how to MS Teams

How to Cleanup Microsoft Teams After the Rush to Remote Work

Michal Pisarek February 1, 2021

5 MIN READ

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. However, this rapid shift to Microsoft Teams has for many resulted in unforeseen challenges like sprawl, document versioning chaos, IT fatigue from teams’ requests, and more.

In this article, we will be taking you through how you can better manage Microsoft Teams and clean up the mess caused by a rush to remote work.

Is Microsoft Teams Meeting Your Business Requirements?

First, it is vital to define what success looks like for your business and consequently, know the tools you need to achieve it. Decision-makers must ascertain what your organization needs from MS Teams and know what Microsoft Teams can facilitate for your stakeholders. Since adopting Microsoft Teams will require a technological as well as a cultural change for your team members, make sure to have all your answers ready. 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 your 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. For example, the course of action varies depending upon if you want to implement Microsoft Teams company-wide or core collaboration only or have less than 1,000 employees.
  2. Complete an audit of your current collaboration and communication efforts and identify the number of teams you require, along with 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 to plan with process mapping. The next step is the process mapping plan that helps represent all business processes and user groups activities to determine the corresponding deliverables.

Narrowing down desired outcomes and understanding the scale of operations will help you to define your business persona, therefore, helping you decide on a particular service enablement strategy.

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

Instead of adopting Microsoft Teams as a tool with many beneficial features, you should take it on as an ongoing mechanism to reach business goals. Treat it as a solution to manage a tangible problem at hand. Knowing your business goals lies at the heart of this, and is crucial to helping you use Microsoft Teams to its full potential.

Take Control Of Your Teams By Establishing Procedures

Governance is all about establishing policies and creating a blueprint of what you are building and how it’s going to run. Governance policies may vary from one company to another, but here are some basic areas that need systematic procedures in place.

Pillars of Effective Governance Policies

  • Administrative Rights: The administrative rights can be categorized into three levels: administrator, owner, and member, so you can clarify which user has what classification of rights. You can also follow an approval workflow to provision teams that are vital, for the rest, customized request forms can be used.
  • Member Rights: Establish who can create, modify, edit, delete, or request teams. A tip for better managing member rights: enable teams’ creation to a subset of people and a predefined list of third-party apps that can be integrated by team members. By restricting the actions that certain members can execute, you can manage company-wide MS Teams’ organization by avoiding IT fatigue from heavy sprawl.
  • Naming Convention: 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. Here is a small naming tip that can make it easier to identify the purpose of a team – use prefix and suffix (i.e. PRJC – for a project team)
  • External Access and Authorization: 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.
  • Policies For Archiving Content: Archiving or deleting are simple ways to get rid of irrelevant teams in the software. But to follow through with such practices, a criterion needs to be set that deems a team to be archived or deleted.

Once your governance strategy is in place, it is time to ensure that it is followed by old and new teams alike. Implement an automation technique and make sure all users have adequate knowledge of the software. Investing in proper training and skill development of team members can go a long way to supporting a smooth transition and adoption of new technology.

In need of an 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.  An easy trick to cleaning MS Teams and its healthy operation is constant monitoring, allowing you to know if your organization is making the most of the tool. 

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, privacy.  There is full access to reports that talk about usage, organization goals, and other patterns like how people communicate using teams and channels and the devices used for collaboration. The IT team and managers can audit the content and overall use of Microsoft Teams to make better decisions about managing the software. 

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 adequate monitoring, admins are enabled to maintain consistency across the platform and get rid of any redundant or 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.

Let’s Succeed With Microsoft Teams Together

Pre-deployment and deployment are of course critical phases, but there is plenty to be done after Microsoft Teams is rolled out. Therefore, long-term change management procedures must be taken care of when taking up new technology or upgrading from legacy systems. Maintaining productivity throughout the lifecycle of your software can be overwhelming, so a technology adoption partner like Orchestry can make the process simpler. 

Orchestry is here to simplify the use of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams for you and your stakeholders with expert-driven insights. It can help you navigate smoothly between bottlenecks and heavy sprawl. Start controlling team chaos through an approval process as Orchestry can create a workflow to manage the intake of teams’ 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. Not to mention the unmissable, informative Workspace Directory feature that allows you to see everything – teams, team sites, communication sites and groups.

Microsoft 365 users - user interface of Orchestry directory
Image: Orchestry's Microsoft Teams Workspace Directory

Orchestry delivers an easy-to-use interface with intelligent governance, practical information, and innovative ideas to make the most of Microsoft Teams and help your organization reach its highest levels of efficiency. Orchestry can take you beyond the standard features of Microsoft 365 with a full-fledged templating experience that enables you to add channels, pre-configured tabs, integrate third-party apps, all along with the support of SharePoint. You can also template out SharePoint sites and document libraries as part of your teams to have your documents and metadata available in one place. Our popular webinar on MS Teams cleanup will prove to be extremely informative and beneficial for you to navigate this.

With Orchestry, you will be equipped with an empowering change management strategy, that supports smooth adoption and maintenance of the MS Teams environment. Release some of the pressure off your resources by leveraging a third-party tool, like Orchestry, to regain control of your Microsoft Teams deployment. To experience the adoption success with Microsoft Teams and across Microsoft 365, get started on your free trial or you can reach out to us at hello@orchestry.com with your questions.

About the Author

Michal Pisarek Image

Michal Pisarek

Orchestry CEO, 7X Microsoft MVP

Seven-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.
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any Personal Information about yourself. When you visit the Websites, we request that you provide Personal Information about yourself, and we collect Navigational Information.

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”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.

“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

The Websites are not intended for or targeted at children under 13, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about children under 13. If you believe that we have collected information about a child under 13, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com, so that we may delete the information.

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:
we may provide your information to our business partners, vendors or service providers who perform functions on our behalf;
in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;
as required by law, government officials, or other third parties pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or other legal process or requirement applicable to our Company;
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.
To request that we correct any errors, outdated information, or omissions in user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that your user information not be used to contact you.
To request that your user information be removed from any solicitation list that we use.
To request that your user information be deleted from our records.
To opt out of being solicited by Orchestry or third parties.

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

We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you our services, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in “Unsubscribe from Communication” below.

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.

Security of your Personal Information

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.

External Websites

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.

Public Forums

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.

Cookies & Similar Technologies

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.

The cookies we use on this website are broadly grouped into the following categories:

Essential: Some of the cookies on our website are essential for us to be able to provide you with a service you have requested. You may not be able to use our website effectively without these cookies.
Analytics: We use analytics cookies to help us understand how users engage with our website. An example of this is for counting the number of different people coming to our website, visiting a particular page or using a particular feature. Without this cookie, if you visited the website once each week for three weeks, we would count you as three separate users and this wouldn’t be a true representation. These cookies do not let us identify specific users as the information is aggregated.
Social sharing: We use cookies to allow you to share content directly to your social networking sites for example Facebook, Twitter and Google+ i.e. clicking Like on Facebook and Share on Twitter.
Interest-based advertising: You may have noticed that when you visit websites, you will be shown advertisements for products and services you may be interested in. Cookie information about certain pages you have visited on our website helps us be more relevant in our advertising. Having these cookies does not increase the number of adverts you will be shown on these specific sites. These ‘persistent’ cookies last no longer than 90 days, or until you clear them. These and the other cookies we use do NOT allow us to see what other sites you have been visiting, they simply act as a record of our web pages and advertisements that you may see.
Opt Out of Cookies
When you first visited the websites you will have been shown a status bar notifying you that this website uses cookies and inviting you to review this cookie policy. Once you have clicked to go further into our website, the cookie prompt will disappear, this confirms that you consent to us using the cookies detailed in this policy.
Please note that we can’t always control third party cookies (such as from social networks) stored on your machine from our website and where this is the case you will need to visit the relevant third party’s website directly to understand their cookies stored on your machine by them. Please see our ‘third party cookies’ section below.
If you want to reject cookies we use from this website you will need to:
Delete the cookies from your browser. Most browsers also allow you to prevent all or some cookies being stored on your machine in the future. For more information on how to delete or disable cookies from your browser please use the ‘help’ function within your browser, or alternatively visit www.allaboutcookies.org. By deleting our cookie preference cookie, the next time you visit our website the cookie status bar will appear again inviting you to again reconsider your preferences.
AND/OR: If you only want to reject the Internet Based Advertising cookies we store on your machine, you can opt-out of receiving these cookies at any time by going to the Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com and following the opt-out instructions.
Please do be aware that disabling cookies may impact the functionality of this website.
Third Party Cookies
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:
Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ where you will be able to opt-out of receiving Internet Based Advertising cookies from some of the third parties, such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The use of cookies and web beacons by any tracking utility company is not covered by our Privacy Policy.

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.

Unsubscribe from Communications

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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