23 August 2022

How To Organize Microsoft Teams and Keep it From Being Chaotic

Microsoft Teams and IT

As companies transition to remote work for their employees, you have probably found yourself using Microsoft Teams more frequently. This beast of a unified virtual office system offers many powerful tools that help your teams across the company collaborate on various projects, ensuring productivity is still high even if they work from home. However, the more you use it, the more quickly cluttered it becomes, and as we all know, clutter means distraction and loss of focus. To keep your Microsoft Teams organized, our IT team at Red Rhino has put together a list of quick tips that we use and want to share with you. 

1. Create an M365 Group

The first thing to know about Microsoft Teams is that they’re often best if created as part of an M365 Group. What does a “group” provide? In addition to many other things, an M365 Group provides you a: 

  • Sharepoint site, which includes a document library for file storage 
  • shared calendar 
  • shared group mailbox 
  • a team within Microsoft Teams  


Here is a quick and easy way to set up an M365 Group if you haven’t yet:  

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/admin/create-groups/create-groups?view=o365-worldwide

2. Keep a flat hierarchy when it comes to permission and access

Keeping Teams organized will naturally bring up tough conversations about “who needs access to what?” Great! This will allow your organization to deeply consider permissions as well as roles and responsibilities. The modern Microsoft 365 approach is to keep a flat hierarchy as much as possible when designing teams. File storage within Sharepoint marries nicely with Teams for communication, providing a comprehensive collaboration platform for the hybrid work environment.

3. Create Your Teams Based on Specific Groups. Ie. Departments

Once you’ve decided on your Teams, which will often be based around departments, you’ll have the ability to create channels. Those can be both public to the entire team, or private with a subset of team members. Channels are meant to focus your discussions. 
 
Assign ownership of each team. Often this will be the department manager, but not necessarily. This person will often decide upon permissions, add-ons for applications, moderation, etc. within their team.

4. Your IT Team Needs to Know Best Practices for Cybersecurity

Ensure your IT team has reviewed cybersecurity best practices. Departments should not typically deploy MS Teams or SharePoint without the involvement of IT. Deploying SharePoint and Teams can be complex with many pitfalls. Without experience, there are bound to be issues, frustration, and even data loss that could be avoided with proper planning and deployment.

5. Have the Right Licensing to Eliminate Surprise

Lastly, ensure you have correct licensing in place before starting the project so there are no budgetary surprises. A good consultant will consider the non-obvious costs necessary to deploy Microsoft Teams securely and effectively or SharePoint.