Microsoft Teams has revolutionised the way people work, offering a flexible platform for collaboration and resource accessibility. However, organisations are realising that this flexibility must be balanced with control. One common concern among IT administrators is Teams Sprawl, which can result in security and compliance issues. Additionally, productivity can suffer when users struggle to navigate the platform, and Sprawl can become costly if teams, files, and channels are not periodically pruned. A planned migration can address these issues and provide an opportunity to establish policies that enhance Teams management. By implementing governance and communicating clear policies, users can better understand their role in maintaining a healthy Teams environment.

What Teams Governance Looks Like

Many organisations have implemented Teams without formal governance policies, while others are observing how Teams is being used within their organisation and addressing unforeseen behaviours. Common governance policies for Teams include:Integrating Governance into a Migration

  1. Naming and classification: Establishing standardised naming and classification conventions enhances team discoverability and minimises duplicate teams. Naming can also help identify teams that are no longer relevant to ongoing projects.
  2. Creation: Granting all users the ability to create teams may not always be the best approach. It is often beneficial to limit team creation to specific individuals or departments, and this authority doesn’t necessarily have to be centralized within the IT department.
  3. Lifespan: While people may enthusiastically create teams, they often overlook deleting them once a project concludes. A governance policy can mandate expiration dates for teams, along with regular reviews to identify inactive or irrelevant teams. Additionally, specifying the types of teams to be archived can help preserve their content.
  4. Data retention: Your organisation likely has retention policies in place to address compliance requirements and data security. These policies should also extend to Teams and SharePoint files.
  5. Access control: By defining Teams users based on their roles (e.g., creator, owner, member, guest), you can establish protocols for managing team membership. It is important to outline procedures for adding and removing guests, such as vendors and partners, and determining access privileges to specific features and files.

By implementing these governance policies, organisations can ensure effective management of Teams and promote efficient collaboration across the board.

Introducing a new governance scheme to your organisation can be daunting, especially if you fear it may lead to confusion. That’s why a migration presents an excellent opportunity. During the pre-migration planning phase, you are likely to uncover valuable insights that will inform new policies. This will also enable you to effectively communicate the reasons behind the change. For instance, if individuals are expressing difficulties in locating information, assure them that their concerns are being addressed by implementing improved naming and classification systems. Heres how you can get started:

Consult the experts. Start by gathering insights from IT team members regarding the challenges and concerns they encounter. They may receive feedback about difficulties in locating files, managing teams, utilising resources effectively, and accessing under-utilised features. Your team may also have concerns regarding privacy, security, and compliance. They are likely aware of which departments are proficient in using Teams and which are falling behind. Initially, draft your governance policies based on their input. However, don’t stop there. Remember the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Evaluate the environment. As part of the migration process, assess the existing environment to determine the types and volumes of workloads to be migrated. This information will help you determine the appropriate number of licenses, estimate the duration of the migration, and decide if it’s necessary to archive items beforehand. This is standard pre-migration work. However, you can also use the pre-migration assessment to identify issues that can be addressed through improved Teams governance.

Engage more experts. Select a representative from each department or business unit who can provide insights on how their colleagues use Teams. Inquire about the challenges they face and the problems that need to be solved. Use this group to evaluate different policy options and gauge how users will respond. Once the new governance policy is launched, these representatives can help clarify how specific rules will be implemented to their respective teams.

Communicate effectively and frequently. Once you have documented the new Teams governance policies, ensure that they are communicated to every user along with instructions for the migration process. This may involve collaboration with HR or Marketing to disseminate information through town halls, emails, messaging platforms, or team meetings. IT teams with migration experience understand the importance of sending multiple communications through various channels to ensure that everyone is well-informed.

Migrating Teams presents a valuable opportunity to establish a new environment that incorporates the lessons learned from the previous one. Taking a proactive approach to governance not only enhances security and compliance but also helps manage Teams sprawl. Above all, it empowers users to maximise their productivity and efficiency within Teams. If you’re interested in learning more or starting a project, why not find out more about migrating with SMS

Want to speak with a member of our team? Connect with us through our support email or give us a call at 01925 818448 to address any questions you may have. We believe that organisations that prioritise effective team governance can greatly enhance their productivity. So, take the plunge and elevate your level of productivity.

Why SMS?

Since 2006, our cloud services have supported over 4,500 businesses, managing more than 27,000 mailboxes and other services. Our UK-based team of experts is available 24/7/365 to provide skilled and helpful support and keep your business online. We offer cost-effective solutions and streamline billing with everything under one roof. You can also count on our migration experts to guide you through the planning and execution phases. Experience reliable, affordable, and comprehensive cloud technology with SMS.