Start Planning for Governance in Teams: Top 5 Factors to Consider

Start Planning for Governance in Teams: Top 5 Factors to Consider

Microsoft has officially announced that Skype is going away in July 2021, so migrating to Teams will be a top priority! With that in mind – Teams Governance is your first step to properly planning your Teams Migration.

If you haven’t heard – Microsoft is officially retiring Skype for Business Online on July 31st, 2021…and that date will be here before you know it! With this service moving away, that means Microsoft Teams will become Microsoft’s primary communication platform. From now on until 07.31.21, Microsoft is focusing on adding new features only to Teams. If your organization has been putting off the migration to Teams, now is the time to get serious.

The first step for a successful migration is to make sure your business has a migration strategy. Taking the time to plan for this transition to Teams will be a huge factor in the success of your migration. Microsoft Teams is a transformational tool, so it will be important to spend some time thinking about how you should configure various security, compliance, and governance settings across the platform.

Planning for governance is a great first step when you’re starting to develop a migration strategy. Teams provides a rich set of tools to implement the governance capabilities your organization might require. Ask the right questions and plan your policies and processes carefully. 

Below are a few decision points to consider around Teams governance:

  • Will your organization need to limit who can create a team or group?
  • Does your organization require a specific naming convention for Teams?
  • Will your organization want to limit Teams' features for specific users or the entire tenant?
  • Do Team creators need the ability to assign organization-specific classifications to teams?
  • Do you need to restrict the ability to add guests to Teams on a per-team basis?

A multi-functioning collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams is becoming an essential tool for all businesses but managing an organization-spanning Teams environment is no easy task. Major governance measures must be in place to contain sprawl, secure data and ensure efficiency.

Check out Interlink’s Top 5 important factors to consider when planning for your Teams Governance.

1) The Creation Process

Creating an effective governance plan means striking the right balance in terms of who can create new teams. The more ownership stakeholders have over Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams, the more successful your implementation will be. However, this also needs to be a controlled process. The ability to create collaboration spaces should only be afforded to certain people. This could be:

  • Your IT department, which can approve the functions available to each subset of users.
  • Business owners, who have ultimate responsibility for your company’s data.

While content owners and stakeholders understand their processes and collaboration spaces, not everyone should be trusted to create + control new teams. As with any new process, it’s best to place some restrictions around the criteria to create a new Team. For the perfect balance, users should provide a justification to use Groups and Teams, without it feeling like an authoritarian process. Working to agree upon best practices for this new collaboration space is necessary to create that perfect balance.

2) Managing Access and Ownership

Ensuring records are kept in detail about which people have access and administrative rights to Groups and Teams will help avoid “shadow IT” traps – when projects are being managed outside of the IT department and they have no knowledge of it happening. Allocating appropriate resources to monitor and keep track of roles and access within Groups and Teams, along with understanding the power that members hold is crucial to successful governance.

Another thing to consider is the multiple applications and third-party services that are available for users to connect to Teams. IT departments can control the applications and integrations that can be added to their Microsoft Teams at each team level, but it will be important to determine what you do and don’t want to allow. Do you want to enable external sharing? Should users then be able to connect their Microsoft Teams to other cloud storage solutions? There are just a few scenarios to consider when planning it all out. The default is just to leave everything accessible.

3) The Structure Policies

Naming conventions can either make or break efficient storage – it will be the structure to how your users find the documents and files they’re searching for. It may feel overly restrictive to control how Teams and groups are named, but it allows IT to apply policies and maintain data lifecycles properly. How can you apply policies or maintain data lifecycles if you don’t know why a Team exists or what information it holds? Setting these rules from the beginning can save your organization a lot of time and frustration in the future.

For proper governance, you will need to address some questions around the content lifecycle, data protection, and record management. Think about:

  • Accurate document labeling.
  • Enforcement of content-level security, taxonomy, disposition, and automation.
  • Classifications and labels that reflect the information within documents and files.
  • Rights management to control sensitive content

4) What Will Teams Replace?

Once your organization fully migrates to Teams, it will be crucial for everyone to be on the same page. An important question to ask when developing a plan for governance is what business processes will Teams be replacing? End-users will be more likely to use Teams when they understand what it will be used for, what the new processes will be and how they can implement it into their daily work schedule.

Before unleashing the full power of Teams, you’ll need to implement a change management strategy for training users on the new business processes. Team members need to feel empowered and ready, which brings us to the final important factor to consider…

5) Adoption Training & Strategy

This step is necessary not only for governance in Teams, but also for an overall successful Teams Migration. Continuous training is just as important as a strategy when it comes to successful implementation. Typically, when a project implementation fails, it’s due to poor change management planning and little to no end-user adoption.

When employees don’t understand new technology or why it is being imposed, they tend to reject it. Often, employees have been using the same tools for years and have their own habits. Creating desire through adoption training can help your employees to really understand how Teams can help them in their workday and make things easier – therefore, your organization will make the most out of its investment. The key to successful adoption, is continuous training, to ensure the new technology sticks. Microsoft’s technology and products are ever-evolving, so training is necessary to keep up with the updates as well.

We know that change can be a lot to handle – especially when it involves changing processes and enforcing new technology throughout an organization. If it seems like too much to do on your own, Interlink is here to help. A Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) is a great way to help your leadership try out new technology and see how it could benefit them in their daily work routines. Interlink is CIE certified so we are trained to help your team adopt technologies and see how they work in your environment.

To enable customers to plan and implement a successful upgrade to Teams, Interlink offers a ton of Microsoft Teams resources – from blogs to webinars to workshops to the actual migration– we are here to help.

As a managed partner of Microsoft, Interlink can also potentially get your organization funding from Microsoft to cover the cost of a migration to Teams. This funding can help cover anything from the technical deployment, discovery & planning, end-user adoption training, organizational change management or a Teams Customer Immersion Experience (CIE). This is a great opportunity to take advantage of!

Get in touch with our team today to see if you are eligible for the funding or how we can help your business through this transition and make it as seamless and productive as possible.

Interested in learning more? View our similar blog: Microsoft Teams Meetings & Meeting Rooms Workshop | Focus on Your Core Business, Not Meeting Room Troubleshooting.

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