Microsoft Teams Best Practices
Teams & Channel
- Introduce Team Owners in a post within the General Channel. It will be there for all new Team Members and is important that Team Members know who the Team Owners are in order to know where to go for support and questions.
- Try to avoid creating different Teams that have the same set of members, as this approach may not provide the desired focus to deliver the project or goal.
Whenever possible, try to use Channels as opposed to creating a new Team. Organize channels by subject, discipline, or project.
- Always try to determine what the intent of the Channel is before creating it.
If there is a new focus or special interest group, add a Channel under the Team that owns this function. The only reason to make this a separate Team is if the content needs to be accessed by a different group of users.
- Use the General Channel to share an overview of what the Team wants to achieve and other high-level information that a new Team member would find useful, such as announcements and topics that may not fit other Channels.
- Remember that you cannot delete, rename or move the General Channel.
- When naming Channels, remember that they will be ordered alphabetically after the General Channel.
- Be descriptive when naming Channels to make it easier to understand what the conversation in the Channel is there to achieve.
- While Channels can be renamed, it is not recommended as the document folder names that are created in SharePoint upon Channel creation will not change and will end up disconnected from the Channel.
- Keep data only as long as needed. All redundant, outdate and trivial content should be deleted.
- Store your personal files in OneDrive for Business. Important departmental data of a more permanent nature should continue to be stored in an departmental on-premise SharePoint site.
- Do not upload files that are bigger than 10 GB.
- Uploading a File to your Team provides a single file to keep updated and includes Version History and the ability to share the File from Teams. Every change is logged and you can revert to a previous version of the file (navigate to File–> Info –> Version History).
- If you use Folders to organize Files, it is recommended to limit to three levels of folders, maximum.
- Use @mentions to individuals if you want their attention. Similar to how you would put them in the “To” section in an Email.
- Use the Format button to create subject lines when starting a new conversation. This helps it stands out and makes it easier for users to find a specific conversation within the Channel.
- Don’t mix up “Start a new conversation” with “Reply”. If someone has posted a conversation that you want to reply to, ensure you click the “Reply” link directly under the conversation thread, rather than typing in the “Start a new conversation” box as the bottom of the screen.
- Leverage the Search bar at the top of the app.
- Remember that all Conversations within a Channel/Team are Public to all it’s Team Members.
- Use “Thumbs Up” to acknowledge that you’ve seen a conversation.
- Chat can be One-to-One or One-to-Many. Ensure that you know who is participating in the Chat and be careful about using previous chat conversations to start a new chat, as all previous participants will be included.
- Chats are not retained within Channels in Teams and are good for ad-hoc collaborations with Team Members.
- Conversations related to work and affecting the decision-making process should be within a Conversation or Channel, so that everybody who sees the Team can see it.
- When adding new people to a Chat, be aware that they can see prior discussions by default.
- In Private Chats, shared files are uploaded to the author’s OneDrive for Business into a “Microsoft Teams Private Chat” folder.
Meetings & Calls
- When scheduling a meeting with the whole Team, set it up within the Channel. This will add a ‘Join’ option in the channel, as well as show related meeting content within Channel.
- The Calendar you see in Teams is the same you see in Outlook.
- You can invite anyone with an email address to a Teams meeting. Guests and External users will still have access to the Meeting chat while they are in the Meeting.
- Meetings can be recorded and saved to the Channel for people to view at a later time. Please notify your Team Members prior to initiating a recording.
- Share your screen to demonstrate or present certain information; keep in mind that what other users see will be a smaller version of what you see and so you may want to use full screen display, or increase your text size while presenting.
- Calls are not retained within Channels in Teams and are good for ad-hoc collaborations with Team Members.
Guests and External Users
- Do not invite external users or guests to a Meeting or Team unless everyone involved knows they are there.
- Meetings with external or guests can be held within a Channel and must be scheduled as an Online Meeting.