When it comes to defining which collaboration or communication tool to use, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, with 3 simple questions, you can get a better view on when to use what:

  • How big is the audience?
  • What is the type of communication?
  • What is the pace of the communication?

Additionally I will tell you, in a nutshell, where to store your documents in Office 365.

If you have answered all three questions below, you should know what tool to use in different kind of situations. But remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question. You can use any tool in any way you want, but with the questions above you are guided in best practice usage of the platform.

How big is the audience?

Do you wan to communicate with a large group of people or a small one?

  • Large
    • SharePoint Online
    • Yammer
  • Small
    • Microsoft Teams
    • OneDrive for Business
    • Skype for Business
  • It doesn’t matter
    • Outlook

What is the type of communication?

The type of communication is an important identifier on what tool to use.

  • Formal
    • Outlook
    • SharePoint Online
    • Yammer
  • Informal
    • Microsoft Teams
    • OneDrive for Business
  • It doesn’t matter
    • Skype for Business

What is the pace of the communication?

Do you want quick communication, or a rather slow one?

  • Fast
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Skype for Business
  • Slow
    • OneDrive for Business
    • Outlook
    • SharePoint Online
  • It doesn’t matter
    • Yammer

Where to store my documents?

I like to think in terms of static and dynamic content. Where dynamic content are those documents that are modified a lot and by different people, work documents. They are stored within Microsoft Teams.

Static content is best related to final documents (contracts, invoices, HR policies, Marketing material…), which I advice to store in SharePoint Online.
SharePoint Online is a good fit to create a strong information architecture in, with a strong security model behind it.
In addition to storing important documents, it is also a strong tool to build a company intranet. An intranet typically consists of rather static content as well.

Personal, work related, content is best stored in OneDrive for Business.

A good document flow should be written into a governance plan, making it easy for users of the platform what type of information can be stored in what tool.