Microsoft Teams – Some Usage Guidelines

Working with Teams since it was released I began to maintain a list that I felt might be useful to my clients in getting to grips with the product. This list will no doubt grow along with the product and I’ll do my best to keep it current.

No point in keeping this isolated and lonely in my OneNote Notebook, and sharing is caring, so I’ve moved it here and link to it from my Notebook.

The list itself exists as a custom SharePoint Page that can be added to your Office 365 Adoption Center (you have one, right ?) or site of your choosing.

Better still, install the excellent Microsoft 365 learning pathways solution and add your own help content there.

I then simply add a Website tab to the Team General channel that references the page URL.

Anyway, here we go ..

  • Remember that ALL Team members can see ALL content in the Team (private channels are coming, soon we hope)
  • Create at least two team owners per team. This allows the team to be managed in the absence of a single owner. Any member can be promoted to an owner by the team owner (and demoted !)
  • Reserve the General channel for team related discussions (what the team is for etc), but create additional channels for topic discussions. Consider making it read only for members (you can do this in Teams Settings)
  • By default, any member can create a channel but this can be managed by the team owner again in Teams Settings.
  • Try to limit the number of channels as this can cause confusion amongst users as to where to post. I’d be aiming for 6 or less.
  • Consider leaving the default Documents library in the SharePoint site for the Team channels. Every time a channel is created, a folder by the same name is created in this document library. The Files tab in the channel points to this folder. Any files uploaded in the channel are uploaded to this folder.
  • Don’t delete these folders in the SharePoint library as they are linked to the corresponding Teams channel. Delete the channel if you wish to remove the folder. Note that in this instance the folder is not removed. It’s up to you after channel deletion to manually remove the corresponding folder. Move the content first if required.
  • Consider renaming the default Documents in the associated SharePoint site to Team Documents or similar to provide clarity as to how it relates to the Team
  • Create additional document libraries when greater document management capability is required — eg metadata tagging, unique permissions, content types etc, then make these visible to Team members by using Document Library tabs.
  • Adding users to a Team gives that user access to all content across the Team, Planner, SharePoint, Exchange etc. Use SharePoint permissions to give users granular access to the SharePoint content when they don’t need access to other Team resources. Be careful though, you don’t want a permissions management nightmare.

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