Microsoft Teams Channels Best Practices: Keeping Your Teams Simple

Posted by Gary Utley on November 12, 2019

Microsoft Teams Channels Best PracticesHas your MS Teams platform been flooded with unnecessary channels? As with most things in business, it's important to keep your Teams simple. Channels are the lifeblood of the MS Teams platform. If you overuse your channels, everything will become too complicated, and your organization will become self-defeating. By making everything simple and intuitive, you'll be able to better track your information.

Here are some important Microsoft Teams channels best practices.

What Do Channels Do in Microsoft Teams?

At the heart of Microsoft Teams are the channels. Each Team has its own channel, which functions as a text-based chatroom for any information that needs to be shared. Of course, employees can also communicate with each other one-on-one, or in groups together in separate rooms.

Channels provide a central hub of communication for each individual Team, though they can be broken down into additional tabs. By consolidating information within a channel, MS Teams makes it easier for needed information to be uncovered. 

But when channels grow out of control, Teams can become complicated. A proliferation of teams and channels will make it harder to find information. They may need to flip through a large number of channels before they remember where the information they needed was, or they may decline to even look at the Teams platform because it's become so confusing and unwieldy.

Employees can quickly connect to everyone on their team through a channel, or schedule meetings that involve an entire channel. Employees can also ping everyone on a channel at once through the use of the "@everyone" tag, and generally communicate with everyone on their team at once. 

But that also means that it's important to manage your channels — if you don't, it makes it harder for employees to connect.

How Can You Use Channels More Effectively?

Since most of your communications are going to go through your channels, it's important to understand Microsoft Teams channels best practices. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your channels are managed effectively:

  • Start with the General tab in your channel. The General tab is going to be the area that people consult first, and it's going to be the area that contains the most important information. But that doesn't mean that a channel can only use a General tab.
  • Add important subjects as tabs within the channel. Before creating a new tab, think about whether the tab should be a different channel altogether. It depends on how the information relates to the parent channel.
  • Don't use too many tabs. If you add too many tabs on a channel, everyone will quickly lose track of information. Ideally, use as few tabs as possible. But don't avoid tabs altogether, because the tabs are important to segregate information as needed.
  • Restrict channel creation and management to power users. If everyone is able to make channels, Teams, and tabs, then they will quickly grow out of control and become unwieldy. Only those who need to be able to do this should be able to do this. By default, even guests can create channels.
  • Standardize the names of Teams, channels, and tabs. The more standardized your system is, the more intuitive it will be. If you have a regular breakdown of tabs, for instance, employees will always know where to look even if there's a completely new team and channel.
  • Have written processes. Written processes should define when it's important to make new teams and channels; otherwise, more channels and teams may be made than are strictly necessary.
  • Regularly archive old information. As projects are completed and teams are eliminated, the old information from them should be archived and removed. This will prevent employees from having a number of "dead" channels on their dashboard.
  • Don't add Teams for temporary or small projects. Teams should be relatively permanent rather than transitive. If there's a project that will only last a day or two, there's no reason to add a Team.

By using the above tips, you should be able to reduce the overall clutter in your MS Teams accounts, while still being able to leverage some of the most important features

How Can You Simplify the Use of MS Teams?

Streamlining and simplifying business processes is always worthwhile. By making your use of MS Teams simpler and more direct, you will also make it more efficient and effective. Employees will take less time to find the information they need, and they will be more willing to use Microsoft Teams for their communications. 

By following general Microsoft Teams channels best practices, you can make it easier for everyone to connect and collaborate through MS Teams. Keeping your Teams simple is only one of these best practices, but it's an important one. To learn more about MS Teams, groups, and channels, connect with the experts at Red River.

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Topics: Microsoft Teams