePoint Modernization Scanner option you want in the dropdown and then the checkboxes will show which components will be included in the scan. The “Office 365 Group connection readiness” component is the main component that will be included all scan modes.

Select the SharePoint Modernization Scanner option you want in the dropdown and then the checkboxes will show which components will be included in the scan. The “Office 365 Group connection readiness” component is the main component that will be included all scan modes.

 

Learn how to get started with the SharePoint modernization scanner. And then download the SharePoint Modernization Scanner and try it today.

 

SECOND | Programmatically modernize your sites using a CSV files and bulk group-connect PowerShell script. After running the scanner and processing the results, you have identified which sites are ready to group-connect. The next step is to prepare a CSV file to drive the bulk group-connection process.

 

Section of the sample PowerShell script to modernize SharePoint pages.Section of the sample PowerShell script to modernize SharePoint pages.

Section of the sample PowerShell script to create a new Microsoft Teams team and associated it to the SharePoint site.Section of the sample PowerShell script to create a new Microsoft Teams team and associated it to the SharePoint site.

As you move through the options of what you can do, note you’ll be able to:

 

  • Add a Microsoft Teams team to each SharePoint site
  • Modernize all the pages within each site
  • Clean up site branding
  • Apply a tenant theme to each site

 

Learn how to connect new Office 365 groups to across multiple sites at once (includes sample PowerShell script); this, too contains a best practices guide to managing SharePoint modernization projects.

 

Wrapping it up…

We recently spoke to Nicole Woon (Twitter | LinkedIn), a program manager at Microsoft. She helped update the above-mentioned “Next Steps” experience for SharePoint sites. In the podcast episode, I interview Nicole about this new feature update and dig into the design, customer use and future action cards that help customers have a great first-run experience with SharePoint sites:

 

 

You, too, can learn from the person behind the modernization tool, Bert Jansen (Twitter | LinkedIn), as he shares how to get started transforming classic SharePoint sites to modern experiences using the admin patterns, practices and tools mentioned above:

 

 

We hope you enjoy not only the move to more modern experiences, but improved ways to support your growth and engagement throughout your organization.

 

What is the next step? Click Next steps and see.

 

Thanks, Mark Kashman – senior product manager – Microsoft