Is now the time to use Microsoft Teams for Collaboration?
What an odd title to a blog post, you may think.
Surely everyone has been using Microsoft Teams for the last 18 months?
Of course, this is not the case, and despite Microsoft recently announcing 250 million active monthly users, there are alternatives to Teams. Organisations that are not invested in Microsoft 365 may instead be using services from Zoom, Webex or Google. It is also worth noting that until very recently, organisations could still use Skype for Business, which was officially retired in July.
Microsoft Teams for Collaboration or Communication?
The next thing to understand is that this post is not about Microsoft Teams as a whole – but just one half. When talking to clients, we often talk about Teams for Communication (Chat, Calls, Meetings) and Teams for Collaboration. Trying to define Teams for Collaboration is a bit more difficult but essentially, it is the Teams link on the navigation in the Microsoft Teams app. It is where Teams are created for collaboration with users in a shared area (e.g., Project, Department, Marketing Campaign). These Teams can include multiple Channels with Chat, Files, and various Apps.
Hopefully, that explains what Teams for Collaboration means, but why are some organisations only looking at this now? Of course, they could be new to Microsoft Teams altogether, either migrating from on premises or a completely different service. Alternatively, they could have been using another service, such as SharePoint, to manage files and collaboration. Equally, in the rush to empower home working last March, many organisations just focused on empowering workers to communicate, with calls and meetings. Some businesses did allow users to create new Teams as part of the transition to remote working, but typically there was not any strategy put in place.
Don’t Forget Governance
For whatever reason organisations are now considering Teams for Collaboration, they all need to think carefully about governance. Without governance, Teams can quickly get out of control, with duplicate Teams being created, data being incorrectly shared and users quickly becoming disillusioned with the product. There are of course, many aspects of Teams governance, but organisations tend to focus initially on who can create Teams, how they are secured and the subsequent archiving process. To aid adoption, many organisations often also think about templates for Teams with a pre-defined structure and naming policies.
ProvisionPoint Workspaces can support the adoption and governance of Teams for Collaboration. Workspace templates can be created which define the structure of Channels and Apps. These templates can also define rules about the security and naming of any Teams which are created. Finally, the end-to-end lifecycle of new Teams can be managed with approval processes in place to support user self-service and policies to control when a Team is archived.