At first glance, Microsoft Teams seems easy to use and understand, so much so that users often feel comfortable spinning up new MS Teams teams almost immediately. Unfortunately, this can lead to a world of hurt for the entire organization as things can get out of hand rather quickly, spawning unruly sprawl of MS Team teams and SharePoint sites.
Without any proper governance in place, the problem would only aggravate. In Part-2 of our blog series on ‘Remediating a Messy Microsoft Teams Deployment’ (if you missed Part-1 read here now), we are expanding on our list of symptoms and powerful remedies to help you gain control of your Microsoft Teams deployment.
Symptom 4: Inconsistent MS Teams Structure
Inconsistency in the Microsoft Teams environment means that your MS Teams teams that are conceptually the same are structured completely differently in terms of channels, tabs, SharePoint sites, and other applications. Typically, this happens when templates aren’t used or there is no guidance around them so users tend to rely on their own devices to structure the MS Teams team as they like.
If you are curious about Symptoms 1-3 with recommended remediation tools, check out Part-1 of the Messy Microsoft Teams Deployment Series now.
If you are a member of multiple project-based MS Teams teams and they are all structured differently, that is when you know you are operating in an inconsistent environment. A noticeable issue is MS Teams teams using only the ‘general’ channel as they have no conventional process to follow.
As it takes a significant time to adapt to different structures throughout the platform, the main problem organizations have to deal with is the steep learning curve for end users. This further discourages adoption as users are likely to get frustrated with the tool and give up altogether. Another significant impact of inconsistency is on the IT side as there is a significant ncrease in the cost of MS Teams teams’ management as each workspace environment varies from the other.
Remediation Option #1: Leveraging Out-of-the-Box Microsoft Teams
Microsoft has MS Teams Templates that offer a high-level solution to help enforce structure with channel names and tabs. Whereas, for SharePoint, there is something called Site Designs that requires custom code to create templates.
There are new capabilities coming out through which Microsoft will provide some Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) templates for SharePoint sites, to create custom templates you will have to continue using Site Designs.
Remediation Option #2: Orchestry Workspace Templates
Orchestry Workspace Templates allow you to fully template everything, without any custom code, in a MS Teams team, including:
- MS Teams’ Channels and Tabs.
- SharePoint site including lists, libraries, pages, web parts, and other configuration features.
- Microsoft Planner, including tasks and buckets.
- Microsoft OneNote notebooks.
- Third-party applications including Microsoft Lists.
We have conducted an informative session on Microsoft Teams Templates that will help guide you on how to best utilize them. Learn more about MS Teams Template capabilities and what you can do with them to achieve success in your MS Teams environment: https://www.orchestry.com/event/microsoft-teams-templates-replicating-best-practices-for-success/
Symptom 5: Lack of MS Teams Findability
Lack of findability is basically an ineffective search mechanism that does not allow you to find anything that you are looking for. It is possible that you know that a certain MS Teams team exists but you have no idea where it exists or how to locate it. This happens because the MS Teams’ search capability is not very efficient or if there are too many private Microsoft Teams’ teams.
Lack of findability is easily diagnosed when you notice that IT department keeps getting requests to find a particular MS Teams team.
Can you guess the additional issues that this may cause? Exactly right, MS Teams team duplication. As users are unable to find existing Microsoft Teams teams, they end up creating similar ones to serve their needs. Also, a poor search experience discourages end users to collaborate if they are unable to find things in time.
Remediation Option #1: Leveraging Out-of-the-Box MS Teams Tools
Microsoft does not have one specific solution for this but there are steps you can take in your environment to prevent such search issues. A simple way is making more Microsoft Teams teams public as it helps with the search.
Also, you could have a central process to simplify search, like create a repository of all existing MS Teams teams or you could implement very strict naming conventions so that the overall search experience is improved.
Remediation Option #2: Orchestry MS Teams Workspace Directory
Orchestry already comes with a comprehensive repository, the Informative Workspace Directory that can help surface all existing MS Teams teams. It also allows users to filter by categories and find the asset that they are looking for quickly and efficiently. Orchestry also supports naming conventions and has powerful features around it to help ensure they are enforced across the MS Teams platform, as well as enforcing metadata policies.
Symptom 6: Ineffective Use of MS Teams’ Features
For organizations new to Microsoft Teams, ineffective utilization of its components can play a significant role in messing up the implementation process. The root cause of inadequate engagement with the tool is the lack of training and the general complexity of the platform itself.
You can identify ineffective usage by observing that most MS Teams teams are only making use of the ‘General’ channel or there aren’t any tabs configured in them. A clear indicator of the problem is that no other feature is being utilized other than the conversation and document storage.
Thus, underutilizing Microsoft Teams causes other problems, such as the overall fall in adoption or a complete stall in the adoption as users continue using other tools outside of Microsoft Teams. Therefore, you end up wasting money on licenses for the platform and it becomes increasingly difficult with time to sell the value of Microsoft Teams to the organization.
Remediation Option #1: Leveraging Out-of-the-Box MS Teams Tools
You can use Microsoft Teams templates to provide some structure to your environment which encourages users to make use of other features beyond the ‘General’ channel. Providing formal or just-in-time training to users gives them a head start with MS Teams, allowing them to make good use of the platform. Creating a team center of excellence can go a long way as users can have examples of what a good MS Teams team/template looks like and use that as a reference point for their engagement with the tool.
Remediation Option #2: Orchestry Microsoft Teams Workspace Templates & Self-Service Provisioning
Rich end-to-end Workspace Templating in Orchestry drives both adoption and engagement of MS Teams and its many features. Furthermore, users have the ability to customize their Teams Workspace to include the most relevant features for their use case.
Get a Handle on Your MS Teams Deployment
Orchestry empowers you to strike the right balance between bottlenecked governance and unwieldy sprawl and that is key to running an efficient Microsoft Teams environment. In fact, each of Orchestry’s core capabilities, pre-configured Workspace Templates, intelligent Provisioning, comprehensive Workspace Directory, and transparent Governance are designed to simplify your experience across Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft 365.
Choosing Orchestry enables you to unwind while also ensuring you are optimizing the MS Teams platform to its full potential. Orchestry’s Workspace Directory will be used to categorize and identify workspaces across the platform. While workspace configuration with additional metadata, columns, and filters that help find existing sites, groups or teams, will be a breeze with this third-party support.
Did you know that if you do not want everyone in the organization to have access to the Orchestry team application then you can make it available to only a subset of users? You can be rest assured, any MS Teams problems that are getting out of hand, it is plausible Orchestry has a solution for it.
By making Orchestry your MS Teams remediation partner, you will also get basic training for Orchestry administrators on how to configure and update Workspace Templates, Workspace Directory configuration, Self-Service Provisioning workflow training and transparent Governance features walk-through as well as general Orchestry usage along with access to Orchestry knowledge base for training materials and support!
What are you waiting for? The sooner you plan your Microsoft Teams remediation the better. Get in touch with us today to request free access to Orchestry. If you have any questions or require assistance with particular cases of MS Teams sprawl or mismanagement, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be more than happy to assist.