HomeMicrosoft Teams5 Best Practices for Microsoft Teams and Information Management

5 Best Practices for Microsoft Teams and Information Management

Learn how to set up different policies for departments sharing the same Office 365 tenant with our free webinar “Tailoring Microsoft Teams & Delegating Administration in Office 365!” on August 7th at 11:00 AM EST.


As more organizations start utilizing Microsoft Teams, there are increasing concerns around how to properly manage all the information that users are generating. In our recent webinar, we provided the basic steps of how to get information management up and running simply and quickly. The key is breaking the problem down into bite-sized, actionable chunks!  

1. Map and Understand Your Information 

The first step is to map and understand your information at a high level. Understanding the different types of collaborative areas you have in your organization should help you drill down into the specific information contained within each. The chart below provides a visual on what that may look like 

2. Implement a Classification Schema 

The next step is defining the scheme you want to use to describe your information. This can be in the form of a business classification scheme, a taxonomy, or a file plan. This schema is ultimately going to be the terms that you use to tag your information. Classifying your information will allow you to sort and organize it with labels that make surfacing and protecting pertinent data simpler 

3. Assign Actions to Terms and Deploy Across Office 365 

Once you’ve created clearly defined terms, you must then associate them with outcomes and actions. These can be a single action (e.g. destroy after 7 years) or it could be a more complex lifecycle (e.g. move to a new location, declare an item as a record, and then destroy it). Essentially, you want to map your information’s journey to make it easy to track.  

This includes being able to push out the terms and their associated actions to the locations where the relevant information will be saved. This is where you link your records management processes to your information architecture, thus ensuring the content will be classified on capture and therefore managed immediately.  

4. Streamline the User Experience 

After you have your information mapped, the next step is to automate the process. This will naturally make it easier for end users to do the right thing. End users also don’t want to be records managers, so try to set defaults and allow the system to remove the burden of those traditional records tasks wherever you can.  

5. Maintain Compliance and Integrity 

Now that you have your information mapped and automated, you still need to monitor it! Use reporting and auditing to maintain oversight of your system (and make tweaks and adjustments where required). This is where you can ensure record integrity and authenticity.  

If you want a more in-depth look at the process and to ensure your Microsoft Teams information is being properly managed, register for the on-demand version of our webinar! 


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Jay Leaskhttp://jay.leask.com/
I sell software, but my passion is to help translate the needs of the business into the capabilities of available technology. Over two decades in tech I have helped customers analyze collaboration solutions against actual mission needs in helping them select the best path based on their personal critical success factors. Per my training I’m a project manager (PMP), an engineer, an architect, and a designer; but ultimately, I’m a problem solver.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Jay,

    This is a really useful article, and it helps me to think a little more clearly in how I would set up a collaborative environment in an organisation.

    In the chart in section 1 above there are three types of collaboration setups: Team Space, Project Space, and Communities. They closely correspond to what I think happens in an organisation, and it would make sense to mirror these in the organisation of a collaborative platform like MS 365. My question is: while I understand the Team Space maps pretty much directly onto a single MS Teams Team, I am wondering what would be a good tool to set up a Project Space and a Community? Projects get created and destroyed (well, archived) frequently, and it should be quick and easy to set them up and add many people from multiple Teams. It might be too cumbersome to have to create a Team for each project. Communities are the opposite, they need more tools to document work and build practices over years.

    How would you set these up? Thanks a lot in advance for any insights

    • Lukasz, LOVE the way you’re approaching this.

      A typical response to this might be “Communities go in Yammer” and “Projects go in SharePoint” and while I hate to give you a “it depends” response, it really depends.

      What I mean by this is every organization is going to have a different approach to how they want the system used, but also to what a “project” or “community” means to them. They’ll also have different concerns and solutions to the “cumbersome” statement you made.

      For one of my customers, a Systems Integrator in the US Defense Industrial Base, they have very serious concerns about contractual sharing – you MAY NOT see contract documents unless you are “read in” on that contract. This means that they have to not only have permissions boundaries around every project, but they have to have a process for vetting each person added to that permissions boundary. Now, they ALSO want to have the conversations capabilities in Teams, so this rules out JUST using SharePoint. For them, a Team is an OPTION in the process, and they use the Questionnaire feature in Cloud Governance to determine if the features of a team are important to the requestor at the time of provisioning.

      Another customer of mine, a Federally funded lab, uses Yammer Communities for their Communities of Interest (COI), and their thought process lies in the fact that the COI are not only meant to be open to the entire community, but Yammer is where they have guests entering, and these COI include members from academic partners.

      At AvePoint we use a little of both. If it’s an open community, we put it in Yammer. However, the Arlington Office community space is a Team with permissions boundaries, and then within the Team each subcommunity has a channel (such as the running club, the coffee club, and yes, the pie club).

      I hope this helps, and if you’d like to discuss it further, hit me up on Twitter @jayleask

      • Hi Jay,

        I just realized I never thanked you for the detailed response – so thank you. I keep however thinking of this article, and it remains one of the more concisely useful writeups on the Internet I’ve found.

        I am continuing to think on how to structure information and communication within and across various orgnisational subdivisions, and was wondering if I can still hold your interest enough for some additional suggestions.

        One point I keep stumbling on – and I know I’m not the only one, colleagues struggle as well – is how to ensure that the right people are in charge of their data, but that it remains broadly discoverable.

        This challenge is particularly complex when working in an organisation with multiple offices in multiple countries: the main “axes” according to which it might make sense to store and manage data seem to be
        a) location (country, office – around 25 in our case, depending how you count),
        b) department (operations, grants management, logistics, hr, etc), and
        c) projects (i haven’t checked lately, but I think in our case it’s in the high double digits at any given moment).

        What I often see happening is that each country, or, more likely, each office has its own file system on a network, within which each department has its own space (typically a shared folder), and within these there will be information for the projects these departments work on. Problems are obvious: when the grants management department sets up a project, and then operations and logistics depts need to start working on it, the data for this project is fragmented across 3 folders. What if the same project is implemented in 2 or 3 offices, or, even better, spans multiple countries? The overlap and duplication grows exponentially.

        I don’t think the solution is to file things differently – that will just move the problem elsewhere. And while I am talking about simple file systems in my example, I don’t think a more sophisticated platform immediately helps either – fragmentation still occurs in MS Teams just as it does on a NAS network share.

        I keep thinking storing all our files in multiple Sharepoint Libraries and making sure every single file is extensively tagged might be the technical solution I seek, but I’m not sure if this is practical to implement without becoming a monster to oversee and support forever.

        Sorry if this is too much, and thank you again for your time, even if answering the above is beyond the scope of an artcle comment. Or maybe my questions inspire yet another excellent article from you (hint hint!)?

        Finally – congrats on your Microsoft MVP award – very good choice on their part!

  2. Hi Jay,

    I just realized I never thanked you for the detailed response – so thank you. I keep however thinking of this article, and it remains one of the more concisely useful writeups on the Internet I’ve found.

    I am continuing to think on how to structure information and communication within and across various orgnisational subdivisions, and was wondering if I can still hold your interest enough for some additional suggestions.

    One point I keep stumbling on – and I know I’m not the only one, colleagues struggle as well – is how to ensure that the right people are in charge of their data, but that it remains broadly discoverable.

    This challenge is particularly complex when working in an organisation with multiple offices in multiple countries: the main “axes” according to which it might make sense to store and manage data seem to be
    a) location (country, office – around 25 in our case, depending how you count),
    b) department (operations, grants management, logistics, hr, etc), and
    c) projects (i haven’t checked lately, but I think in our case it’s in the high double digits at any given moment).

    What I often see happening is that each country, or, more likely, each office has its own file system on a network, within which each department has its own space (typically a shared folder), and within these there will be information for the projects these departments work on. Problems are obvious: when the grants management department sets up a project, and then operations and logistics depts need to start working on it, the data for this project is fragmented across 3 folders. What if the same project is implemented in 2 or 3 offices, or, even better, spans multiple countries? The overlap and duplication grows exponentially.

    I don’t think the solution is to file things differently – that will just move the problem elsewhere. And while I am talking about simple file systems in my example, I don’t think a more sophisticated platform immediately helps either – fragmentation still occurs in MS Teams just as it does on a NAS network share.

    I keep thinking storing all our files in multiple Sharepoint Libraries and making sure every single file is extensively tagged might be the technical solution I seek, but I’m not sure if this is practical to implement without becoming a monster to oversee and support forever.

    Sorry if this is too much, and thank you again for your time, even if answering the above is beyond the scope of an artcle comment. Or maybe my questions inspire yet another excellent article from you (hint hint!)?

    Finally – congrats on your Microsoft MVP award – very good choice on their part!

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