Are you getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription? It could be that you are not taking advantage of the Microsoft Teams app, which can help to keep your company a cohesive unit. Here are five tips we have found to help use this powerful tool to its best advantage.

Don’t Recreate Existing Teams and Groups

It’s very easy to create teams within Microsoft Teams, and that is one of its strengths. But given this ease of use, sometimes you might discover that a Team has already been established for this purpose. This problem can be compounded if self-service creation is allowed.

It should be noted that every team is also a Group. So, if you own a group and create a new team, you need to be sure to connect it to your existing group. If not, Microsoft Team will happily create a new group in the process, creating duplication and confusion.

The best way to avoid this duplication is to review all groups and teams on a periodic basis. The best time to evaluate is one day after new Teams are created since the dust has settled by then and corrections can be made before they become a habit.

Each Project Should Have Its Own Team

The best way to organize a team is by the current project. This allows the documentation and files to stay connected to the project itself. With different people potentially moving in and out of projects, it would be cumbersome to do so otherwise.

By being project-based, the individuals on different projects will also find it easier to manage their workload.

Have Strong Naming Conventions

It can be confusing to track all the different Teams and Groups without a strong naming convention. Each person could decide on their own methods, leading to misunderstandings. This can be even more of a problem if self-service Team creation is allowed.

The system will offer some assistance in enforcing a naming convention by blocking certain words from being used and requiring suffixes and/or prefixes. But the strongest naming convention will be best served by company policy, which may need a periodic review to make sure that the standards are being followed.

Shared Documents Work Best as Designed

While it can be very tempting, try to avoid customizing the default documents library. As it is designed, the default library allows for robust sharing of files. This lets everyone on Teams and Groups have access to the files, simplifying management.

If you need advanced content control, consider setting up a custom document library on the team site.

Be Consistent with Files

Users of SharePoint moving to Microsoft Teams will need to incorporate folders into their file handling. Folders are an essential part of Microsoft Teams, and they simplify file management. But folders must be used appropriately before they can be seen as an advantage.

Users can access files through both the Team chat functionality and with SharePoint on the team site. By creating both a SharePoint tab and a Website tab connector, users of both access methods will be alerted when a new file is created.

Don’t Go Overboard on Planning

When designing the initial Microsoft Teams layout, it can be easy to create many channels for future use. However, each channel is going to create another tab that users will have to contend with during use. This can impede the system launch and confuse new users unfamiliar with the system.

Instead, leave some room for the projects to grow, and react accordingly. You may find the best solution is a simple approach, keeping the tab number to a minimum. Or it might go the completely opposite direction, with multiple channels working well to focus efforts. This is something best left to discovery as the projects evolve.

We want to see our clients get the most out of their Office 365 investment, and we are dedicated to educating them on these easy to use tools. Contact us to see how you can maximize your business using powerful Office 365 features that you may already have.