The pros and cons of a naming convention for Microsoft Teams

by | Jul 25, 2019 | Blog, Lifecycle Management, Provisioning

Does ProvisionPoint allow me to set a naming convention for Microsoft Teams? This is a question that we are regularly asked during demos, and of course the answer is yes. There is then typically a follow-up question about the validity of a specific approach to naming and a list of concerns users have raised. These questions reflect a genuine anxiety about implementing governance for Teams without putting up barriers to user adoption.

Why care about Microsoft Teams naming?

Before we examine the pros and cons of a naming strategy for Teams, let’s briefly consider how organisations are applying naming conventions to Microsoft Teams. From what we have seen, the typical approach is to add a prefix or suffix to the name specified by the user requesting the Team. Examples of this approach include appending business specific metadata such as a project code, cost center, division or classification to a meaningful name. Other examples of appended data include identifying in the Team name if it is Private or if it is shared with Guest Users.

Pros of a Microsoft Teams naming strategy

Organisations choose to implement a naming strategy for Microsoft Teams for several reasons, including

  • Discovery – consistent naming can help users find the correct Team, understand its purpose and avoids scenarios like 10 teams all called finance
  • Privacy – communicating the privacy in the Team name can assist users better understand the sort of data which should be stored in a Team and if the Team is accessible to guest users
  • Archiving – identifying business units or divisions in a Team name help administrators understand ownership when archiving Teams

Cons of a Microsoft Teams naming strategy

A Teams naming strategy can be perceived as a barrier to user adoption, with organisations stating several key concerns, including:

  • Limited meaning – users are left confused by complicated names that use various combinations of metadata which does not reflect the purpose of the Team from their perspective
  • Difficulty of Enforcement – even if an organisation chooses to implement conventions for Team names, how can the organisation ensure that users follow these rules
  • Poor perception – enforcing rules like naming conventions can result in users viewing Teams as another tool where IT put barriers in place

Right or Wrong?

So is there a correct approach? It depends on several factors related to the organisation and its approach to governance. Any governance strategy for Microsoft Teams should include a plan for the naming of Teams. A well-considered strategy for Teams naming will deliver value to both the business and the end-users.

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