Task publishing feature for frontline organizations now available in Microsoft Teams

We are introducing task publishing and reporting features within the Tasks app in Teams. This allows an organization to define the tasks that need to be completed across their frontline locations, choose which locations need to complete those tasks, and track the progress of the work. Frontline managers and workers can use the desktop or mobile Tasks in Teams experience to see the tasks they need to complete, all in one place.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 59719.

When this will happen

Available mid-January 2021

How this will affect your organization

Task publishing lets companies create tasks centrally at the corporate level and publish those tasks to different frontline locations like stores, factories, and clinics. You can publish to all teams or choose specific locations based on customizable characteristics like size or layout.

For example, leadership for a nationwide retailer can create tasks for the reopening of their stores, send that list to only the affected store locations, and then track progress against the tasks at those locations. Managers on those store teams can easily assign tasks to individual employees. Meanwhile, the frontline Workers at those store locations will see a simple list of the tasks assigned to them whether they log in backstage or use a personal or company-issued mobile device.

You will not see any changes in your admin or end user experiences unless you take steps to enable task publishing. With task publishing, your organization can publish task lists targeted to specific locations (teams) across your organization to define and share a work plan to be completed at those locations.

  • Frontline workers have a simple mobile experience to see tasks assigned to them. They can attach photos to show their work when appropriate and mark their tasks as completed.
  • Managers on the recipient teams can review the published tasks and assign individual tasks to team members.
  • People on the publishing team, such as corporate or regional leadership, can create task lists and publish them to specific teams.
  • Publishers and managers can view reports to see assignment and completion status of tasks they’re tracking.

What you need to do to prepare

The feature will be disabled until an admin in your organization enables it by uploading a team targeting hierarchy as summarized below.

Task publishing is an additional feature within the Tasks app in Teams. The Tasks app is enabled by default for all Teams users in your organization. You can configure the app at the org level on the Manage apps page in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

To enable task publishing in your organization, you must upload a schema file via our PowerShell cmdlet. This schema file defines how all the teams in your hierarchy are related to each other, and it defines which teams can publish to which other teams. It also defines the attributes available to filter and select recipient teams when publishing. After you create the schema, you will use PowerShell to apply it to your organization. Members of any team that has child teams in the hierarchy can publish tasks. For example, a user who is part of a Retail Operations team that has children in the hierarchy will be able to create a task list and choose which teams to publish those tasks to.

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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.

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