Category: Planning

Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams – What do you need to start thinking about now?

Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels) is about to being launched and many are impatiently waiting to use it. I think that Shared Channels will be very useful, and I clearly see its value as you do not have to be a guest in many organizations and change tenant as often as you need today. BUT here is some well-meaning advice in place. You who may think that it is only to activate the functionality and then everyone can use it (just as many did when Private Channels was launched) should stop a bit and think beforehand. If you want this to work well and not lose control (again), then you need to do proper homework with planning, configuration and training before you roll this out in the organization.

“With Microsoft Teams Connect we are making it easier to collaborate with anyone outside your organization. You can use Team’s full suite of collaboration capabilities with external partners in other Azure AD orgs the same way you use them with colleagues from your organization. Shared channels enables people from different orgs to work together as one team in a shared space for a more structured, deeper and longer-term collaboration.”

Source: Microsoft 365 Roadmap

Some examples of what you need to think about:

  • Just as with Private Channels, each Shared Channel gets its own SharePoint area. How should you have control over this?
  • Is the access for the external users affected if you implement (or have implemented) Conditional Access and MFA?
  • How do Shared Channels work in Teams that are blocked from inviting guests?
  • How to do with Sensitivity Labels? Does it work and when (and where) can you use it?
  • Is it enough that you just configure your organization’s tenant for it to work?
  • When should I use a team of guests, when should I use a Private Channel and when should I use a Shared Channel?
  • How are Shared Channels related to M365 Groups?
  • Do all Apps work the same way as in regular channels?
  • Should everyone be able to create Shared Channels or can I control this with a policy?

I am sure that more questions will arise over time, but these are good to start with finding the answers to.

Strategy, Planning, User adoption and Governance

If you do not do things the right way from the beginning, sooner or later you will have to pay for it afterwards.

To start using Shared Channels is no exception. As always, Strategy, User adoption and Governance are of great importance here too. This time do not make the same mistakes that many others have made by just rolling out new functionality without first familiarizing yourself with both opportunities and challenges. I have seen many examples of this when it comes to rapid implementation of Microsoft Teams and not least when it comes to Private Channels. You must ALWAYS plan for how new functionality will be implemented in the organization and not least how the new functionality will be received and embraced by your end users. What information should be communicated to them, how should you communicate the information and what training do they need to complete.

Even though we do our work in the cloud and Microsoft 365 is our plane, we can not rely on there being any magic cruise control. You actually need Governance on all services and features and Shared Channels in Microsoft Teams are no exception.

I’m really looking forward to the launch of Shared Channels and I will, without a doubt, use it. However, I will spend a lot of time in advance getting to know how it really works and how we will use it in our organization.

If you are curious to know more about Shared Channels, you can read more here:

Tony Redmond’s article “Diving into the Details of Microsoft Teams Shared Channels

AvePoint Blog article “6 Things You Need to Know About Microsoft Teams Connect (Shared Channels)” by Kevin Joy

Good luck and do not forget that with good planning you always get the best result!

/Magnus

How to use Microsoft Teams to simplify O365 Governance

Did you miss my “How to use Microsoft Teams to simplify O365 Governance” session at the Oktoberfest virtual summit, a.k.a. “TeamsFest”, hosted by European Teams User Group? Below you can see and download what you may have missed and that interests you.

(If you do not know how to use the governance plans, you can watch the session for clarity.)

Things to Know Before Your Organization Opens Up to Use Private Channels in Microsoft Teams

Let me start by saying that I love new functionality that creates opportunities and solves concrete needs, BUT: Having a holistic perspective when managing your organization’s productivity platform is a puzzle with many pieces. In my opinion, there are mainly three pieces you need to fit together as soon as possible if you are to succeed in introducing new functionality into an organization. These pieces are: Continue reading “Things to Know Before Your Organization Opens Up to Use Private Channels in Microsoft Teams”

Private channels in Microsoft Teams are here but are you ready to release it in your organization yet?

Now you have the opportunity to create “Private channels” in your tenant, but have you informed all your users about how private channels work and how and when to use this functionality? If not, NOW is the time to communicate the guidelines you have for using private channels. (Surely you have developed guidelines?)

“I have a feeling that most of you have not prepared yourself for this rollout and now you stand there with the “Smörgåsbord”  popped up and your users storm in, enjoy the goodies and leaves a very messy table behind.”

Continue reading “Private channels in Microsoft Teams are here but are you ready to release it in your organization yet?”

Helpful tips and useful sources of information about Office 365 Governance

Are you in the situation that you feel you do not have sufficient control of Office 365 and its applications? Does it feel a bit overwhelming and you don’t know where to start looking for how to take control and, not least, what to take control of? It may be time to take the first steps when it comes to Office 365 Governance? Continue reading “Helpful tips and useful sources of information about Office 365 Governance”

Are you in the starting blocks and about to implement Microsoft Teams?

Before rolling out a new product you should always familiarize yourself with the product’s functionality, benefits and potential shortcomings.

Once you have done this, you can plan how it will be rolled out, how education should be conducted and last but not least, how it should be managed.

“We assume that your organization already has control over how you secure devices, users, apps and information. This is as basic as taking a shower and having breakfast before going to work.”

If you have not yet implemented Microsoft Teams and are wondering about functionality and what scenarios it is suitable for, I have, below, made a simple summary of the basic functionality you get with Microsoft Teams. Continue reading “Are you in the starting blocks and about to implement Microsoft Teams?”