In one of our previous articles, 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:
- Choose the right template, to begin with, when creating a new workspace. Templates need to contain as much information as possible, such as their name, description, intended use, and intended audience.
- Choose the features and apps that are ideal for their intended use of the template. That said, the template should not overwhelm them with an endless variety of tools that virtually do the same thing. End users should not have to complete Microsoft Teams training to start using it effectively.
- Customize the template by adding the necessary channels and documents for immediate effective collaboration.
From the business perspective, an ideal template is one that:
- Meets the unique business requirements and needs.
- Embedded with the organization’s Microsoft 365 Governance policies. These should include sharing and correct permissions, sensitivity labels, lifecycle management policies, Guest management, naming policies, additional metadata
- Is standardized to keep a consistent structure, apps, and look.
- Easily accessible by the end user.
- Increases Microsoft adoption without requiring advanced Microsoft 365 training.
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.
Introducing Orchestry's SharePoint and MS Teams Templates
Orchestry addresses the costly hurdles by taking a business-first approach through its 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 1000s of real users.
Some of Orchestry’s existing and soon-to-be-available Teams, SharePoint, and Communication site pre-built templates include:
- Microsoft Teams project template
- Department Intranet Site
- Microsoft Teams site templates
- Department Collaboration Team
- Microsoft Teams onboarding templates
- Microsoft Teams offboarding templates
- Event Planning
- Product launch
- Work Group
- Community of Practice
- Incident Management
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
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.
Customize Microsoft Teams Templates
- Orchestry’s pre-built Workspace Templates and templates created by your organization are fully customizable.
- These customizations go beyond what Microsoft 365 features offer in their out-of-the-box template configuration capabilities.
- You can customize Orchestry’s SharePoint and MS Teams templates, turn your existing workspaces into templates, or create templates from scratch.
Workspace Template details
As you customize your template, you can provide details to help users find the right one:
- Name for your template
- Template description
- Add an image to the template
- Set the primary goal and the intended audience for the template
- Select the template type (Microsoft Team, Group, SharePoint, or Communication site)
- Set the position in which it will be displayed to the end users
- Choose a category and decide if end users can use the template for requests.
Configure Workspace Template cloning options
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.
But what about governance?
Workspace Governance is a huge part of Orchestry’s core functionality (yes, the Orchestry platform is not just a templating solution!). Read this blog to learn more about Orchestry’s M365 governance features.
While configuring your Workspace Template, you are able to associate various policies you’ve previously created in the Orchestry platform. These include:
- Lifecycle policies. You can set up Workspace archival and renewal policies that monitor activity or time since provisioning and are triggered accordingly. Additionally, you can exclude the template from archiving.
- Guest Management policies. Associate policies that govern how (and if) Guests can be added to the Workspace once provisioned from your template. You can set up Guest review policies to prompt Workspace owners to review all Guests every set number of days
- Default Access & Permissions. Apply sensitivity labels to the Workspace Template, set the Template to be public, or private, or let users decide.
- The minimum number of owners and members. You can set a minimum number of owners and members required for Workspace provisioning to prevent abandoned Workspaces without owners.
- Workspace approval workflow. You may want to set certain Workspace Templates to be provisioned to end users without restrictions and reviews. Other templates may need to be reviewed by various members of the organization before the end user can start using them. Associate approval workflows with your Workspace Templates, and they will go into action as soon as the new Workspace is requested.
- Naming policies. As part of your organization’s Microsoft 365 Governance plan, you may create naming policies using Orchestry’s Workspace Governance features. You can associate the naming policies with the Workspace Template to ensure consistent naming when the users create Teams. Consistent naming makes it much easier for the end-users to discover the workspaces in your directory.
- Additional metadata fields. During Workspace creation, you can customize the template to collect more information from users, such as their department or location. This metadata can then be leveraged in the naming of the workspace (if these are part of your naming policies).
- Microsoft Group configuration. A new Group will be created each time a Workspace is provisioned from your template. You can set group behavior, such as enabling Guest Access or configuring welcome emails.
- SharePoint site configuration. A SharePoint site is automatically created with each Microsoft Team Workspace Template, and you can customize options such as external sharing and default link settings.
Features, features, and more features!
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:
- Recently updated documents
- Task reports
- Yammer conversations
- and more
Configure all your default Microsoft Teams channels
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:
- Help & Support
- Risk Management
- Tasks and Timelines
- Onboarding process
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.
Configure Workspace documents
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.
Workspace security configurations
To ensure your Workspace Template follows the appropriate security policies, you can configure every part of security settings:
- Availability of the template to all users, or to a specific Azure AD Group.
- Team member permissions. This includes creating, deleting, and restoring new public and private channels, adding or removing apps, deleting or editing messages, and more.
- Team Guest permissions, like allowing Guests to create, update, or delete channels.
Configure third-party integrations
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.
Microsoft Teams, Groups, SharePoint template provisioning
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 your new Workspace Templates, check out this blog.
Keeping a Log of Microsoft Teams Templates
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.
Say goodbye to MS Teams training With Orchestry
As recounted earlier, Orchestry’s capabilities go above and beyond Pre-Built Workspace Templates. Other features that simplify work in Microsoft 365 include:
- Comprehensive Lifecycle Management
- Intelligent reporting
- M365 Governance
- Self-Service Provisioning
- Workspace Directory
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.
- Meet the unique needs of different departments and teams by leveraging pre-built templates.
- Increase Microsoft Teams and SharePoint adoption.
- Standardize common business processes including employee onboarding and offboarding, inter-departmental communication & collaboration, project management, and more.
- Save time and effort creating templates with Orchestry’s custom web parts that address common Microsoft 365 gaps.
Want to see Orchestry in action?
Orchestry offers a free full-experience trial for 28 days.
- Trusted by thousands of IT admins, and leading Microsoft 365 partners worldwide
- Fully secure application attested by SOC2 Security certification
- Full features, zero commitment
- No credit card required
- Orchestry apps installation takes less than 15 minutes
- If Orchestry is not your cup of tea, delete it at the end of the trial and keep all the content.
Book your demo today to see Orchestry in action.
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