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September 23, 2020

MS Teams Governance Q&A With Michal Pisarek and Peter Carson

Managing Microsoft 365 governance and provisioning of Microsoft Teams is a popular topic due to over 75 million daily active.

We spoke to Orchestry's CEO, Michal Pisarek, to get his insights on M365 governance and Teams provisioning. We also spoke to Extranet User Manager's President, Peter Carson, to get his perspective on these topics.


How can Microsoft Teams be Used Effectively Within an Organization?

Peter Carson: This year, many organizations have quickly implemented Microsoft Teams to enable their employees to collaborate effectively while working remotely. Now that things have calmed down, it's important to figure out how to use Teams and Channels effectively in your organization.

As a company, you must determine your primary business goals. Then think about how M365 Groups and Teams and Channels can best be organized to achieve them. For example, you could structure your teams by department, project, initiative, event, or partner.

The great thing about having conversations in Channels is that it provides a space for ‘working out loud’. Even if team members are not part of the conversation, they can still stay updated with the decision-making process.

Michal Pisarek: We have just been through this process ourselves at Orchestry. Our Microsoft Teams structure is based on having a number of internal Teams that are broken down by department. For example, we have different Teams for sales, product design, and marketing. Within each of these teams, there are different Channels.

On top of these internal Teams, we also have an External Team for partners. We could have approached this in a couple of different ways. For example, we could have had one core Team for partners, and then an individual private channel for each partner. However, this approach has scalability issues as you are only allowed a certain number of private Channels per Team. 

Instead, we decided that each Partner would have its own Team. This means that within each Partner Team, we can have different Channels for marketing, sales, and product conversations. The other thing that we implemented was a way to ensure every Partner had a central source of core documents. So, we created a read-only Team and invited all partners as a way of sharing all the required information.


Is Out-Of-The-Box Self Provisioning a Good Idea?

Peter Carson: In my opinion, it’s not a good idea. You should really think about how you want to roll teams out in your organization from an Information Architecture perspective.

It's not recommended to allow ad-hoc creation of Teams as it can be hard to control. You need to take action now or you might have many unused teams. This can be confusing for your end-users, hindering their ability to communicate and find information efficiently.

Michal Pisarek: In our experience, it's not effective to simply provide Microsoft Teams and let end-users do their own navigation of the Microsoft 365 tools. Even with training provided to end-users, Microsoft Teams is not an easy-to-use product. This means it presents a lot of questions about when to use what.


How Can You Implement Effective Microsoft 365 Governance?

Peter Carson: Microsoft Teams Governance policies don’t mean locking down and not letting anyone do anything. Users are more likely to comply with guidelines if they have the freedom to work independently. That said, they should use simple templates and suggestions to keep Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps organized. These templates and suggestions prevent Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps from becoming messy, unstructured, and hard to use.

Michal Pisarek: Users in your organization just want a solution to their problems in the easiest way possible. Teams Governance aims to make it easy for users to use Microsoft Teams by providing them with best practices and templates. Templating is equally important in SharePoint and across other Microsoft 365 applications.


What's the Best Way to Approach Approvals in Microsoft Teams & Microsoft 365?

Peter Carson: When it comes to approvals, everyone has different opinions. Some people believe there shouldn’t be any approvals anywhere, others believe that everything should require approval. I sit somewhere in the middle of the two! 

We use Power Automate or Logic Apps to create automated approval workflows that are simple for users to use.

Michal Pisarek: Many people face issues with approvals because they can take too long to go through. If someone needs a new SharePoint site that takes 5 days to approve, they might find another way to do it. And this is not desirable. As long as approvals are done in a timely manner, people don’t really mind.


Why Are Naming Conventions Important for Microsoft Teams Governance?

Peter Carson: Naming conventions are a great way to provide a structure within Microsoft Teams. When approaching naming conventions, it’s important to pre-define what people can and can’t use when naming new Teams. For instance, only the HR team should have permission to create a team named "human resources."

Michal Pisarek: Naming conventions are really important. Using metadata is the only default method to add information to Teams, which is useful since Teams has a flat structure.

Using prefixing in the team's name in Microsoft Teams can provide a clear indication of the purpose of a team. The default naming rules in Microsoft Teams for groups are limited, so more specific names will need to be created.


How Can You Protect External Users Data in Microsoft Teams Meetings?

Peter Carson: Microsoft Teams was built as an internal collaboration tool. Therefore, there are a number of complications when bringing external users into Microsoft Teams.

If you host a live event or webinar on Microsoft Teams, everyone's personal information will be visible to all attendees. This means there is no privacy.

However, if you opt for Microsoft Teams Live Event setup, you may sacrifice some personal interaction aspects as it is primarily designed for larger events. This is something that Microsoft really needs to work on improving, so stay tuned for updates in the future!


Work Smarter in Microsoft Teams & Microsoft 365 with Orchestry

We hope you enjoyed this Microsoft 365 governance and provisioning Q&A with Michal Pisarek and Peter Carson. Teams Governance and provisioning are extremely important to maintaining an effective and organized collaborative environment within Microsoft Teams. 

Orchestry aims to simplify work in Microsoft Teams, MS SharePoint, and Office 365 by helping IT administrators and employees create an effective Microsoft 365 adoption and change management plan. The goal is to provide a roadmap for what tools to use and when to use them.

Orchestry makes it easier for organizations to use Microsoft 365 by providing them with Teams governance tools and a way to enforce Microsoft 365 policies. It simplifies processes like provisioning, archival and guest management, all of which can increase adoption. This is done at a lower cost, through a subscription-based model.

To see Orchestry in action, schedule your demo today!

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