Modern work Microsoft 365 governance

Microsoft Teams ownership: The key to collaboration

Vlad and Drew unravel the intricate details of Microsoft Teams ownership, exploring key settings and best practices to empower team owners in maximizing the platform's potential.

In the fourth episode of our video series on maximizing Microsoft 365 potential, Vlad Catrinescu and Drew Madelung delve into the crucial topic of teams ownership within Microsoft Teams. Their previous episodes discussed orphaned workspaces, orphaned users, and reclaiming Microsoft 365 licenses.

Watch the entire episode below and read some of the key points in this blog post.

Teams ownership and membership roles

Microsoft Teams membership is linked with the Microsoft 365 group membership. You cannot have a Microsoft Teams team without having a Microsoft 365 group attached to it. And whether we add people from Microsoft Teams or the Microsoft 365 group, they all end up being in the Microsoft 365 group.

The three key Microsoft Teams membership roles are owner, member, and guest. Owners have extensive access to team settings, can edit the team properties, and can add other people. Teams ownership plays a crucial role, empowering team owners to control settings at a granular level.

Members can collaborate within the group, while guests, although similar to members, are subject to specific settings.

Microsoft Teams channels

There are four types of Microsoft Teams channels: general, standard, private, and shared. It is very important to understand channel types as they are the functional foundation of Teams. You can’t have a team without a channel.

General channels

Every team in Microsoft Teams has a General channel. It is one of the types of channels that is there by default. You can’t change the name of the General channel and you can’t delete it.

Standard channels

Standard channels are simply there to organize your team discussions into different segments. So standard channels don’t grant different permissions. They’re simply there to make conversations more targeted and make it easier for people to know what the conversation is about.

Private channels

Private channels can help prevent team sprawl and maintain privacy within specific discussions.  Private channel membership will always be a subset of the team membership, so you can only add members of the team to this private channel.  Whoever is not added to the private channel, cannot see any of the chat messages.

By default, inside Teams, members can create private channels.  Not even a team owner can add themselves to a private channel they didn’t create.

Shared channels

Shared channels allow collaboration across different teams and even external tenants. Team owners can add members to specific channels and collaborate with external stakeholders seamlessly. The flexibility and benefits of shared channels in fostering collaboration make them a valuable tool for team owners.

Sharing a Shared Channel

You can share a shared channel externally with somebody in another tenant. That person would not have to tenant switch to have access to this channel. They would see it directly as if it were one of their channels in Teams.

Teams settings configuration

To access team settings, simply click on the three dots, then navigate to “Manage Team,” and finally, the “Settings” tab. The first adjustment you can make pertains to team details such as the title and picture.

Moving on to member permissions, by default, members can create and update channels. However, you can opt to restrict this to team owners only. Additionally, there’s the option to allow members to create standard channels while preventing them from creating private ones.

Teams Ownership - Member Permissions

These settings are specific to each team but can be managed at the tenant level by admins. If some settings are inaccessible, it may be because they’ve already been configured at the tenant level.

Other settings include permissions for deleting and restoring channels, adding or removing apps, uploading custom apps, and managing tabs and connectors.

From experience, most customers tend to favor open deletion permissions. However, there are nuances, such as guest deletion levels and retention policies, that can be adjusted at the administrative level.

Channel-level settings: Granular control

Each channel type (general, standard, private, shared) offers unique customization options. Channel moderation, message deletion/editing permissions, and notification settings can be tailored to suit team requirements. It’s essential to understand these settings to effectively manage and moderate channels within the team.

The power and pitfalls of Teams mentions

Mentions can be a powerful tool for attracting attention within Microsoft Teams. However, overuse of mentions can lead to notification fatigue, so it’s crucial to use them wisely.

Tags in Microsoft Teams

To streamline communication, tags offer a targeted approach to notifications within channels. By grouping members based on roles, notifications become more efficient and less intrusive. However, continuous management of tags is necessary as team dynamics evolve. Tags may be the most underutilized function from a Teams ownership perspective.

Fun stuff settings: Adding a personal touch

Now, onto the “fun stuff” settings, such as enabling GIFs, stickers, and memes. While these features enhance user experience, their availability might be governed by organizational settings. It’s a balance between enhancing communication and maintaining professionalism, especially in sensitive contexts.

Should you enable GIFs, stickers, and memes, or not? And if yes, do you want to allow all content, moderate, or strict? Our recommendation is you should never allow all content and actually by default you will not see allow all content in your tenant because the default tenant level setting is either moderate or strict.

Microsoft Teams best practices for effective teams ownership

Here are some essential administrative best practices to help empower team owners:

Tenant-Level Configuration: Set baseline settings at the tenant level to establish a consistent framework across Teams.
Owner Training: Offer continuous training for team owners to keep them up to date with the evolving features and functionalities of Microsoft Teams.
Configure Owner List Group Policy: Implement the owner list group policy to ensure a seamless transition of ownership and prevent gaps in team management.

Conclusion

In the dynamic world of Microsoft Teams, teams ownership is not merely a title but a responsibility that comes with a vast amount of settings and considerations. It’s important to actively manage channels to maintain organization and facilitate effective communication within the team. While the array of settings may seem overwhelming at first, understanding and implementing them wisely can significantly enhance the team’s productivity and collaboration.

To help you secure and manage Microsoft Teams, Syskit Point can help give you visibility, security, and control over Microsoft Teams in your organization. You can use Syskit Point to find all your teams, see their members and owners, and also see public, private, and shared channels.

In the next episode

In the next episode in our video series, Vlad and Drew give insights into handling inactive guests within Microsoft Teams. They will deep dive into guarding against inappropriate or inactive access, providing valuable insights for Teams administrators.

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