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Quick Start for Microsoft Teams Governance

When you’ve defined (and documented) your Microsoft Teams governance principles, you’ll be looking for a quick start for your governance process.

Many businesses mistake making a quick start for rushing through important governance gates, and often approach Modality for help remedying their issues.

Tom Morgan, Principal Innovation Architect at Modality, and Microsoft MVP, is passionate about making the right start rather than a quick start

"We work with a lot of customers who describe their tenant as something of a 'wild west'. Although the intention to empower users was well-meaning, the reality is the consequence of complete user control and lack of processes can be a lot of teams and data.

This is a governance challenge in itself, but it's also a user experience and satisfaction issue. You get one first impression and if users start to feel overwhelmed with Teams, not finding what they're looking for, or worst of all, start to experience files accidentally being shared and information leaking - well, now you have a much bigger issue on your hands.

You wouldn't learn to drive by just jumping in, seeing how it goes, and then starting to worry when you hit the motorway. Making sure your company's core collaboration tool is secure is no different.”

Planning for a quick start with Microsoft Teams almost always includes these three areas:

  1. Goals for rapid Teams adoption
  2. Know upcoming features/changes and communicate to users
  3. Successfully enabling Microsoft Teams governance

Let’s break these down so you can ensure a quick start for Microsoft Teams governance.

1 - Goals for rapid Teams adoption

If you’re tasked with driving Teams adoption, it likely comes with deadlines to meet and lots of departments to please.

It’s easy to slip into the mentality of getting things done quickly. 

This is great.

Until it isn’t.

Fast-tracking your business through Teams adoption may sound like it’s going to help you reach Teams nirvana. 

In reality, you leave yourself open to gaps in your governance, security, and compliance.

It’s one thing getting all users and business units live on Teams. It’s another thing to have them using Teams productively and securely.

So, let’s change the mentality from rapid Teams adoption to efficient Teams adoption.

It’s not quite tortoise and the hare. More like the variable speed limit on motorways in the UK. 

By ensuring everyone flows through their Teams adoption process, you guarantee every security and compliance box gets ticked so you don’t need to address it when something goes wrong.

By adhering to Microsoft Teams governance best practices, and using a Teams governance template, you have a documented process for new, existing, and changeable users.

Each time someone needs to make a change, you (or they) can consult the template, and know immediately if the task is:

  1. Achievable
  2. Within compliance and security guidelines
  3. Going to need input from a Teams administrator
  4. Deemed in scope of your businesses own best practices

If you can cross-reference your template for the majority of governance changes, you ensure efficient management pre- and post-adoption.

2 - Know upcoming features/changes and communicate to users

When Microsoft adds a new feature to Teams, standard practice is for all customers (and all users within that customer) to get access upon general availability.

This sounds great as users get new and innovative functionality as soon as they can, but often organisations want to understand new features and manage communications about new features to their end users.

To do this, Microsoft offers Microsoft Teams Public Preview. 

Public Preview for Microsoft Teams provides early access to unreleased features in Teams. 

Previews allow you to explore and test upcoming features so you can know about them and understand them before your users get them.

It’s a great way for IT to stay on top of what features are coming down the pipe.

To enable this for select users, you assign them a special update policy:

  1. Sign in to the admin center.
  2. Select Teams>Update policiesTeams
  3. Select Add.
  4. Name the update policy, add a description, and turn on Show preview features.

For users with the policy, to enable the public preview on your desktop or web client, you need to do the following tasks:

  1. Select your profile to display the Teams menu.
  2. Select About Public preview.
  3. Select Switch to Public preview.

You can find out what is in preview at Release Notes for Office Current Channel (Preview).

3 - Successfully enable Microsoft Teams governance

Sticking with the theme of efficient Teams governance, successfully enabling governance is more important than rapidly enabling Teams governance.

Time and time again, organisations rush their governance process to get to the completion milestone. Only to find they need to go back and plug all the holes that have sprung a leak since they swiftly transitioned past that stage.

When planning your Teams governance process, ask the following questions:

  • What does successful Teams governance actually look like?
  • What is the benefit of rushing through your rollout?
  • How does that benefit compare to the remedial work you may need to conduct post-adoption?

Of course, a rapid transition to Teams sometimes cannot be helped. 

For example, the coronavirus pandemic prompted millions of users to switch to Microsoft Teams at the drop of a hat.

These businesses didn’t have the luxury of planning time or had to sidestep the entire governance process. 

While they are now going through to process of applying plasters and bandages to their Teams estate, the primary goal was to keep everyone collaborating.

If you need a quick start for Microsoft Teams governance, sign up for your free 30-day trial of Teamwork Analytics here.