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Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration platform that makes teamwork as efficient and intuitive as possible. That said, with great power comes great responsibility. In his session, AvePoint CMO Dux Raymond Sy explained what you can do to effectively govern your Teams environment and ensure it stays running smoothly.

Dux started off by specifying that users need to have a solid understanding of Office 365 Groups to understand Teams. Office 365 Groups:

  • Allows a collective of people working together to share the same toolsets
    • Before people would be using a variety of tools, but they’d be disconnected.
    • The idea of Office 365 Groups is to keep all these tools together
  • Can be created by anyone in an organization

Why Teams?

Dux asserted that Teams will soon be just as common as Outlook. With Skype for Business steadily being phased out–along with plans for it to eventually be absorbed by the Teams platform–Teams is quickly becoming the one-stop shop for collaboration.

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What’s the Point of Teams Governance?

Dux highlighted several reasons why organizations should be keen to ensure Teams governance:

  • Repeatable and consistent service delivery
    • Don’t want sprawl
    • No messy permissions
  • Administrative efficiency
    • Want to avoid accidental deletion of a team, or accidentally inviting an outsider to see internal communications
  • Accurate cataloging and mentioning of adoption, usage and governance attributes for collaboration work spaces
  • Provable compliance with internal and external policies and regulatory requirements

3 Major Teams Governance Focuses

After highlighting why governance is so important in general, Dux went into the three key facets of Microsoft Teams governance:

  • Provisioning: How Teams are requested, approved and created
  • Operations: How information, access and containers are managed
  • Information Life Cycle: How to retain/expire/dispose of information as appropriate

Provisioning

What can you do to avoid sprawl and duplication while ensuring your Teams content is appropriate and cataloged correctly? Dux emphasized the importance of:

  • Restricting who can create Groups
  • Setting a naming policy and custom blocked words
  • Taking advantage of PowerShell and Azure AD P1

He also went over a couple of provisioning “gotchas,” including the privacy settings of Teams (which should typically be left at the default “private” setting), and staying aware of the (slight) control administrators have of the self-service Office 365 Group request form.

Operations

Ensuring that the day-to-day operations of your Teams environment is going smoothly is obviously of high importance. To this end, Dux suggested that administrators:

Enable native dynamic membership

  • If somebody has an Azure AD property of the department, this automatically includes them as a part of that department’s Teams
  • This is dependent on the properties of your Azure AD

Monitor Adoption and Usage

  • Admins can go to the Office 365 admin center and look at the Teams-specific report
  • If you suddenly see a spike in the SharePoint site of a specific team and a bunch of files have been created at once, it’s a sign that a user may have gone rogue

Blog: Create and Provision #MicrosoftTeams: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


Audit the Reporting of Teams

  • Through Office 365 security and compliance, admins can look at things like sign-ins, group activities, etc.

Ensure SharePoint Governance

  • Retention
    • SharePoint only keeps a copy for 14-90 days
    • When it’s gone, it’s gone; Microsoft can’t retrieve it after that point

Information Life Cycle

Lastly, Dux touched on the how governance plays a role in a Team’s information life cycle. He explained that old Groups and Teams often get left behind instead of deleted or archived (along with all of the information that they’re home to). To combat this unfortunate trend, he advised that users keep the following in mind:

Specify Expiration

  • If you have Azure AD P1, you can set the expiration of and/or archive a team

“Soft Delete” Allows for Recovery

  • Users can “soft delete” a Team and get it back as long as too great a time hasn’t passed
  • The window for this can span anywhere from 14-90 days
  • It’s a good safety in case of an accidental deletion

Dux ended the session by asking the audience: What’s the right-size level of governance for your Office 365 Group or Team? If the basic offering doesn’t include what your organization needs, premium and third-party additions are great ways to help you reach that threshold.

The bottom third reads: “Ongoing Management.”


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