fundamentals MS Teams Tools and Resources

Coming to Grips with Lifecycle Management in MS Teams

Michal Pisarek May 23, 2021

4 MIN READ

Spontaneity is not the best way to approach your Microsoft Teams deployment. Sufficient planning and strategizing need to be done to prepare for its longevity. Lifecycle management is all about being visionary and efficiently managing your Microsoft Teams deployment long after it has been rolled out.

Today we are going give you a clear understanding of what lifecycle management is all about and how you can implement it for your organization.

Lifecycle Management in Microsoft Teams: What, Why and How?

Getting content into MS Teams and Microsoft 365, in general, is fairly straightforward and there are features within the tools that help you manage it too. But, from a holistic perspective, it is important to think about how and where you are sharing content and collaborating. This is where lifecycle management comes into play, helping you utilize out-of-the-box capabilities or bringing in outside sources to best manage information for long periods of time. To put it simply, lifecycle management is the strategy to manage MS Teams teams for their respective longevity.

Spinning teams in MS Teams is a simple process and a conservative number of them may be provisioned regularly. However, these teams continue to add up and cause unmanageable sprawl across the platform over time. Being able to prevent such issues from occurring in the first place is the main agenda of lifecycle management, making it a must for your MS Teams adoption strategy.

An un-governed MS Teams environment, without lifecycle management, faces many hurdles such as duplicated teams, orphaned teams, ineffective naming, sprawl, content access issues, findability challenges, uncontrolled content growth, and more.

What is the Typical Lifecycle of a Team?

A team within your MS Teams platform undergoes a lot, to understand how it progresses we have broken the process down into three distinct stages:

  1. Creation – The first stage when the team is provisioned or requested by users and how features and governance are integrated into each team in MS Teams.
  2. Usage – The active usage stage when collaboration, sharing, communication, and all the activity really takes place.
  3. Sunsetting – The final stage of the team, once it has served or fulfilled the needs of the business and the steps for managing it from here on.

Implementing Lifecycle Management with Microsoft 365 Tools

There are several tools and resources within Microsoft 365 that help manage your MS Teams environment. You can use these tools at different stages of a team in MS Teams to ensure it is active, purpose-driven, and kept track of for when it may be ready for deletion.

lifecycle management - implementing with microsoft 365 tools
Image: Tools Available within Microsoft 365 for Implementing Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle Management at the Creation Stage

During the Creation stage, here is what you can do to ensure that teams are not created unnecessarily:

  • Planning governance around the creation of teams in MS Teams is key to preventing sprawl. Some sort of training for end users can go a long way in reducing the number of unnecessary groups and teams. You can further limit creation by only allowing a subset of people and enforce a provisioning process for others to request teams.

To learn more about getting the governance aspect of Microsoft Teams right, download our guide on planning pre-deployment governance: https://www.orchestry.com/resource/microsoft-teams-governance-planning-adoption/

 

  • Custom templating and provisioning is a great way to keep users from starting their collaboration on a blank slate. This helps them avoid the confusion around which features to integrate as templates, already including the best solution sets for their use case. Templating is powerful in promoting adoption and driving the real usage of MS Teams.
customize features with Orchestry workspace Templates
Image: Customize Features and Documents with Orchestry Workspace Templates

Lifecycle Management during the Active Stage

During the Active Usage stage, you can look into monitoring capabilities to ensure adequate usage of teams:

 

  • Entitlement management is not something generally explored by companies, but this can prove to be really powerful for companies by delegating administrative tasks to non-admin members. It allows admins to create access packages that you want to grant people rights to instead of all resources within the platform. Cataloging resources is an efficient way to control access.
  • Access review elements are essential to keep track of changes in your teams. This helps monitor external guests or internal members when they get access to particular projects or get access for particular periods of time.
lifecycle management - identity governance - access reviews in ms teams
Image: Reviewing access as part of Identity Governance.
  • Tracking usage, with the help of reporting and analytics, enables the vision to assess the need for a team. From the Microsoft 365 Admin Center for in-built analytics to PowerBI for custom-built reports, you can utilize any number of these for different levels of analysis on how members are engaging with teams in MS Teams.
lifecycle management - microsoft 365 admin center usage reports
Image: Usage Report within Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

Lifecycle Management for Sunsetting teams

The final Sunsetting stage is crucial for the management of your MS Teams platform as a whole, let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure teams are taken care of towards the end of their lifecycle.

 

  • Expiration policies are extremely useful in ensuring that no irrelevant teams or resources are floating around after their purpose is served. Setting an expiration date or timeline for a team will help team owners stay more accountable. If they need to continue using the team, they can easily renew it before the expiration. The one thing to be mindful of is that if a team is deleted, every resource and feature associated with it is also lost.
lifecycle management - ms team expiration policy
Image: Managing MS Teams Lifecycle with Expiration.
  • Retention policies can come in handy if you want to retain information even after a team is no longer being used. You can easily set retention periods for documents, SharePoint sites, files, etc., and store them for extended periods of time.

Microsoft Teams Management with Orchestry

Orchestry’s core capabilities are designed to empower you with the most efficient MS Teams set up possible. Each capability, Transparent Microsoft 365 Governance, Self-Service Workspace Provisioning, Pre-Built Workspace Templates, and Informative Workspace Directory have been built to cater to different stages of a team’s longevity in MS Teams.

Orchestry is here to simplify your experience with Microsoft Teams and allow you to use it to its full potential; lifecycle management plays a key role in all of this. Don’t believe us? Try a different perspective to understand how you can make use of lifecycle management for your MS Teams platform by exploring this use case we have put together.

About the Author

Michal Pisarek Image

Michal Pisarek

Orchestry CEO, 6X Microsoft MVP

Six-time Microsoft SharePoint MVP, former Co-Founder of Dynamic Owl Consulting and of BONZAI Intranet, this serial entrepreneur, international speaker, Office 365 thought leader, and former professional chef brings the great depth of product, leadership, and user experience expertise to Orchestry, working with Fortune 500 companies to deliver maximum efficiency of their Microsoft 365 investments.

When Michal takes a day off occasionally, you will find him experimenting in the kitchen, inventing a new cocktail or learning a new language while enjoying all that Vancouver has to offer with his wife, daughter, and furry companion.

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains what information Orchestry Software Inc. and its associated entities (collectively “Orchestry”) collect about you, why, what we do with that information, how we share it and how we handle the content you place in our products and services. It also explains the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

Privacy Policy Scope

Our Privacy Policy applies to the information we collect when you use one of our services, or when you otherwise engage with Orchestry Software, including, but not limited to:
when you visit our websites (“Websites“);
when you contact us for assistance;
when we connect with you as a prospective customer or as a customer;
when you attend customer or prospective customer events;
when you meet us at third party events, gatherings or meetups.
Orchestry is committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy applies to our websites (Websites), including www.orchestry.com, www.success.orchestry.com and www.app-dev.orchestry.com, owned and controlled by Orchestry.

This Privacy Policy governs our data collection, processing and usage practices. It also describes your choices regarding use, access and correction of your personal information. By using the Websites, you consent to the data practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the data practices described in this Privacy Policy, you should not use the Websites.

Information We Collect

We collect personal data that you submit to us via our website or third-party tools including, for example, when applying for a job via our website or requesting support in relation to one of our services.
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Information Collection & Access

Orchestry acknowledges that you have the right to access your Personal Information. If requested to remove data we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.

We may transfer Personal Information to companies that help us provide our service, such as those organizations as part of our Global Partner Alliance. Transfers to subsequent third parties for the sole purpose of responding to requests from Websites in the appropriate geography service territory.

“Personal Information”
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“Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed.

We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about Orchestry.

Information About Children

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Information Usage

We use the information we collect only in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

In addition to the uses identified elsewhere in this Privacy Policy, we may use your Personal Information to: (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Websites; (b) send information to you which we think may be of interest to you by post, email, or other means; (c) send you marketing communications relating to our business.

We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party. However, we may share or disclose your Personal Information as follows:
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when we believe, in our sole discretion, that the disclosure of personal information is necessary to prevent physical harm or financial loss;
to report suspected illegal activity or to investigate violations of our agreements.

Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request, Orchestry will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. If you provide us with your Personal Information, you have the following rights with respect to that information:
To review the user information that you have supplied to us.
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To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct, or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe and notify you of the action we have taken.

Retention of Personal Information

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Customer Testimonials and Comments

We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.

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We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

Social Media Features

Our Websites include Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button and Widgets, such as the Share This button or interactive mini-programs that run on our sites. These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our sites, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these features.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy and other policies of the companies providing them.

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Our Websites provide links to other websites. We do not control, and are not responsible for, the content or practices of these other websites. Our provision of such links does not constitute our endorsement of these other websites, their content, their owners, or their practices. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, which are subject to any privacy and other policies they may have.

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We offer publicly accessible blogs, message boards and community forums. Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose any information through our public message boards, blogs, or forums, this information may be collected and used by others. We will correct or delete any information you have posted on the Websites if you so request, as described in “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” below.

International Transfer of Information

To facilitate our global operations, we may transfer and access Personal Information from around the world, including the United States. This Privacy Policy shall apply even if we transfer Personal Information to other countries.

Corporate Events

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered by Orchestry on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.

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Orchestry uses cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movements around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

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Some of the cookies described above are stored on your machine by third parties when you use our website. We have no control over these cookies of how the third party uses them. They are used to allow that third party to provide a service to us, for example website analytics. For more information on these cookies and how to disable them, please see:
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Log Files

We may collect demographic information, such as your region, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other personal information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Orchestry to provide general statistics regarding use of the Websites. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information such as name, email address, address, and phone number.

Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients.  This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.

Advertising

We partner with a third-party ad network to either display advertising on our Web site or to manage our advertising on other sites. Our ad network partner uses cookies and Web beacons to collect non-personal information about your activities on this and other Web sites to provide you targeted advertising based upon your interests.  If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here: http://preferences.truste.com/ (or if located in the European Union, by clicking here: http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/). Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising.  You will continue to receive generic ads.

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You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our e-mails, or by sending us email us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our treatment of the information you provide us, please write to us by email at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Changes

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. When there are changes to this Privacy Policy, we will update this page. The date on the bottom will always indicate when we last made changes.
Last Updated: July 28, 2020

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