Viva Engage: Storylines & Stories

Viva Engage is a Microsoft Teams App that connects people together to foster a sense of community and engagement. It empowers users to knowledge share, express themselves and reach subject matter experts. Storylines and Stories are tools within Viva Engage that help individuals build their personal brand and post content to people who follow them. Recipients can can then comment and share their sentiment if they want to join the conversation.

There are loads of ways Viva Engage can be leveraged. The short video below outlines how a business leader can use Viva Engage to reach and share perspectives with their followers. It shows how “post on behalf of” delegation can be configured and the notifications received in Teams and Outlook. Although not shown, Viva Engage provides rich analytics that are used to report on reach, engagement and sentiment, which are imperative for delivering effective communications.



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Viva Goals: Microsoft Planner Integration

Microsoft recently released its Planner integration for Viva Goals. This is in addition to the Excel and Azure Dev Ops ones that I covered in a previous blog. Plans can now be associated with both Key Results and Project in the Viva Goals tool to enable automatic progress tracking.

There are loads of task based use cases that this new integration supports and this new feature is another example of how different tools from the Microsoft 365 stack can be leveraged to operationally support an organisation’s OKR (Objectives and Key Results) usage.

Check out this short demonstration that I created to showcase the use of Planner in Viva Goals



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Viva Learning: SharePoint Content

In addition to 3rd party content, Viva Learning also allows an organisation to surface its own training material that’s housed in one or more SharePoint folders. Metadata can also be associated with each file or link to provide a richer end user experience within the Microsoft Teams App.

The file types currently supported include Office Apps, PDF, Audio (.m4a), Video (.mov, mp4, avi) and Linked Objects. Linked Objects allow you to connect to internal SharePoint content and to external media such as YouTube videos. To view content from the Viva Learning App a users needs to have been granted the relevant SharePoint permission.

The video demonstration below provides an overview of both the end user and admin experience.



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Viva Goals: OKR Lifecycle

What are OKRs? This excerpt from the Microsoft Documentation provides a good summary:


Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a proven goal-setting framework for creating alignment and focus and building a highly productive and engaged work culture to drive your business outcomes.

OKRs align your entire organisation to strategy, shifting focus from output, the everyday work of your team, to outcomes, which are the results of that work. This mindset shift keeps your team highly engaged with a clear sense of purpose and understanding of how everyone is contributing to forward momentum.


Viva Goals is part of Microsoft’s Employee Experience Platform. It’s an advanced software tool that is used to deliver Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) across an organisation. Viva Goals can be accessed via a web portal (https://goals.microsoft.com) or from the Microsoft Teams 1st party App.

In the video below, I show a simplified OKR lifecycle that demonstrates the creation of an organisational level Objective, a child Key Result, a “Check In” and closure of the OKR upon its completion. I also show an example of how OKRs can align from the Organisational level, through to Team OKRs and down to Individual ones.

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Adding the Human Touch to a Viva Topic


By default Viva uses AI to add content and associate people to Topics it discovers for an organisation. Often, this is good enough and end users save time and effort by accessing these automatically generated Topics within the flow of their everyday jobs.

However, there might be times when a subject matter expert will want to ensure specific information about a Topic stands out. They might even want to create the Topic themselves and ensure their page is engaging. To do this Topic administrators will use standard SharePoint Web Parts and the AI can then add additional suggested content to help improve upon and maintain the subject covered.

If you are not familiar with Web Parts they are easy to use building blocks you can use to customise a SharePoint page.

The following video provides a short overview of how easy it is to customise Topics pages to highlight important documents, links, videos and tools.


Viva Elevator Discussion



I created this short 4 minute video for my colleagues and partners. It’s a high level overview of the Employee Experience Platform (EXP) and a description of the four pillars of Microsoft Viva, which are: Connections, Insights, Topics and Learning.

For more details check of some of my other Viva posts.

Viva Insights Ways of Working Assessment



Viva Insights is a powerful workplace analytics tool that provides organisations the ability to better understand their collaboration culture and employee engagement. The service provides different levels of reporting including personal, manager, leader and analyst views. The personal, manager and leader dashboards are surfaced in Microsoft Teams as an App experience.

One key point to note is that at all times an individual’s identity is protected and any insights provided are designed to ensure the anonymity of employees. The details of how this is achieved can be found in the privacy and data protection section of the product documentation.

From an analyst’s perspective a good place to start looking at the general collaboration “health” of the company is via the Ways of Working Power BI template. This is one of the 8 predefined dashboards that ships with Viva Insights. An analyst can also generate custom queries, review business processes and create remedial plans.

The short video below shows how to create a Ways of Working Assessment and begin using it to drill down into the organisation’s collaboration behaviour.