Do I need a new Channel or Team?
“I will create a new Team for that”, is perhaps the most common mistake which users make with Microsoft Teams. It may be the case that a new Team is required, but equally, it may be more appropriate to create a Channel in an existing Team.
So why do users make the mistake of creating a new Team? Naturally, it is far too easy to create one and users have not been adequately equipped to understand when a new Team is required.
Before we explore in more detail the reasons why new Teams get created, let’s examine why creating Teams can be a problem.
Any new Team created must be for a clear purpose, which is not fulfilled by an existing Team. Duplicate or unnecessary Teams can result in user confusion over the correct source of information and where to create new content. Furthermore, the interface in Microsoft Teams can quickly become cluttered with an unmanageable sprawl.
Teams creation process
Returning to why Teams get created, what is the problem with it being too easy to create a Team? Undoubtedly, one of the strengths of Microsoft Teams is user empowerment, because the business better understands than IT when new collaborations are required. However, the native behaviour in Teams allows any user to create a new Team without any checks in place.
This reliance on the user making the correct decision is a risk, which leads many organisations to review the process for how Teams are created.
Regardless of the Teams creation process, organisations also need to equip users better to understand when a new Team is required. This is typically achieved through a combination of governance rules and user education.
It is essential that organisations define the different types of Teams, whether they be for customers, projects or product launches. That will immediately help users understand when to create a Team because they can align this with a business process.
Supporting any rules should be an education programme for users on Teams, which does not just include practical use but also explains the purpose of a Team and when it should be created.
Creating a new Team or Channel may seem like an odd thing to write a blog post about; however, we have seen countless examples of inconsistencies in how Teams are created and users failing to check if a similar Team already exists.
It is essential to be clear that this post is not advocating locking down Team creation to be a function of IT. Such a move would be counterproductive and would lead to disengagement from users. Instead, through clear Teams creation processes and education, organisations can help all users maximise the value from Microsoft Teams.