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February 1, 2020

Microsoft Teams Cleanup After the Rush to Remote Work

Updated June 2023

There has been a fundamental change in how we work. Microsoft Teams saw unprecedented growth to over 115 million daily active users as organizations looked to connect remote workforces! The fast adoption of Microsoft Teams has caused unforeseen challenges such as Microsoft Teams sprawl, versioning chaos, and IT fatigue.

This article will show you more effective Microsoft Teams management strategies. It will also show you how to address the aftermath of a hurried shift to remote work with Teams lifecycle management.

Not interested in reading? Check out our popular webinar on MS Teams cleanup!


Is Microsoft Teams Meeting Your Business Requirements?

First, it's crucial to determine your business's definition of success and understand the necessary tools for achieving it.

Decision-makers must ascertain what your organization needs from MS Teams and know what Microsoft Teams can facilitate for your stakeholders. As adopting Microsoft Teams will demand both technological and cultural adjustments, ensure that you have all the necessary answers prepared. A little tip for your IT team – treat Microsoft Teams as a product and not a project.

Building a Company Persona

You must identify your business persona and define clear aims for your organization. This is integral to determining your path towards MS Teams adoption and then engagement. In order to best build your persona, here are 4 crucial aspects you must consider:

  1. Know Company Goals:  They can be of any category including but not limited to: organizational, cultural, tangible, or individual. Studying industry examples and case studies to know what goal is closest to yours is an effective strategy. The scale of business operations is another crucial factor that helps determine your business persona.
  2. Audit Communication and Collaboration Methods: Identify the necessary number of teams, and determine the lifecycle of each team. This will enable users to get started with the appropriate Microsoft Teams template options. Templating is an effective way to get started quickly while maintaining consistency across the organization.
  3. Drill into the Independent User Stories: The independent user stories approach is a task-based method outcome that will narrow down the expected requirements of your environment. This allows you to understand the needs before diving into solution building and really refining your requirements to guide your deployment.
  4. Deliver with Process Mapping: This step should map out business processes and user activities to identify the necessary deliverables.

Defining desired outcomes and understanding the scope of operations will help you determine your business persona and select a service enablement strategy.

MS Teams - Types of Enablement Strategies
Image: Various Enablement Strategy for MS Teams

View Microsoft Teams not just as a tool with beneficial features, but as an ongoing mechanism to achieve business objectives. Treat it as a solution to manage a tangible problem at hand. Knowing your business goals is essential to maximizing the use of Microsoft Teams.


Take Control Of Teams By Establishing Procedures

Microsoft Teams Governance involves setting policies and creating a blueprint for building and running operations. Governance policies may vary from one company to another, but here are some basic areas that need systematic procedures in place.

Pillars of Effective Microsoft Teams Governance Policies

    • There are three levels of administrative rights - administrator, owner, and Teams member - which specify each user's level of access. For essential teams, use an approval workflow to provision them. Customized request forms can be utilized for other teams.
    • Establish who can create, modify, edit, delete, or request teams. To manage member rights effectively, limit the ability to create teams for a specific group of people. Also, implement a pre-approved list of third-party apps that team members can integrate. Managing company-wide MS Teams' organization can be achieved by limiting certain members' actions.
    • Create a company-wide policy for naming teams that standardizes the naming system. Keep a log of approved abbreviations and set indicators for easy sorting and searching in the future. Use prefixes and suffixes.
    • Settle if and when external access should be granted to any user. Also, for complete control, you need to decide who can grant external access. Make use of organization-wide settings or sensitivity labels for individual teams.
    • Archiving or deleting are simple ways to get rid of irrelevant teams in the software. To implement such practices, establish a criterion that defines when a team should be archived or deleted.

    After implementing your governance strategy, ensure that both new and old teams follow it. Implement an automation technique and make sure all users have adequate knowledge of the software. Investing in proper training and skill development can greatly facilitate the smooth adoption of new technology.

    Effective Training Tip: Formalize training around a template instead of every capability of the team. Empower your employees by creating a way for them to self-create this collaboration place while also maintaining consistency. In addition to this, MS Teams templates provisions a cohesive structure, so make good use of it.

Microsoft Teams Naming Conventions in Action - Orchestry
Image: Best practices for Microsoft Teams Naming Conventions

How To Avoid Everyday Microsoft Teams’ Hurdles

With policies in place, start remediating your current Microsoft Teams usage

Constant monitoring is a simple trick to maintain a healthy and effective operation of MS Teams. It helps to ensure that your organization is utilizing the tool to its full potential.

Monitoring with Microsoft 365 group reports dashboard gives you a birds-eye view of the activities within each product. You can deep dive into the groups created within your organization and see their relevance and functioning.

Further, the Admin Center of Microsoft Teams gives you insight into channels, members, owners, guests, and privacy. Reports detailing usage, organizational goals, communication patterns across teams and channels, and collaboration device usage are all available for access.

The IT team and managers can audit Microsoft Teams' content and use it to make informed decisions about software management.

MS Teams - reporting
Image: Microsoft Teams Analytics and Reports Feature.

Another useful Microsoft 365 feature is the audit log search that can be used for both reactive or proactive searches.

With monitoring, admins maintain consistency and remove inactive teams and channels. Setting up an inactivity threshold or expiration policy is one way to identify and eliminate obsolete teams. Additionally, you also have the opportunity to suggest more relevant templates that make it easy to get started with new teams.


MS Unleash the Full Power of Microsoft 365 with Orchestry 

After Microsoft Teams is rolled out, there are still important tasks to be completed beyond the critical pre-deployment and deployment phases. Long-term change management procedures must be taken care of when taking up new technology or upgrading from legacy systems. To maintain software productivity, consider a technology adoption partner like Orchestry.

Control team chaos with Orchestry's approval process that manages team creation requests.

Depending upon the different kinds of templates you want to use you can create corresponding approval processes as well. Moreover, you have the option to attach a naming policy to an individual template. The Workspace Directory feature shows teams, sites, and groups for better visibility.

Image: Orchestry's Microsoft Teams Workspace Directory

Most organizations are not using Microsoft 365 to its full potential.

Orchestry makes Microsoft 365 simple for all users.

Orchestry  is an adoption and governance platform that allows End Users, Workspace Owners, IT admins and organizations to take full advantage of Microsoft 365.

To see Orchestry in action, request a demo!


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