Microsoft Teams usage has exploded during the last 18 months, with 200+ million active daily users up from 75 million at the start of the pandemic. As with any rapid adoption of new tech, there’s growing concern about the impact that the lack of planning and governance has had on Teams.
As companies hastily turned to Microsoft Teams to enable their hybrid or remote workplace, we take a look at how to gain control of this platform for more efficient and effective ways of working.
1. Find & understand your data
The swift adoption of Microsoft Teams will have resulted in an unstructured approach to ways of working on this platform.
The increased demand on Microsoft Teams will have undoubtably created a behind-the-scenes “collaboration chaos” for IT administrators.
This will have left many IT admin struggling understand exactly how colleagues are using Microsoft Teams or indeed how many teams people have created.
In fact, it’s likely their organization has hundreds, if not thousands, of newly created teams leaving them grappling with the challenge of working out which teams are being used and by who.
Why is this a problem?
Simply put, a disorganized platform leads to inefficient ways of working; duplication of content and conversations, lost information and colleagues spending too long searching for the right documents they need to do their job…These are just some of the issues.
So, what’s the solution?
It is important that Teams is manageable and secure and that the content is up-to-date and searchable. This means you need a good naming policy and approval process to ensure Teams is workable and pleasant for everyone to use.
Valo’s newly created partnership with tyGraph means that Valo Teamwork has got a whole lot smarter. It now enables IT admins to understand the adoption patterns of Microsoft Teams in their enterprise, that helps organizations improve their working processes as well as to create a good overall strategy for the platform.
2. Create a structure so people can find content
An unstructured approach to governing Microsoft Teams will have left many organizations with the problem of having too many teams with unsearchable content.
Having a structured teams creation process in place will mean that newly created teams, with the correct metadata tags, will make searching for content a whole lot easier.
In fact, with Valo Teamwork, IT admins can create templates that include structural options such as configurable metadata, category, and naming policies, so it’s easy for users to set up a team (see below).
This means the newly created teams can be easily grouped together in the back end. And easily found by end users at the front.
Using Valo Teamwork as the centralized place in your organization for teams creation means IT and the business can have all the information they need on that team in a single dashboard.
This structured approach not only gives IT admins control but it enables them to offer employees a rich search capability that will help employees to find their content quickly too.
3. Identify & reallocate orphan teams
Organizational change, as well as colleagues leaving the company, inevitably leads to the rise in “orphan” teams.
An “orphan team” is a team that no longer has an owner. Orphan teams are a problem because without the owner members can’t change the team settings, archive or even delete the team.
This not only leads to back-end chaos for the IT team, but it also often results in new teams being set up with overlapping members, duplicating work.
With Valo Teamwork, IT admin can identify all the orphan teams within an organization. They can reallocate these teams to new owners and archive redundant ones. This will help to cleanse the backend of Microsoft Teams making it clearer and easier to manage.
4. Introduce a Teams lifecycle management strategy
Introducing a lifecycle management strategy such as “all teams will have a lifecycle of two years” will enable IT admins to see which teams are still in use and which can be archived or deleted.
Having an active team owner makes the lifecycle management of that team even easier. It means that a renewal process can send the owner notifications to check whether the team is still in use, before archiving it automatically.
The danger of not having a lifecycle management strategy in place is two-fold. Firstly, teams can either be accidentally archived or deleted resulting in important content being lost in the ether. Secondly, numerous dormant teams will clog up the back end of Teams, making it harder to manage.
By setting up a Microsoft Teams team in Valo Teamwork, IT admins can implement a lifecycle strategy from the beginning. For example, a new team can be specifically created for onboarding new employees, which is something we do here at Valo.
Using the lifecycle management feature, this helps HR not only see if the new employee has completed all the onboarding steps. The feature will automatically archive the onboarding team once the employee’s probation period ends, say after seven months.
5. Add an extranet to facilitate collaboration with external partners
Most organizations rely on an external network of suppliers, contractors and other partners to operate successfully.
And with the importance of digital workplaces growing during the pandemic, demand for extending those digital workplaces to external stakeholders has also grown.
Yet, digital collaboration with external partners isn’t that easy to do at scale. Typically, an enterprise level organization may have many external users – some who join the project on an ad hoc basis and others for a set period of time.
Ideally, the host organization wants to give their external collaborators access to their resources, for example, allowing them to join a team, but in a secure and ring-fenced way.
However, we know that managing the access of external users, in a way that the host organization remains in complete control, can be hard. That’s why we created our tool Valo Entrance.
Valo Entrance allows IT admins or business users such as project managers, to own and manage access to a dedicated space in a controlled way.
For example, using a feature called “Access Units” project managers can see everyone who has registered to have access to their environment.
In a simple dashboard, they can see individual external users, as well as large groups from the same domain, and how long they’ve been granted access. So, it’s a safe, secure, and controlled way to ring fence and manage external access to shared resources.
Want to know more about how to gain control of Microsoft Teams? We’ve got some excellent resources for you!
Read our recent blog on how you can implement a lifecycle management policy in Microsoft Teams in three simple steps.
Or register today and join our newest MVP and EMEA Partner Manager Edyta Gorzoń in our up and coming webinar “Gain Control Over Microsoft Teams” this September 30th, 9 am CEST / 12 pm EDT / 5 pm AEST. Register now!