Earlier, we have discussed why a governance strategy is essential, what usually happens without one, and some positive effects from having a strategy. We have also looked at some of the governance options and in which sequence I think you should make the governance decisions.
Today, we will look at Teams structure, including channels and tabs, which are too often overlooked when organizations roll out Microsoft Teams.
The first thing we should do is to define collaboration templates. “Collaboration template” is not a technical term; it’s about sitting down and, together with the business, establishing what type of everyday needs exist for collaboration in Microsoft Teams.
It could be various reasons:
…by not templatizing and finding these common Teams, each team is instead a custom solution.
Most teams have a different structure, and multiple project teams usually look entirely different.
For example, most teams created only use the
general channel, which means people are missing out on the quick wins of adding channels and tabs to make life easier for the end-user and helping with less context switching. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to find content, and then people do not see the upside of using Microsoft Teams.
Once again, good governance should drive adoption and make things more straightforward for the user.
Creating only default teams makes no sense. Most companies use more than one type of collaboration surface. A team should always have a purpose, and that purpose should have a structure. Besides containing people and content, a team is structured with Channels, Tabs, Applications, and a SharePoint Teams Site in the backend.
Templates might be organizational structures, but they could also be process-based that are cross-organizational. Some examples are:
Channels are collaboration spaces within a Team, where people do the actual work. They represent a specific topic, department, or project a team works on, guiding users through their conversations and focus discussions. Channels allow logical separation of conversations and data.
You automatically get a General channel by default when you create a new team, and you can’t rename, remove, or hide it.
Always Show Channels: Set all your custom channels to visible and let the users decide if they want to hide them from the UI. Visible channels ensure that all members aren’t missing out on channels and understand the team’s purpose.
Limit the purpose of the General channel: Only allowing team owners to post to it, you make sure users utilize other channels for conversations. Use it primarily for team communication.
Think about who can create channels: You can set Team-specific settings. What should Owners, members, and guests be able to do. Not all settings apply to each role. Some organizations only let team owners manage channels and let members do all the other things. Create more channels than the General channel:
Don’t create too many channels: Make sure that the users can skim. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend more than seven-eight channels. Don’t create ‘Event 2021’ and ‘Event 2022’, have one channel for events
Think about naming: Use templates to make sure your channel names are consistent across all teams. Channels should have distinct names that make it easy to understand which to pick for work and conversation. All ‘Project’ teams should have the same initial structure and channel naming, but also make sure to name channels that should exist in all teams the same.
Microsoft Teams can integrate applications and documents into your channels through tabs. By default, you get three standard channels each time you create a new channel - Posts, Files & Wiki.
Now that we understand how to structure Microsoft Teams let’s look at how to templatize them in the next post.
Thanks for reading