Tips to configure Teams settings, boost user adoption, and how to make a plan for successful Microsoft Teams governance from Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld.
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Ensure secure collaboration with Teams governance best practices
Welcome back to our series on how to use Microsoft Teams! We’ve covered the basics of Microsoft Teams and how to use it, and now we’re ready to dive into one of the most challenging aspects of managing Microsoft Teams—governance!
Governance is a set of guidelines you put in place, like guardrails that keep your users on the right track. When you’ve got good governance policies in place, you don’t need to be constantly on the lookout for the next security threat, or checking in to make sure things are being stored in the right place—it just happens.
And when you keep your Teams environment tidy, you make it more inviting for users to work within the app, and reduce the temptation for them to turn to another tool.
TL;DR: you’re going to want to get really good at Microsoft Teams governance. We’ll show you how.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Table of contents
Microsoft Teams governance: Why it can’t be ignored
The rise of both external and internal threats—like the threat of shadow IT—means governance is one of the hottest topics in today’s workplace.
Deploying a scalable governance plan can take up a lot of resources and time, resulting in many companies failing to apply strong enough governance to their data.
To keep unauthorized people away from your data, and make sure that the tool is actively meeting your business needs, you have to implement organization-wide guidelines and rules for using Microsoft Teams.
Luckily, this process doesn’t need to be complicated.
Deploy a governance plan in your organization
Jasper has some tips to simplify governance within your organization while still prioritizing agility and scalability.
First of all, he recommends taking a “governance-light” approach, where you aim to keep things small and manageable. For example, you can create a steering committee that meets once a month to discuss risks, governance strategy, and any steps you need to take to keep your data secure, and make sure that your business needs are being met.
“Let’s start by focusing on the governance aspect of Teams. In my eyes, you should focus on the following:
- Microsoft 365 Groups
- Microsoft 365 settings
- Team settings
This is where you’ll configure your governance policies (once you’ve decided what they are). Your can set policies at the group level, within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, or for specific teams.
Some governance best practices to consider:
- Implement a naming policy
- Configure external sharing settings
- Put a Microsoft 365 Groups expiration policy in place
Microsoft Teams is built on top of the Microsoft 365 Groups framework. Check out another article in this series for my tips on how to create Microsoft Teams team.”
👉 In the process of Migrating or getting prepared to Migrate Teams? Check out our Essential Teams Migration Checklist
Team settings: Configure individual team settings
Microsoft provides the following settings for each individual team:
Review these settings with your governance steering committee and decide which ones you will turn on and off.
I believe that most of these options are safe to run, with the possible exception of custom cloud storage.
Before you connect with a third-party service, it’s a good idea to check with IT and your security or compliance officer.
Team settings: Adjust tenant-wide settings in Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 offers the following tenant-wide settings for Microsoft Teams:
We recommend keeping as many of these settings enabled as possible.
Letting users use all of the communication features of Teams and have fun while chatting will go a long way to keeping them using the tools you’ve provided for them, and will reduce the risk of shadow IT.
Quickly boost Microsoft Teams user adoption
We asked Jasper how companies can encourage their users to work within Microsoft Teams.
“A big part of my daily activities involves supporting customers when they implement and adopt the modern workplace with Microsoft 365. That’s because high user adoption of a new tool is crucial.
But I would like to mention one critical question that your business users will ask:
“Why should we use Microsoft Teams?”
You need to answer this question, or your adoption will fail. Your business users must see the advantage of using Teams in their day-to-day work and how the feature will make their lives easier. Otherwise, why should they use Teams? Just because it’s available? No, that’s not going to happen.
To drive adoption, I integrate Teams with all of the Microsoft 365 services that employees use on a daily basis, such as SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Planner. Connecting these services may create confusion at first, as business users won’t know which tool to use for which task. For example, they may ask:
“Do I go to SharePoint to work with files?”
“Should I still use Skype for Business for chat?”
Here’s my answer:
“That’s up to you. You can pick the tools that work for you! Microsoft Teams integrates all of these services into one tool, but you can still use the other services.”
Choice isn’t always a bad thing. Guide your business users in a new way of working that is empowered by Microsoft 365.
Do you need adoption resources? Microsoft provides videos, guides, and templates that will save you time while you achieve higher adoption rates.”
Final thoughts on Microsoft Teams governance
We asked Jasper for some final thoughts on Teams governance, to which he replied, “Most people get too caught up in the details, and then they get overwhelmed and they give up. Don’t be like most people. Start small, start slow, and before you know it you’ll have a killer governance plan and will be saving yourself hours of admin work every week. Just thinking about that should be your motivation!
I believe in you. You can do it! As a wise Jedi once said:
“Do or do not, there is no try.”