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The frontline of any industry is fast-paced and always changing, so we know that keeping frontline workers connected to the business is crucial. With platforms like Microsoft Teams, frontline workers can communicate, assign tasks, and schedule shifts whether on a factory floor or in retail store, all in one app. But what about tracking business processes and organizing work? Many organizations are still relying on paper and clipboards or a messy spreadsheet to track routine processes. As organizations continue to digitally transform their frontline workforce, we wanted to share how to make the daily flow of information more mobile and trackable.  


Factory employees using a Surface tabletFactory employees using a Surface tablet


Enter Microsoft Lists: your smart information tracking app, part of the Microsoft 365 suite. Microsoft Lists is a simple, smart, and flexible way to track information and routines – and it’s integrated right in Microsoft Teams so you have everything in one place. Lists works just like you’d expect any list app to work, with extensible features to customize and format your information as you see fit. Quickly create a list from scratch, a pre-made template, or an existing Excel spreadsheet, and populate rows and columns with details. Add milestone dates and progress columns, assign people to individual list items, and attach relevant files. Color formatting and automated notifications are also built-in, so nothing goes overlooked. Lists is optimized for mobile use, so you can access and update your list on-the-go from any device. We are also adding support for custom list templates, available soon, so you can customize a List template for your own organization.


Lists home screen and sample list on tabletLists home screen and sample list on tablet


Lists is already included in your Microsoft 365 business and enterprise subscriptions, so you can start tracking right away. Let’s dive into some more Lists features and use cases for frontline scenarios.


Organize and track information


With how complex teams and business are today, it can be easy for information to get lost in the weeds. Luckily, Lists provides a single source of truth for your team by organizing information in a shared location: your Microsoft Teams channel.  Rather than keeping a binder of contacts or asset information and passing it around, anyone on the team can open a Lists tab in their Teams channel instantly from a phone or tablet, updated in real time. Relevant content is right at the source with links and attachments in each line item, and ownership is shared across team members so no information exists in a silo.

Scenarios where Lists help organize information:


  • Keep a list of contacts for your store so you can quickly check inventory at other store locations

  • Maintain a supplier list for your factory to keep track of who supplies what and relevant contact information

  • Track inventory levels and format the list to notify the team when levels are low

  • Manage assets by keeping a list of repair history, checkouts, and status

  • Track customer reviews by connecting a customer survey form to send results directly into a list


Inventory tracking list on tablet and list home screen on mobileInventory tracking list on tablet and list home screen on mobile


Manage ongoing efforts and processes


What happens when you have a more extensive business process  that’s more than just tasks? You can use Lists to keep an ongoing process in one central place with records of the project, what needs to be done, who’s doing it, and relevant notes, files, and attachments. With the fast-paced environment of manufacturing, retail, and the like, automations and quick filters mean less time managing work and more time getting things done. 


You can use Lists to manage a variety of processes, including:

  • Managing an equipment repair or installation project with milestone dates, owners, and status

  • Tracking employee onboarding or recruiting including status tracking, resume/CV attachments, adding interviewers, and candidate notes

  • Maintaining a routine list like store closing procedures

  • Checklist for factory clean-up or inspection


Factory manager and Store Associate Lists day in the life guidesFactory manager and Store Associate Lists day in the life guides


For more on Lists scenarios for frontline organizations, check out the Lists Day in the Life – Manufacturing and Lists Day in the Life – Retail guides, or watch the Manufacturing day in the life with Microsoft Teams video to see how Lists fits in with the broader Teams picture.


Learn more about Microsoft Lists at the Microsoft Lists Resource Center including demos, adoption resources, training material, and more.


Happy tracking!


Andrea Lum, Product Manager – Microsoft

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.