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Since the spike in remote work over the past 18 months, Microsoft Teams has become the primary collaborative hub for many businesses. When used correctly, Microsoft Teams enables seamless communication and the smooth facilitation of business operations.
Microsoft Teams governance refers to the policies, processes and regulations that align with your business and underpin each communication channel on the platform. Establishing these rules is an effective way to manage your staff and ensure they are across their responsibilities and expectations.
Traditional governance has a negative connotation and is often mistaken as a process that can place a heavy load on resources (typically IT). In reality, Microsoft Teams governance organises communication and optimises collaboration.
What do we need to care about?
- Provisioning: Should a team be private or public? Is there an existing Team we can leverage or is a new one required? Who should control team creation? Leaving individual users to control and govern teams can result in poorly structured and inefficient communication channels. Creating a request form that helps users navigate these questions in a human-friendly way will immediately help your Teams structure and provide clarity to users.
- User access: It is crucial for both productivity and security that team access is appropriately managed. This includes taking into consideration who is invited into certain channels, if they will be private or public and if external contributors are able to collaborate internally.
- Group/channel lifecycle: Creating a lifecycle management plan ensures that each team is created with a purpose and goal in mind, and helps you track the team (and tasks) progress. As an admin, you can create an expiration date for teams and archive or delete unused teams.
- Compliance and Security: Microsoft Teams has in-built security measures such as two-factor authentication (required company-wide), data encryption and single sign-on that protect the unauthorised access and viewing of all data.
Organisations typically have one of two issues regarding Teams governance.
The first issue is that without adequate governance, Microsoft Teams can be a free-for-all whereby users can duplicate Teams, content is unorganised and access is unlimited, creating chaos and sprawl.
The second issue is that the out of the box solution from Microsoft is to lock down Teams creation to a select group that overlook the request process of provisioning new Teams. Whilst this helps to control the chaos, it also places a heavy load on IT, ultimately reducing user adoption of the platform.
Managing the ongoing access and lifecycle of Teams requires high-end licensing and users understanding of complex systems like Azure AD.
What’s the alternative?
The key is to automate your governance processes and there are several ways in which you can do this.
For smaller organisations, the Power Platform can help significantly. You can lock down Teams creation whilst creating a simple form and approval workflow to request a Team. That request can then be approved by your manager and the Teams admin. Once approved, the Team can be created automatically through the workflow. Power Automate can also be leveraged to review Teams Access and Teams lifecycle.
Though the Power Platform is great for smaller organisations, it can be complex or difficult to implement in large organisations and inevitably runs into some limitations. In larger organisations, looking at a solution like AvePoint is probably a better bet.
Employing robust governance measurements in Microsoft Teams ensures that the workflow of your organisation is secure and protected. Visit our Microsoft Teams solutions page to learn more about our capabilities and discuss how we can help implement strong governance solutions in your business.