Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Configuration

You have read up on Microsoft VIVA Topics (Topics) and you want to get me started. In a previous blog (Link to Knowledge Management blog) we have seen that to apply successful knowledge management, at least 3 ingredients are needed.

In this blog we are going to focus on the piece of technology. Configuring Microsoft Topics.

Microsoft Topics governance

We have to make a number of choices during configuration and that’s about it. If you have the answers to the choices to be made, the whole exercise can be done in minutes. Wortell takes the choices to be made into governance sessions. During a governance session we discuss what the consequences are of the technical choices that have to be made. Would you like to know more about Wortell’s our vision on Teams Governance & Security?


We will discuss the following steps in this blog:

  1. Assigning licenses
  2. Configure Microsoft VIVA Topics
    1. Configuration options

Assign licenses

To be able to use Topics, you must provide the employees with a Topics license. You can do this in the Admin center (under Active Users). Below we have licensed Adele Vance of Contoso a Microsoft VIVA Topics.

Assign a VIVA Topic Licence

It can take a couple of hours before the licence is active.

Microsoft VIVA Topics Configureren

Now it’s time to configure Topics. You can do this by choosing Settings -> Org Settings in the Admin center and then Topic Experiences

Microsoft VIVA Topics Configuration – Start

This will open a fly-out panel where we will configure Topics.

Topic Experiences

If you have not predetermined the choices to be made, I advise you to record these options with your Office 365 Governance. Again, governance is about defining the technical choice on the one hand, but certainly also about the underlying functional consequences of these technical choices.

Topic Discovery

In this tab you configure where Topics can search for Topics.

Topic Dicsovery

Choice: Select SharePoint topic Sources

Here we select where Topics may search for knowledge.

Topic Sources

With these 4 choices you can actually keep everyone friends.  All sites, All sites excluding that secret site or vice versa thought only the selected sites. The last choice is No sites. The options All, except selected sites  and Only selected sites can also be uploaded with a CSV. This CSV is quite simple and consists of 2 columns. Site name and Url.

An example to exclude sites:

Exclude sites from Microsoft VIVA Topics

An example to select a number of sites:

Include sites from Microsoft VIVA Topics

Choice: Exclude topics

You also have the option to create a list of topic names that should not  be found so that you have even more control!

Again, you have the choice to use a CSV. It has the following columns.

  • Name (required)
    • Here you (of course) enter the name of the Topic.
  • Expansion
    • To   exclude an acronym, type  the words that the acronym stands for.
  • MatchType- Exact/Partial (Required)
    • Here you can indicate whether it is an exact or partial match. On line 5 we see Arc. Project Arc will be excluded just like Plasma arc Welding but Architecture will not!
Exclude Topics from Microsoft VIVA Topics

Advanced Settings With the advanced settings we can go deeper into which Topics can or may be created automatically. You can also see here that you can exclude resources based on a sensitivity label. Here you can see the relationship between security & compliance and knowledge management coming back nicely.

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Advanced Settings

Topic Visibility

The following tab will help you configure the visibility of the Topics within Office 365. With that I mean who can actually see Topics within the UI.

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Visibility

Here you have the following options:

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Visibility – Who Can See Topics

Topic Permissions

In this tab we configure who within the organization can create and edit topics and who can manage topics.

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Permissions

When you click Who can create and edit topics you are presented with the following choices:

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Permissions – Create and Edit

Again, the (technical) choice is quite simple: Everyone, No one or A select group. The last option you have here is to indicate who can manage topics. Choose who has access to the Topic management  dashboard to  view topics across the organization. These knowledge managers can perform actions such as confirming, rejecting, and reviewing feedback on topics.   They can also  view, create, and edit topics

Who can manage topics

In this section we configure topics can manage.

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Manage Topics

In this example, I have chosen to give 2 selected employees the privilege to manage topics.

Topic Center

Finally: The Topic center! This step is actually really basic. You define the name of the Topic Center and thats it. The Topic Center is a special SharePoint site (template) where employees have a personal page of the knowledge relevant to them throughout the organization.

Here you can set and change the title of the Topic Center.

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Center

The option under Site address is a link to the Topic Center:

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Topic Center

All done!!

You just configured Topics! Congratulate yourself on a job well done! Now it’s time to let Topics do its job!

Microsoft VIVA Topics – Suggested Topics
Sander Derix
I want to know what drives you as a business, what your goals are, what capabilities you need so I can design and help realize solutions that are both realistic and manageable. In short getting you to the next level. I do this partly by the use of technology. I mainly focus on the services of Microsoft 365.

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