Governance on the fly – tips for controlling Teams

Written by Kate Rafferty with contributions from Salvo Profita

Blog Summary

+ Intro

+ Tips:

- Who can create Teams

- Group naming policies

- Types of Teams

- How content is stored

- External access

- Site designs

+ Summary


With the increasing adoption of remote working across the globe, we have seen the rise of collaboration and communication platforms, such as Microsoft Teams. As a Microsoft partner, we have found more and more of our clients implementing and enquiring about Teams. This is reflected in the statistic that the daily active users of Teams has more than doubled since November 2019 to more than 44 million!

With the increased use of Teams it is important that you start of on the right foot and have the right governance and controls in place from the beginning. So that, people can communicate and collaborate effectively and safely. Therefore, we are going to go through our top tips for controlling Microsoft Teams below, with a little help from our Teams expert Salvo at the end.


Questions you should be asking yourself

There are several key questions you should ask yourself when it comes to governing Teams in order to make it a sustainable, secure and compliant solution. For example, must Teams be created in a certain way? Is there a process for determining if a suitable Team already exists before one is created? Do you have an archiving and housekeeping process?


+ Who can create Teams ?

Some of the first questions we tell our clients to ask themselves are – who should be able to create teams? Should it be everyone? The answer to this all depends on the size, type and policies of your company.

In one respect it is important to encourage user adoption and allow people the freedom to create their own teams, as this encourages more ownership and responsibility around Teams. Meaning a better implementation.

However, it is also important that there are some sort of policies and rules in place to avoid common problems such as multiple teams being created for the same purpose, and redundant and unnecessary teams being formed. These all lead to an unstructured sprawl of data and teams.

For some companies they will have to put more controls and governance over who can make Teams due to privacy issues and the sheer size of the company. Therefore, depending on your company it is important to strike the right balance between having a policy that encourages adoption but to also have a policy that allows effective and clear implementation.


+ Should we have a Group Naming policy ?

Having a group naming policy is an important part of the creation process, especially if you are allowing all your users to create their own teams.

Something we have seen go wrong for our clients is that the local marketing team have named their group Marketing , before the main central Marketing department have named their team. Leading to duplication and confusion between the two groups.

A way that we suggest to fix this is to apply prefixes and suffixes to the team names. So if the local marketing team was based in Newcastle you would name the team NCL Marketing team.


+ What types of teams should you be creating ?

There are three different types of teams you can create Microsoft Teams :

1) Organisation wide – you can make an org-wide team of up to 5000 people, creating an automatic way for everyone in the organisation to be a part of one single collaborative team.

2) Public - these are public and open teams to everyone in the organisation.

3) Private - these teams are created privately and are only open to invited users. You can also decide whether to turn off the discoverability of the team so that it can only be seen if it’s shared by an owner or a member. This functionality is perfect for sensitive, private content.


+ How is your content being stored ?

Having an Office 365 expiration policy in place can help to clean away those inactive groups clogging up your newsfeed. With the teams renewal feature you can set up an expiration policy based on the user activity within that group. When using an expiration policy, only the teams owners can decide whether to delete or renew. Your not able to get your content back after Microsoft's 30-day "soft-delete" period.


+ Should you allow External Guest Access ?

Allowing guest access lets you add individual users from outside your organisation to particular teams and channels. This is particularly useful when you are working on projects that involve external people. Meaning you can keep all the files and conversations about a project, group, in one place.


+ Finally, a top tip from our resident Teams expert Salvo Profita about Site designs

“Any organisation taking Teams seriously should consider the use of Office 365 technologies such as Site Designs. This is (a little) more advanced and is considered to be within the realm of “SharePoint Developers”. But with some relatively simple configuration and scripting, you are able to set up Templates for how new Teams will look and behave. So you could set standardised Teams permissions, configuration settings, naming standards, the tabs and apps on the Team etc, all of which goes a long way to enhancing commonality and standardisation across your organisation without compromising flexibility and power. Want to know more about how Site Designs can help you? Get in touch.”
If you’re interested in how we can help set up remote working within your company by getting you set up on Microsoft Teams, please get in contact with us here. If you want to learn more about WFH feel free to check out our blog.

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