Implementing Microsoft Teams is a huge project, requiring detailed planning, change management and project management. In the first edition of this series, we looked at Moving to Microsoft Teams Phone. In the second article, we talked about managing the user experience while moving to Teams Phone.

In this third edition of our series, we’re introducing the importance of governance and lifecycle in Microsoft Teams.

The problem with rapid adoption of Teams

One of the most common concerns for organisations when adopting Microsoft Teams is good governance. Many organisations experience “Teams sprawl”, a condition that happens with rapid adoption of the platform. Organic uninhibited flow of information is good for collaboration, but what happens to this information once it becomes outdated or unused?

One symptom of Teams sprawl is the creation of too many teams and sites. This leads to duplications and confusion and can cause the loss of intellectual property. Guests end up having access to things they should not have, while other users might not be able to access things they need. Performance suffers as a result of the increase in unneeded teams and sites.

This is where governance comes in. Streamlining the deployment of products and technologies, such as Microsoft Teams, helps keep your organisation’s system secure and compliant. It also ensures the best return on your investment in technology. Security and compliance are hallmarks of good governance in a modern work environment.

Two ways to manage Teams provisioning

Organisations generally follow one of two pathways to empower users with self-service Teams provisioning.

Most companies choose to enable all users to create new teams and use teamwork apps to meet their diverse needs. Governance for this method requires consistent classification and policy enforcement with custom provisioning workflows to have some controls in place.

The alternative is to limit Teams provisioning to a subset of users, usually certain business unit users. Although Microsoft recommends against a limitation being implemented, this supports good governance. You will still be able to progressively expand self-service during Microsoft 365 apps onboarding and guide users to collaboration choices. If only a subset of users can create teams, you then need to create a process for users to request teams and leverage user education to ensure responsible Teams usage. Teams allows you to audit who created which group.

Classification and policy enforcement

To apply Teams governance across the tenancy, classifications and policies are required to help enforce:

  • Group naming policy, to ensure group names follow your organisation schema
  • Naming of teams, to ensure group names follow your organisation schema and avoid misuse
  • Classification for teams, to allow a team to have specific settings assigned that control team behaviour
  • Expiration for teams, to avoid large numbers of deprecated teams and automatically archive and later remove unused teams.

Teams Lifecycle

The Teams lifecycle consists of three phases and can be managed by the team owner or the IT department:

  • Provision
  • Active
  • Retire

The IT department can proactively start the creation of teams with templates through the Request-a-team App. This leverages a Power Apps application to surface easy-to-complete forms for the collection of information such as business justification, access scope, and ownership.

For retirement, the IT department can use the Microsoft 365 group expiration policy to automatically clean up unused teams. Because teams are backed by groups, group expiration policies automatically apply to teams as well.

How Zetta can help with planning your governance and lifecycles for Microsoft Teams

Zetta has the Microsoft Gold Competencies for Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content. Our team has successfully assisted Perth customers with their Teams adoption, governance and lifecycle architectures.

If you’d like to discuss the benefits of migrating to Teams Phone or explore what it might look like for your organisation, please reach out to the team at Zetta.