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Some Hints are Very Helpful, Others Not So Much
I don’t know about you, but the number of pop-up “helpful” hints appearing in Teams seems to be increasing. Not that these hints are always helpful, as in the case of the one that urged me to use more emojis (Figure 1), especially dancing emojis.
Another recent hint I saw was that I should consider using Excel Live in a meeting. That’s a reasonable suggestion but given that I had already used Excel Live to test and write about the feature, the recommendation was a tad surprising.
I’m all for hints that do help, like the way that the Office apps hint when a file hasn’t been saved (Figure 2). I’m not quite sure what provokes the suggestion. It might be the time spent editing a file or the number of words entered. Whatever threshold is used, I’m always grateful when Word, Excel, and PowerPoint remind me that it’s better to save my work. Even better, save the file to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business to take advantage of features like AutoSave.
Controlling the Suggest a Feature Option
Teams certainly wants to help people use its functionality. The question is if people want to tell Microsoft what they think about a feature or the way Teams does things. This brings me to the Teams feedback policy and message center notification MC467247 (15 November 2022) announcing a new policy setting to control the Suggest a Feature option in the Help menu (Figure 3).
Clicking Suggest a feature brings the user to the Teams feedback portal where they can browse the current set of suggestions under consideration by the Teams engineering group and propose a change.
Many aspects of Teams are controlled by different policies. Most policies are managed through the Teams admin center, but the feedback policy is managed through cmdlets in the Teams PowerShell module. Always check for an update to the module when Microsoft introduces a new policy setting. If you use an old module, you might not be able to access the setting.
The feedback policy controls how users interact with Microsoft. Like other Teams policies, different versions of the feedback policy can exist within an organization to allow per-user control. For example, an organization could have a feedback policy that allows some users to participate in product surveys (Figure 4), give feedback, and suggest new features while applying a general feedback policy that blocks these options for most users. Although Microsoft enables user feedback by default, not every organization is happy for users to interact with Microsoft in this manner.
Updating the Teams Feedback Policy for Suggest a Feature
My tenant uses a feedback policy to block interaction for most users. When I checked it, the new EnableFeatureSuggestions setting was blank:
Get-CsTeamsFeedbackPolicy -Identity "Tenant Bar Feedback Policy" Identity : Tag:Tenant Bar Feedback Policy UserInitiatedMode : Disabled ReceiveSurveysMode : Disabled AllowScreenshotCollection : False AllowEmailCollection : False AllowLogCollection : False EnableFeatureSuggestions :
MC467247 suggests that the value for EnableFeatureSuggestions is inherited from a setting in the Microsoft 365 policy called “Allow the use of additional optional connected experiences in Office.” This is a one of the privacy settings that administrators can control for Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, and I’m not quite sure how a policy setting for an app can be copied to a policy setting that might affect multiple users or the entire organization. In any case, it’s best to be certain and update the setting to the value you want, which is what I did:
Set-CsTeamsFeedbackPolicy -Identity "Tenant Bar Feedback Policy" -EnableFeatureSuggestions $False
It takes time for a policy update to replicate to Teams clients. After a few hours, the block should be effective and the Suggest a Feature option will disappear from the Help menu.
To check the feedback policies assigned to user accounts, you can run something like this to fetch the set of current Exchange Online mailboxes and pipe the set to Get-CsOnlineUser. Anyone without a value shown for the Teams Feedback policy uses the global (default) policy.
Get-EXOMailbox -RecipientTypeDetails Usermailbox | Get-CsOnlineUser -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Format-Table DisplayName, TeamsFeedbackPolicy DisplayName TeamsFeedbackPolicy ----------- ------------------- Jeff Atkinson (Information Technology) Andy Ruth (Director) Tenant Bar Feedback Policy Ben James Tenant Bar Feedback Policy
The UserInitiatedMode setting in the Teams feedback policy controls if a user can give feedback to Microsoft. The setting is disabled in my policy. Maybe I should enable it again to allow me to give some feedback about the usefulness of dancing emojis.
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