Hello IT, where is Teams?

Where is Teams?
How do I start a Teams meeting?
I need to collaborate with my colleagues, which tool can support us working together?

Common questions? Maybe especially in these times when the quarantine forces organisations with their employees to embrace digital tools in order to be able to get work done.

In this article you’ll find 3 tips on how to start the Teams implementation quick.

First tip, Teams configuration baseline workshop.
So in order to rollout Teams quick to your organisation you’ll need to set a default configuration for Teams in your tenant. Do not focus on different policies for different groups in the beginning.
Preparation: List all settings from the Teams portal.
Participants: People who have the mandate to take decisions.
Workshop: Go through each setting with the end user experience and decide directly how it should be configured. If you have the correct participants, this workshop will be done in less then 3 hours.
Configuration: After the workshop you will have the complete configuration baseline for Teams. In less than half a day the configuration is done in the admin portal.
Documentation: After the workshop you will have a great document for your documentation. Hopefully you filled in why you configured as you decided during the meeting in case someone questions the configuration in the future.

Second tip, team governance.
In some organisations it fits with having an open creation of teams for all end users but by experience this tender to get to an uncontrolled environment with having end user being members in a lot of teams, some might fit the same purpose.
Some organisations want to have a more controlled ordering process of a new team and IT can claim viable governance data in this ordering process.
So first decision is if creation should be controlled or open for everyone.

If you choose controlled creation then do not look directly on an fully automated solution for this, have a simple form for end users to fill in with.
Data IT can claim during this process is:

  • Owners (tip is to have two owners at least)
  • Expected lifetime (forever, 2 years, 1 year, 6 months…)
  • Data sensitivity (what type of content will be collaborated in the team)
  • Guests (yes/no)
  • Open or private team
  • Team description

Then you will also need a process of handling orphan teams, team where the owners might have disappeared from your organisation. Someone needs to own the data stored in a team, the IT department can’t do this as well.

Lastly an offboarding process for teams that have exceeded their purpose and that isn’t needed anymore. Should data be archived? Hard delete?

After the release IT can focus on how to automate the ordering and offboarding processes. Maybe in the ordering process offer team templates with different settings depending on sensitivity and guest settings. Maybe some sort of department template and project template. Some organisations builds in an approval flow with the nearest manager.
Have a look at Microsoft’s template “Request-a-team” if you need a quick ordering process.

Third tip, guest governance.
Is guests allowed in your tenant?
Who can invite guests to your tenant?
How long should a guest be a guest in your tenant without renewing their access?
When should you remove guests?
Important questions that you’ll need to have answered when your co-workers starts to collaborate with persons outside your organisation.

Extra tip, be visible.
In successful rollouts I’ve been part of, IT have been visible before, during and after the rollout to help their co-workers with answering questions regarding Teams.

How do we be visible in theese Corona times you might ask yourself.
Be creative, host virtual “Teams coffee breaks” and answer on questions people have regarding Teams or just have a normal coffee break with your co-workers. Have a virtual open mic were you answer questions. Have trainings, 15-30 min per session multiple times.

I’ve written some thoughts about how the whole organisation can start to prepare for a successful Teams launch, read about it here.
Good luck with your Teams launch!

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