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Updated June 2023
Microsoft Teams governance and Microsoft 365 policies are complicated, to say the least.
As many organizations scrambled to deploy Microsoft Teams to support remote and hybrid workforces, governance is often overlooked. This blog is a Microsoft Teams governance checklist, to help you successfully govern Microsoft Teams from day one.
Governance is the process of defining the people, processes, rules, structure, and M365 policies within Microsoft Teams.
Traditionally, it has been a very IT-driven process that is often associated with locking things down. It’s crucial to strike a balance between IT satisfaction and collaboration freedom for users in your organization.
We believe that your Microsoft Teams governance should be dynamic and frictionless for users, while still delivering robust management. Assisting users with the navigation of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Sites, and M365 is crucial in today’s remote/hybrid work environment. When you take a user-focused approach, good governance will drive lasting adoption.
Get started on the right foot with proactive Microsoft 365 governance by watching our on-demand webinar on-demand webinar covering the basics.
Every organization is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all Microsoft Teams governance template. However, a typical governance plan would normally include:
Effective governance in Microsoft Teams will greatly benefit your organization and end-users:
Every organization takes a different approach when it comes to Microsoft Teams governance. We’ve collaborated with organizations ranging from tightly controlled Microsoft 365 policies to those with minimal control.
In a tightly-controlled, lockdown governance approach, most features in Microsoft Teams would be locked down through policies and configuration options. Users can request features to be enabled through training and how users can create Teams is closely controlled.
On the other end of the spectrum lies the limited control, ad-hoc governance approach. An organization with limited control may have no governance policies in place, meaning that collaboration is fast and agile. However, this may be risky for organizations.
Most organizations aim to move towards the middle of the spectrum, regardless of their starting point.
Are you new to Microsoft 365 and looking to make Microsoft Teams your primary collaboration platform? Download our comprehensive free guide, “Microsoft Teams Governance Pre-Deployment Planning” and use it as an MS Teams governance checklist.
Imagine buying an iPhone and having every single possible App from the App Store downloaded and enabled on it. It would be impossible to manage or to find what you needed.
The same goes for Microsoft 365.
Out of the box, the majority of features and settings are enabled in Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint. So, it’s important to get to know your users, understand their needs and discover what app setup makes sense.
You can then use simple configuration options to narrow down what users have access to. These simple solutions are code-free and easily modifiable if requirements change in the future.
Each time you create a new Microsoft Teams Workspace, a Microsoft 365 Group is automatically created. Therefore, when you are governing Microsoft Teams, you are actually governing Microsoft 365 Groups.
There are a bunch of Teams governance tools you can use within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center.
Here are three main types of settings you can apply to Microsoft Teams:
Within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, there are two categories of settings: settings, and policies. Settings are global and apply to everybody, whereas Microsoft Teams policy can be applied to users or groups of users.
Take a look at the variety of Microsoft Teams governance controls in the image below.
Image: Governance options for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Governance Options
When looking at Teams governance tools, there are a number of configuration options available. Most organizations focus on:
But, how can we apply these settings in real-life scenarios? The graphic below illustrates how governance can be applied to meet varying needs in different organizations.
Considering Microsoft Teams’ creation should be among the first things to do, keeping in mind the three fictitious companies.
A big part of this is deciding who can create Teams within your organization. Limiting asset creation to a specific number of individuals can control sprawl. However, it’s advisable to provide some level of self-service to prevent overwhelming your IT department with Workspace requests.
A lot of organizations also implement some form of the approval process when users create Teams.
Read our blog to learn about Microsoft 365’s out-of-the-box options for Teams, Groups, and SharePoint site provisioning. This will help you decide which is the best fit for your organization.
So, how would each of these organizations approach Microsoft Teams’ creation governance?
An important aspect of Microsoft Teams governance is deciding which apps should be readily available to users by default. In addition to selecting default apps, you must also determine which third-party apps from the Teams app store users can install.
To manage default and downloadable apps in Teams, check these settings in the Teams Admin Center:
Another great way to control what applications are available to the end-users is to leverage Advanced Templates in Microsoft 365. We created a helpful guide that explains the different Microsoft 365 templates. Read it to learn how they can benefit your organization, and how to customize them.
When people don’t name Microsoft Teams teams consistently, the tool can quickly become very difficult to navigate. Implementing a naming policy can be very beneficial to ensuring consistency, and improving the usability of Microsoft Teams as a result. You can use standard naming conventions to name your Microsoft Teams to ensure consistency by adding a prefix or suffix to the team name. You can also set blocked words if there are words that you do not want to appear in Microsoft Teams’ names.
Over time, certain teams within Microsoft Teams may no longer be needed by your users. In such cases, archiving unused Microsoft Teams can help keep the environment organized and easy to navigate.
To archive a Team in Microsoft Teams, go to the Teams Admin Center, select the team you want to archive, and click Archive. Out of the box, there is no way to automatically archive inactive teams after a set time. However, Orchestry can help with this
Read our blog that covers Lifecycle Management with Orchestry, which includes creating and enforcing Archival and Renewal policies.
When you archive a Microsoft Team, all activity within that Workspace is archived including conversations in private channels. To restore an archived team, go to the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, select the team, and choose the unarchive option.
There are many factors to consider for successful Microsoft Teams governance. While we have covered some important elements, your organization may have additional requirements to consider.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common questions we are asked about governance in Microsoft Teams.
Most organizations are not using Microsoft 365 to its full potential.
Orchestry makes Microsoft 365 simple for all users.
Orchestry helps your teams fully take advantage of M365 and increases your ROI in the platform.
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