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Updated June 2023
In a previous blog, we talked about Microsoft Teams templates. We’ve identified their benefits, including the better structure of Microsoft Teams, sprawl reduction, and ultimately making Microsoft Teams more user-friendly.
We also covered some of the limitations of the out-of-the-box MS Teams templates.
In a nutshell, basic templates for Teams are useful for organizations that have fairly basic requirements.
More complex business needs that require cross-departmental or cross-functional collaboration require more complex templates for Microsoft. The same goes for teams including external users (Guests), or serving a unique business need or function.
The ultimate goal of a template is to make it painlessly easy for the end-user to be able to:
From the business perspective, an ideal template is one that:
If you were hoping for these features to be included by default, you were likely disappointed.
Achieving these is far from easy without endless Teams features customizations, M365 training, expertise, time, and extra costs.
Orchestry addresses cost hurdles with a business-first approach through Pre-Built Microsoft Teams Templates.
Orchestry offers pre-built Workspace Templates that allow you to create collaborative workspaces quickly and easily, without any coding. They provide both admins and users with comprehensive, business-first features. Orchestry’s pre-built Workspace Templates were created by Microsoft 365 MVPs, and validated by 1,000s of real users!
Some of Orchestry’s existing and soon-to-be-available Teams, SharePoint, and Communication site pre-built templates include:
Orchestry not only provides configurable templates, but also enables converting current Teams, Groups, and SharePoint sites into templates. It also gives admins the ability to create Microsoft Teams templates.
These templates can be made accessible to end users across through a user-friendly Workspace Provisioning Wizard in the Teams app.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these templates and the benefits of using them.
Orchestry’s Pre-Built Microsoft Teams Project Template is based on years of project management best practices and expertise. They were created with input from both PMP-certified practitioners and Microsoft MVPs.
This Teams template is a complete package and helps your users manage a project with ease. It includes a Teams team with an established team structure, a SharePoint site, and several custom-built project management web parts.
As Microsoft 365 comes with a vast extent of tools, Orchestry helps eliminate confusion by standardizing tools for particular tasks. The Workspace Template comes with Microsoft Teams Features, all of which satisfy a specific business need, function, or task.
Team Information tab: Orchestry’s Project Management Template, as well as other templates, provide a new tab in your Microsoft Teams team’s General channel. It consolidates all relevant information about the group, including its owners, members, privacy level, metadata, and all its contents. Users can easily access the tab to get the gist about each Team and quickly navigate to different parts of it.
It even facilitates an easy path to the Homepage of the corresponding SharePoint site through one-click instant access. It will become an endlessly useful tab in your Microsoft Teams environment.
The team information tab will be a hit with your end users and will help increase Teams and SharePoint user adoption!
A corresponding fully configured SharePoint site: It comes with additional web parts like a ‘Project Timeline’ that helps keep track of the development process. There is also the ‘Project Tasks’ web part that helps plan tasks with greater ease. Additionally, the SharePoint site also supports the ‘Project Contacts‘ web part.
As you customize your template, you can provide details to help users find the right one:
During the setup process, you can select which parts of the template will be cloned when requested and provisioned. You can configure the new Workspace to be a carbon copy of the template or omit certain parts of the template.
When the Pre-Built Workspace Template is chosen for provisioning, the carbon copy will include everything within the template. This includes Teams channel templates and tabs, custom lists, libraries, and pages. Even items from OneNote and Microsoft Planner, like buckets, labels, tasks, and attachments, will be carried over to the new Workspace.
You can set the default option to remove Wiki tabs from new Microsoft Teams in Orchestry’s Pre-Built Workspace Templates.
Workspace Governance is a huge part of Orchestry’s core functionality (yes, the Orchestry platform is not just a templating solution!). To learn more about Orchestry's governance features, check out this blog on governance.
While configuring your Workspace Template, you are able to associate various policies you’ve previously created in the Orchestry platform. These include:
Tabs in Microsoft Teams are essential for effective collaboration. You can answer the “what to use when” questions by setting up tabs that represent different features of the Workspace:
Most of the Teams we’ve encountered in the years of working in the space only have the General channel. This is clearly not enough for effective collaboration on various parts of the project. Consider adding pre-defined channels to your Workspace Templates for different project or communication elements.
Some channel examples include:
The channels you add to the Microsoft Teams Workspace Template will also appear in the SharePoint site that comes with it.
Users can either customize or disable channel customizations when requesting Workspaces from the template.
You can change the settings even after users request workspaces from the templates. If you notice that people are making unnecessary customizations, you can adjust the settings accordingly. You may also realize that your current template settings are too strict and don’t meet the end user’s needs.
Your organization may already have many document templates designed for specific business needs, such as financial reporting or press release templates.
You can embed your Workspace Templates with the document templates that are relevant to the specific workspace type. Choose whether or not to allow end users to customize the files shared, or override the existing templates completely if needed.
To ensure your Workspace Template follows the appropriate security policies, you can configure every part of security settings:
You can use webhooks to integrate with third-party tools, such as an Asana plan or a Miro board.
Another example of third-party integrations would be an internal ticketing system. A ticketing system, like ServiceNow, can log a Workspace request completion, providing traceability of service logs.
You can now make your customized Workspace Template available to end users to request using Orchestry’s self-service Workspace Provisioning Wizard.
Self-Service Provisioning and Pre-Built Workspace Templates are two aspects that are closely linked together.
Without the provisioning process, users would be unable to take advantage of the pre-built Microsoft Teams templates. In fact, based on the user activity around templates, administrators can design the provisioning workflow. If a template is being requested too often for trivial reasons, administrators can make the provisioning process more stringent.
Depending on the business need or provisioning requirement, various Pre-Built Workspace Template types can follow different approval processes.
We created a detailed blog that covers the Workspace Provisioning process for IT Admins and the Workspace Review process.
If you want to see what end users experience when requesting new Workspace Templates, check out this blog.
Workspace Directory. and Workspace Templates go hand in hand too. The Informative Workspace Directory is a repository that contains a record of all active Workspaces. It makes it easy for users to find and get an idea of future Workspace needs. The Workspace Directory can also be customized and filtered to your preferred view.
As recounted earlier, Orchestry’s capabilities go above and beyond Pre-Built Workspace Templates. Other features that simplify work in Microsoft 365 include:
The Orchestry platform is designed to be user-friendly, even for those without any Microsoft 365 training.
Orchestry solves the problem of deciding which tool to use for a project by removing the tool confusion. Pre-Built Microsoft Teams Templates are essential in promoting Microsoft 365 and Teams user adoption and engagement.
Become every department and team’s IT superhero without the super effort, extra hours, and costs.
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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