Webinar Recap | Effective SharePoint & MS Teams Provisioning Solutions

Thank you for your interest in, “7 Keys to Planning Effective SharePoint & MS Teams Provisioning Solutions For Repeatable Success“. If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun learning about effective SharePoint & Microsoft Teams provisioning as our speaker Eric Overfield (@EricOverfield) did sharing his knowledge with you.

There were some really great questions that came out of this session and we wanted to share Eric’s thoughts on them with you:

1. Any recommendations or references for naming conventions? 

Naming conversions within Teams for both teams and channels 
should fit your organization’s culture. The utilization of prefix and suffix will help you keep your Teams environment manageable, while using your organizations folksonomy. 

Common structures include the following: 

  • Prefix: 
    • Type of team, i.e. for a project (prj), org wide (org), region (reg), or use a one letter code for the type of team, i.e. P, O, R, etc. 
    • Department or function group, i.e. HR, IT, Sales, Marketing (Mrk), etc. 
    • Include the region as a second prefix. 
    • Type of team, such as Client, Partner, etc. 
    • Examples:  
      • PRJ_Project X 
      • P_USCAN_Project X 
      • ORG_Town Hall 2020 Q3 
      • ORG_Sales_Outside Sales 
      • HR_US_Benefits 
      • Client_Contoso 
      • Partner_AvePoint 
  • Suffix: 
    • +P – public team 
    • +G – guests allowed 
    • Examples: 
      • PRJ_Project X+G 
      • P_USCAN_Project X+P 
      • ORG_Town Hall 2020 Q3+P 
      • Partner_AvePoint+GP 
      • Client_Contoso+G 

Other considerations: 

  • Reserve primary department, division, and region names, such as HR, IT, etc. 
  • Limit total teamname length to 20-30 characters. With longer prefix and/or suffix, you may need to allow more characters. 
  • Document your naming conventions for your organization, with specific examples. Publish this documentation within Teams so that team creators can easily reference the material. 
  • Consider Azure Group Naming Policies, though this may require additional licensing.  

This is by no means compressive, rather successful strategies I have seen. Here are some additional posts and documentation I have found useful: 

2. Workplace is used in companies combined with M365 tools. Any good example/reason of moving things like town hall meetings and planning from Workplace to any M365 tool? 

In such a scenario, St
ream integration quickly comes to mind. Having a powerful, builtin tool to record, transcribe, and make searchable town hall meetings is a no-brainer to me. 

Utilizing one tool for oneonone, small team, and orgwide communication also appears to me to be the best overall strategy. 

3. Your 7 keys are similar to agile project management. Do you recommend a specific methodology? SCRUM? Kanban? Do you use Planner with Teams for managing such projects? 

The interactive process of Scrum is ideal as Digital workspaces are always evolving by nature. My experience is that for initial launches of Teams, a general waterfall approach with Scrum-like sprints provides the best chance of success. Some necessary processes, such as talking to end-users, finding champions, prototyping, etc. should happen in a loose order. At the same time, strict waterfall hampers feedback loops and improvements that are necessary for success. 

Microsoft Planner integrates well into Teams, and Teams is an effective way to organize, plan, build, and rollout digital workspace enhancements to an organization. Consider using Planner for light project management.; for larger organizations, a more robust project management tool (such as Jira) may be necessary to keep all pieces in line. In this case, I usually recommend your organization use the existing project management tools that they are familiar with using.   

4. A little off-topic maybe but how would you convince a company using Slack to migrate to Teams? 

Microsoft Teams is fully integrated into Microsoft 365, using first-party connections to SharePoint, Planner, the Power Platform, OneNote, OneDrive, and more. It is most likely already included in your Office 365 / Microsoft 365 license.; thus, you get an integrated enterprise-level communication platform at no additional cost. 

Teams has the features you need to effectively communicate and collaborate inside and outside of the organization, with a security model that beats the competition.   

5. Coming back to governance and processes: Can you customize the button “create a team”, to add info they need to request instead? 

Unfortunately, n
o, you cannot. The “Join or create a team” functionality included as a part of the Teams client is not extendable. You can create custom teams templates, which assist the general structure of a new team. You can also create a team based on an existing team. A strategy there is to use existing teams as de facto templates.   

The two primary methods I have seen to successfully control and customize the team creation process include the following:  

  • Create your own custom provisioning process that includes a new team request mechanism, i.e. a Microsoft Forms form to collect a new team request, followed by a manual or automated approval and provisioning process to deploy customized team structures.  
  • Create a chasing process that monitors for new teams and then nurtures team owners to get their teams into compliance with the organization’s governance policies.  

To learn more check out our blog post on this topic.

6. How many champions do you recommend for a small/medium company to get success with M365 but mainly MS Teams? 

My quick answer is one champion per department, division, or region is a great place to start. If that is not possible, then do all you can to bring in at least two to three others that understand how Teams removes so much friction in team communication. Cultivate new champions as you continue to roll out your digital workspace, as I have found that as more people use Teams, more champions will emerge.

Provide your champions with the tools they can use to succeed. A great place to start is the Microsoft 365 Champions Program.

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.

You can find the presentation deck here.

This session:

It’s time for the next episode of the PixelMill Webinar Series! In this session, “7 Keys to Planning Effective SharePoint & MS Teams Provisioning Solutions For Repeatable Success”, join PixelMill President/Co-founder Eric Overfield (@EricOverfield),  Microsoft Regional Director & MVP and master of speed folding his laundry, as he guides us through how provisioning SharePoint and Microsoft Teams will make your team more successful than Netflix documentaries about tiger owners. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Thoughtful provisioning solutions can make or break your Microsoft Teams and SharePoint initiatives, not to mention save you time and heartache. Stop reinventing the wheel. Determine your team and site provisioning processes, workflows, and requirements and replicate the success.

Besides the fact that webinars are an excellent way to engage with fellow community members and industry thought leaders, this is a chance to learn about some amazing things you can do when combining Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.

In this session, Eric walks you through 7 keys to planning effective SharePoint and Teams provisioning solutions. You’ll walk away with an understanding of how to strategize and design an effective solution your team can re-purpose over and over again.

Join us on Thursday, 6/4 for the next episode of the PixelMill Webinar Series!

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