The Lifecycle of a Team

Getting users to adopt to teams whilst implementing the right level of governance can be a minefield. No organisation is the same and whether you go with a laissez-faire approach or a strict lockdown of who can create teams, you will still have the the issue of determining the answers to some of the following questions

  1. When is the right time to use a Team?

  2. What applications and channels will we need?

  3. What naming conventions do I need to follow?

  4. Is there an existing team already in use?

  5. What do I do with the team when I have finished?

  6. And many, many more...


One of the ways we like to approach Microsoft Teams governance at Dapt is to align our governance strategy to the lifecycle of a team.


But before we get into that, let's look at what a Team actually is!

What is a team?

Microsoft put the definition of a team as

"A team is a collection of people, content, and tools that facilitate collaboration."

From this, we already know that we need to be thinking about what people will be the owners of a team and what responsibilities they will have. Who the moderators and members will be, what the access types are, who can join the team and is it open to guests outside of the organisation?


What content we should be storing in the team and are there any official templates we would want to provision or make accessible for the team once it has been created?


What tools should we be allowing our teams to use and are there a defined set of organisational approved applications for specific tasks to keep consistency and avoid confusion?


What channels should be created for the type of team we're creating to ensure collaboration is following modern collaboration architecture best practice?

As such, before you roll out Teams to your organisation, or even if you have already you will want to consider planning and implementing your governance policies to help avoid teams sprawl, inconsistent practices and increased security risks.

Teams life stages

Every Team you create should have a purpose, whether it be aligned to a specific project or goal. Every team has a beginning, when the team is created and the channels are set up; a middle, when the team is used and collaboration takes place. Not all teams have an end, some (such as organisational teams) may continue for the lifetime of the organisation, but some will and they will need to be planned for.


Below, are some of the typical governance questions you need to be asking for each of the Microsoft Teams lifecycle stages


Creation / Beginning

  • Who is allowed to create a team and is there approval required for the type of team being requested.

  • Will the team be public or private?

  • Who are the owners and members of the team and are we allowing guests?

  • What channels should be created and can users add their own channels when requesting a team?

  • What document templates should we be providing with the team for users?

  • How should the SharePoint site be designed that is provisioned with the Team?

  • What applications should we add to tabs in the various team channels?

  • What naming conventions should we have for the type of team being requested?

Active / Middle

  • How will people discover teams, can we use metadata to help group and filter searches?

  • How do we ensure a team is being actively used?

  • What happens if the owners of a team leave the organisation?

  • Has the team created a reusable structure that we would want to make available for future teams?

  • How do we keep track of the number of teams being created?

  • How do we monitor guest access and new members being added?

  • Should users be automatically added based on their profile attributes?

Close / End

  • How do we know if a team has reached the end of it's lifespan?

  • Should we archive or delete a team?

  • What retention should be in place to protect our records?

  • How do we recover a deleted team and what is the process for doing so?

Summary

By aligning your governance strategy to the lifecycle management of Teams is a great first step to be on the right path to deploying Microsoft Teams with success to your organisation.

At Dapt, we have developed a comprehensive framework powered by Orchestry that helps organisations achieve the desired state of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint governance. Our solution empowers organisations to template commonly used teams to ensure consistency and accuracy, avoid the confusion of which tool to use when, avoid teams sprawl and ensure users can adhere to your governance policies with confidence. Visit our dapt.Workspaces page on our website to enquire about how we can help your organisation with Microsoft Teams governance, automated provisioning and more!

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