Deploy and manage Shifts to your Frontline teams in Teams Admin Center

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

Schedule and shift management are a foundational driver of productivity for frontline workforces. Shifts app offers a simple and effective way for managers and workers to manage their schedules with Microsoft Teams.


Previously, IT admins did not have the ability to control and standardize schedule management across frontline locations: only frontline managers managed both the set up and deployment of Shifts across their workforce.  


What’s new?

We are thrilled to announce that IT admins can preconfigure Shifts settings in the Teams Admin Center and deploy to their frontline locations. This will standardize Shifts app settings across all locations, as admins will be able to uniformly set Shifts app settings, time-off reasons, and schedule groups across all frontline teams to avoid discrepancies between teams.


Key advantages included:

  • Frontline managers can skip setup and immediately start building their shift schedules out-of-the-box.
  • Shifts capabilities can be centrally managed across all locations by IT admins, and frontline managers can't override them in Shifts.


How does it work?

In the Teams Admin Center, we’ve created a new entry point, “Manage frontline experiences”, for frontline app deployment and management.

Teams admin center1.png


On this page, admins click “Set up” across “Deploy Shifts to your teams” to launch the wizard to:


1. Configure Shifts settings : This will be set across all frontline teams. During this process, Admins define the following:

  • The Shifts requests capabilities are available for their frontline employees
  • The time-off reasons used when workers create time-off requests
  • Whether they allow time clock to be used in Shifts.

Here is an example:

configure teams.png

configure teams2.png


2. Admins proceed to Create schedule groups.  They start of by defining who will be granted the schedule owner permission across all frontline teams by creating a group on Microsoft Entra of all frontline managers. Schedule owners are managers on the ground who can create and assign shifts to their frontline workforce. To minimize manual updates to this group, it is recommended that admins create a dynamic group for schedule owners that will automatically update based on user attributes.


After defining the schedule owners, the admin can decide whether to delegate the creation and management of schedule groups to schedule owners or define schedule groups themselves. If the latter is chosen, these groups will be created across all frontline teams.


What are schedule groups in Shifts?

They are sub-divisions within a particular frontline team that will allow frontline managers to organize their workers accordingly. For example, the job is permitted for that location.

create schedule groups.png


Now that the admin has completed setup of Shifts, frontline managers will not have to complete all these steps, and admins can continue to manage these settings for frontline managers in the future.

Admins will return to the “Manage frontline apps” landing page and can click on “Deploy”.

manage frontline apps.png


Admins will choose their desired frontline teams. Any frontline team that has been deployed through the deploy frontline dynamic teams experience in the Teams admin center will appear here. The admin can set the time zones for each location and deploy.

select teams.png


Need to make changes? No problem. You can modify Shifts app settings, like shift request capabilities, time-off reasons, time clock, schedule groups, and schedule owners by clicking “Deploy Shifts to your teams” again on the “Manage frontline apps” page. Any modifications you make will impact frontline teams where you have already deployed Shifts and any new teams you may deploy to in the future.


What’s the impact in Shifts?

In Shifts, frontline managers won’t have the ability to edit the pre-configured settings provided in Teams Admin Center. Only Admin can manage those settings centrally.

1. In the Settings page, Frontline Managers will be displayed with the following:

frontline managers.png


2. Additionally, if Admins selected to centrally manage schedule groups for the frontline teams, the frontline managers won’t be able to add, edit or delete the schedule groups created by the Admin. The following will be displayed to your frontline managers:



As a result, frontline managers do not have to spend time completing and managing Shifts settings. These settings will be managed by the admin to create a seamless experience for all frontline workers that ensures managers and workers at all locations can maximize productivity and facilitate their day-to-day workflows.


Experience it and provide us with your feedback!

Deploy Pre-configured Shifts to your frontline teams is now generally available. Try it out in the Teams Admin Center.


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