Why Microsoft Teams Governance Matters

Microsoft Teams is arguably one of Microsoft’s greatest UI/UX wins as of late. It’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface makes collaborating and communicating on project-driven initiatives quick and easy. You can get a team up and going in seconds, and you and your team are off to conquer your next big win! This sounds great, right? Well, we think it is—but allow me to rain on your parade just a tiny bit. The question IT is being asked is, why not let anyone and everyone create a team? End users should be able to do what they want with this awesome tool, right? Our answer is the obnoxious, but accurate, “Yes, but…”. The truth is, without proper planning and governance, Microsoft Teams can become a bit of a mess.  

Guidance and General Bloat

First and foremost, governance can help prevent bloat, which can become a management nightmare. If you’re allowing anyone to create anything, they may or may not get it right. The more this happens, the more management is required to monitor and assist when things go wrong. The more you create, the more you have to administer. That’s a fact: the bigger the company, the bigger the potential for a mess.  

When too many Teams teams get created, it’s difficult to stay up to date or find information with so much to follow. Depending on the size of your organization, even with solid governance and proper training, the “free for all” method might not work for you. Governance around how or when a team is created is likely to be broken when anyone has the ability to do this. In this case, we suggest discovering and defining who on your team should have the ability to create new teams and what the process is to request approval for a new one.  

Include Your SharePoint Admins in the Planning Process  

Every time you create a team in Teams, you create a new SharePoint site collection for file storage. So, you should make sure your SharePoint administrators are part of planning this process. After all, this means more site collections for them to manage and could lead to tenant migration hassles. Your MS Teams governance strategy should include your SharePoint collection process.  

Without proper governance & enforcement… 

    • Teams might get created that are duplicates of others 
    • A new team might get created when it should have been a channel 
    • The wrong members could be granted access to a channel or team 

If governance isn’t followed and a Team is incorrectly created, you could run into several issues. You may be forced to start over, move your files, and lose your threaded conversations. There is not currently an easy OOTB migration option via Teams at this time. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to consider AvePoint’s FLY migration tool. 

So how do you avoid these pitfalls? Proper planning, of course!  

Ad Hoc Has Its Place 

We actually recommend using ad hoc, but only for piloting and governance creation. Internally we have used this method when deciding how to structure our Teams. For example, we had a need to share information we found for “knowledge sharing” purposes. We started with a single channel under a Team and quickly learned that we really needed to break it out between different topics, each as their own channel.   

Set Your Team Up For Success 

If you have a small team and don’t have the bandwidth to manage a full-scale approval process for team creation (i.e. no administrator or owner of the process or an admin who doesn’t have the bandwidth to deliver), then create good guidance, make it readily available in the channel, and enforce it! Don’t hamper your team by blocking progress with a bottleneck in the Team creation process. 

Testing, testing, one, two, 3,000 TEST SITES? 

Freedom in the creation process should still be watched closely. In our vast experience with SharePoint, we’ve seen clients who offered more freedom in creating SharePoint sites with upwards of 25% of their sites with the word test in it. 😨 What do you think will happen if we don’t have governance and control over who creates Teams teams?  

Save yourself, your team, and your SharePoint admins a lot of heartache by thinking through your Teams strategy, create solid processes and governance, and, most importantly, enforce it.  

Ready to take Microsoft Teams to the next level? Want to get started, but you’re not sure how? PixelMill offers several Microsoft Teams strategy packages. Let’s chat today and find the right one for you and your team. 

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