12 Days of Microsoft Teams | Day 12

External Sharing Do’s and Don’ts 

Welcome to Day 12 of PixelMill’s ‘12 Days of Microsoft Teams’ series! Sharing is caring, and today’s tip will show you how to apply that to your work life. Enjoy!

Here at PixelMill, we’ve been using Microsoft Teams internally for well over a year now with great success. We’ve significantly reduced our internal emails, found new ways to collaborate, and have become better communicators through the use of Teams. Next on our list was to bring our clients into the mix. External sharing in Teams allows us to move away further away from email, enables external video conferencing software, and helps keep everything related to a project in one location.
Configuring Teams to allow guests is quite simple. Here’s our list of Do’s and Don’ts to reaching External Sharing success in Teams. To learn more visit:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/guest-access-checklist
 

Do:

Plan for success

Take the time to create a governance policy around external guests. A governance policy should include the type of content to share, where it should be stored, who should have access to the files, and expectations around how quickly team members (internal and external) will respond to conversations.

 

Establish clear naming conventions for external teams

Avoid accidentally posting or sharing internal information not meant for clients’ eyes with clear naming conventions for your external teams.

 

Create a team specifically for the external members

For example, here at PixelMill, we have Sales and Services Teams, and in each of those, we have client specific channels where we collaborate internally on active projects. In the past, all client communication on projects was done through meetings or email. Today, we create a new unique team for active accounts where we add external users.

Set expectations with your external users 

Include a welcome message to your external users, outlining how to use the team, and explain how the team is set up. This is also the perfect time to set expectations, i.e., how to @mention, like a comment, etc.). Remember, this may be your external user’s first experience with Teams, so be sure to give them the tools they need to succeed.

Confirm guests have access

Don’t just assume they have access. Ask them to test, so you know they see what’s happening in the group and don’t miss out on important information.

Stay organized

When sharing files, be sure that you upload files in that specific team or SharePoint site to be certain guests have access to the proper files.

Let external users know when you need them

There’s often a lot going on in Teams, and it can get a bit overwhelming. Be sure to let users know their attention is required by @mentioning guests when asking questions or sharing information that’s relevant to them.

Schedule recurring audits

If you’re like most organizations, you probably have more than one group of external users you want to share will, so you’ll likely have many external teams active at once. Be sure to schedule recurring periodic audits (quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) to be sure external guests should still have access.

 

Don’t:

Get too casual

You may build a casual rapport with your clients, or it may be part of your company culture to be more relaxed with clients, but as a rule of thumb, don’t include Gifs or emojis when collaborating with external users. You can actually disable Gifs in Teams for a specific team should you decide you don’t want this feature for external groups.

Overshare

Avoid bringing outside conversations into teams with external guests; keep information relevant only to that team. And on that point, be sure you’re posting in the right team! This starts with clear naming conventions for external teams.

 
Ready to take advantage of all Microsoft Teams has to offer, but need some assistance ensuring you’re setting your team up for success? Chat with a PixelMill Teams expert today!

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