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Defining Your Microsoft Teams Governance Plan

Put simply, Microsoft Teams just happened to everyone. Most tenants received a letter from Microsoft stating that, if they implemented the most recent update (which is recommended), their users would have unrestricted access to the application Microsoft Teams. Given its robust features and capabilities, in addition to its simple and intuitive UX, it’s no surprise that the utilization of Teams has taken off — quicker than most companies can get a handle on it.

So, before your Teams instance gets out of control, you’ll want to roll out an official governance plan that addresses the question: What role will Microsoft Teams serve in our organization, and how are we going to roll it out effectively?

The Many Hats of Microsoft Teams

The beauty of Microsoft Teams, and what makes it so popular, is that it can serve as an all-in-one solution, or be used to support specific capabilities. It pulls together the functionality and features of many of the other apps within the Microsoft 365 suite, taking communication and collaboration to a whole new level. Teams has the ability to function as an online meeting center, video and telephony solution, and chat. If you’re currently using Skype for Business, Teams can play the exact same role in your business with the addition of some powerful features Skype doesn’t have like, threaded persistent conversations, and the ability to integrate with apps like OneNote.

Why Teams Governance Is So Important

Microsoft Teams has been described as the “one app to rule them all”. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and unfortunately, by default, Microsoft Teams is set up so that every user is able to create a new “Team”. Since a new Site Collection and a new Office 365 Group are automatically created when a new “Team” is setup, things can get crazy pretty quickly. Rolling out a Teams governance plan will allow you to define and communicate the “the rules of the road” to users, and should contain details on how to best use the app. For example, most organizations who’ve spent time developing their Teams governance have restricted “Team” creation to those who already have Office 365 administration access.

The Rules of the Road

When defining your Teams governance plan, some questions to ask are:

Is the organization going to use Teams instead of Skype for Business?

Who will be Teams Owners?

Who will have the ability to create a “Team”?

What’s the process to create a “Team” and how will users request a new “Team”?

Will users be able to invite external tenants to Teams?

Will third party tools be allowed to integrate into Teams?

When defining your plan, one important thing to remember is that Microsoft Teams was built for collaboration. In order to use Teams to its full advantage, your governance policy needs to define the organization and security of the app, but give users the freedom to leverage it the way they need to.

If you’re ready to implement Microsoft Teams, but have questions, or are concerned about unique compliance requirements, speak to an advisor at Withum. Additionally, if you’ve already rolled Teams out and have noticed things becoming unmanageable, we can help you rein it in. Contact us online, or give us a call at (240) 406-9960 to speak with a Teams consultant today.

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