Is Time for Planning your Microsoft Teams Deployment over?

Posted by: Mark Rackley on March 18, 2020

You’ve been told time and time again… Plan your Microsoft Teams deployment or it will not go well. Research all the features and security features. Prevent users from running amok and creating thousands of Teams. Or else! 

And then the world changed.

Thousands of workers suddenly find themselves working from home and organizations who thought they had months or years to plan their Teams deployment suddenly realize they have just a few days.

So, what do you do? How do you allow your workforce to use Teams without the sky falling in on your IT?

For many of you the time for planning would be a luxury at this point.  We often say that we need to build a “fenced in back yard” before we let everyone in. Room for everyone to get their job done, but we add boundaries to make sure our Intellectual Property doesn’t sneak out. In the case that you have implemented Teams more quickly than anticipated, one might say ‘the kids are already in the yard playing’ and we better build the fence quickly! If you are one of those organizations, it’s time to expedite your planning timeline and start building fences.

The goal now is to allow your employees to collaborate effectively and get their jobs done while at the same time maintaining some simple governance strategies that will prevent complete chaos.  So, here are a few quick steps you can take to maximize your productivity and alleviate chaos and anxiety.

Get emergency Microsoft Teams training for your users

Teams is relatively easy to use and adopt with just a little bit of training. Train your users on the basics and how to get going. Understand they’ll likely upload files that shouldn’t be uploaded, you can clean it up later. Our goals it to get the workforce productive, not to make sure everything is pristine. Make sure your users know the following:

  • How to tag someone in a conversation
  • How to reply in a thread
  • How to email a channel
  • How to upload files
  • How to have conversations around files
  • How to use giphy’s (seriously)
  • How to search for a Team! (how search works in general in Teams)
  • How chat works

What they don’t really need to know right now:

  • How or why to add tabs
  • That SharePoint is the backend
  • Planner

We at PAIT group have a couple of great trainers on staff that are actively doing emergency training for some of our clients. Reach out to us if you have a need and we can get you queued up!

If you don’t know what to do with guest access, just turn it off by default

Guest access causes so much anxiety in organizations. Do we allow it? Do we turn it off? Are you struggling with this decision? If so, you do have the option of turning it off by default, and then having someone in IT enable external sharing for only selected Teams.

Click here for instructions on how to do this:

Org wide:

By Team:

Figure out if you are going to allow users to create Teams

This is probably the second biggest concern organizations have after external sharing. Do we allow our users to create Teams or not? It depends, do you want more work up front creating Teams or cleaning up the duplicate Teams that will be created? Where do you want to spend your time? If you do proper training hopefully you can teach users to search for a Team before creating one.

If you’re looking for general guidance, most of our customers have locked this down so that only select people can create Teams.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be just IT!  You can restrict creation to an active directory group like “all managers”.  This will slow down duplication and yet prevent a bottleneck with your efforts to deploy.

Prevent who can create groups (which controls who can create Teams):

Take a breath

No one expected such an influx of remote workers. It’s daunting. It’s scary. Luckily, we DO have the tools to enable remote collaboration. We can work effectively from home. Let’s equip our workforce with the tools they need while making sure we keep the kids from climbing over the fences.

Resources on Microsoft Teams:


Topics: Office365, Microsoft Teams, training

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