You've deployed Microsoft Teams and set up some general governance processes to keep it from getting out of control. You've even launched a hand full of Teams that are gaining some traction.
Congratulations, that's a great start!
But, as you see usage rise, more complex questions are also coming up. Let's review these questions and help you decide when to use channels vs. sub-teams vs. projects in Microsoft Teams.
Can you relate to any of these scenarios?
All of the above are real-life scenarios, and all of them are a sign that it's time to take your governance to the next level. Here are some suggestions.
If you have a Team that only has a General channel, that's a red flag. Yes, there are times when a Team may only need a single channel. But those are rare, and by using only a single channel, the Team almost always ends up creating a structure that looks like their old file share - a bunch of folders inside of the Files tab in Teams. You also end up with a very cluttered set of posts.
Consider our Marketing Department above. They’re going to end up with one stream of posts talking about annual marketing planning, a specific email campaign, ad-hoc literature requests from sales, the internal newsletter they publish...the list goes on.
You don't have to think of every channel upfront. Force your Team to have at least a few channels to organize things topically. For Marketing, you may want to use:
On the other hand, the Sales Team may be over-using channels. Creating a massive list of channels that users have to navigate to find something can be counter-productive. How else might the sales team have managed their channels?
Just because a Team identifies the need for a project, event or sub-team doesn't mean that you need to manage it with the same Microsoft Team. In some cases, you'll want to create an entirely new Team.
Here's a simple rule of thumb:
Add a Channel: If the membership is the same as the parent Team.
Create a new Team: If only some people on the original Team will be on the sub-team, and/or if people not on the original Team will be added to the sub-team.
Remember our Customer Experience Team with the Customer Analytics sub-team? They should create an entirely new Microsoft Team for that set of individuals to use.
For more information on setting up MS Teams, check out our blog: How to Know If a New Microsoft Teams Site is Needed.
Projects and events are generally great candidates for having stand-alone Teams. These Teams may have a specific duration when they're created and then deleted, such as HR's Family Day event, but they often require interaction on multiple different Teams.
Again, HR's Family Day event may use a dedicated Team for planning, but they may use the org-wide "Company News" Microsoft Team for communicating about the event.
Another example we discussed earlier: marketing campaigns. There are many scenarios for this, depending on the number and complexity of campaigns, and for individual campaigns specifically.
Need to get started with Microsoft Teams governance? Download our e-Book: Microsoft Teams Deployment and Governance Guide.
Want to dive deeper? Contact C5 Insight to chat about your goals and challenges with Microsoft Teams.
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