The risk of ‘Over Adoption’ with Microsoft Teams

by | Aug 9, 2019 | Blog, Lifecycle Management

Teams Chaos

Microsoft Teams is billed as an easy to use application which users will naturally adopt, but there is a real risk of ‘over adoption’ that can result in information chaos and sprawl.

The reality of many deployments of Teams is that users are let loose with little thought to governance which is compounded by a lack of suitable training. The result is that a higher volume of Teams will be created than necessary and these Teams will be created in an inconsistent manner. Without clear guidance, for the same purpose one user may create a Channel and another will create an entirely new Team when they should have created a Channel. Users often don’t understand the conceptual difference between these two pieces of Teams experience so chaos ensues.

Making this worse is the age old problem that has followed Teams from SharePoint – what to do with a Team (historically a site, of course) that is no longer needed. Teams natively provides capability for owners to archive a Team, but getting colleagues to take responsibility for archiving Teams that they no longer need is hard work.

You may think this is not a problem and may consider it fantastic that users are embracing Teams. The reality we have seen is that users will be left overwhelmed by the sheer volume of active Teams. Users have no idea which Team is the correct to use for a particular purpose and in the worst scenarios, stop using Teams altogether.

How do you manage the Challenge?

Realistically, you can’t eliminate the risk of information chaos and sprawl within Teams, but you can take several steps to manage it:

  • When to create a Team – Whether a Team should be created for each Customer, Project or Meeting is dependant on your requirements, the important thing is that you define the rules for when a Team should be created
  • Provisioning Process – Implement a process for how Teams are created, which can include identifying who can create Teams, whether an approval step is required and naming conventions
  • Ownership – Being the owner of the Team is more than just a security role, owners need to understand that they have a responsibility to manage the Team throughout its lifecycle and to change ownership when required
  • Archiving – Whatever the purpose of the Team, there will be a point when it is no longer active, define the expiry point for a Team and what should happen when it does expire

To make these steps successful, a user education programme should be implemented.

Users need to understand when a Team should be created, the process to create a Team and the responsibility of being a Team Owner. Furthermore, it is essential that they see the value these steps provide in managing the sprawl and making Teams easier to use over the long-haul.

Technology as the Solution

The most important thing to understand about Teams adoption is to use a combination of technology, process and education to help users maximise the value from Teams.

It is essential to simplify the process of creating new Teams, which includes minimising the decision points and giving the user community a Team of immediate value. Implementing a fixed and finite lifecycle from the point of Team creation ensures that Teams are archived at the appropriate point.

Teams can be an easy to use application, so don’t put up barriers to users but equally don’t leave them with an unmanaged mess. Contact us for a demonstration of ProvisionPoint today to see how chaos in Teams can be tamed with ease.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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