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Best practices for organizing Microsoft Teams

Best practices for organizing Microsoft Teams

Teams are groups of people who work together to achieve a common goal. This group of people could be located within a department or throughout the organization. The goal they are aiming for is what brings them together.

Members of a team may work at different speeds or create assets in different ways, but in our experience, they frequently collaborate quickly with one another, a process we refer to as “high velocity teamwork.”

Before forming a team, consider the goal, project, or work items and who in your organization can collaborate to deliver them. Once you’ve identified them, add them to a team to begin working together. Because team membership can change, it’s a good idea to assign multiple owners to each team.

Add Teams gradually

We recommend starting with a small number of teams and team members when first implementing Teams. As you go, add new people or groups.

The great thing about Teams is that when new people or groups are added, they can quickly catch up on what’s already been discussed because the conversations and files are available to users regardless of when they join.

Avoid the temptation to create multiple teams with the same set of members; instead, create channels within a single team.

Create channels for specific discussions in Microsoft Teams

How to create channels in Microsoft eams
Microsoft Teams channels are a great way to organize communication within a team and can be used for different purposes. They can be used for collaboration, communication, task management and more!

After you’ve formed your team, start thinking about the various projects and types of conversations you’ll need to support. Among some of the things you can do are:

  • Create initial channels so that people can contribute and find existing conversations.
  • Use descriptive channel names to help people understand where to go for each conversation.
  • Add tools (such as OneNote, Power BI, or Planner) as channel tabs so that members have everything they need right in the channel.
  • A commonly used web page can also be added as a tab to a channel.
  • Create teams with a larger number of members and more channels.
  • Reduce the number of teams that require an individual’s participation.
  • Channels within a team should be viewed as topics or work streams that help the team organize their work in order to meet their common goals.
  • There is no set number of channels that should be established. Channels should be created by each team based on their work, priorities, and style.
  • Use standard channels for team conversations where everyone can contribute.
  • When you need a focused collaboration space with a small group of team members, use private channels. When you need to collaborate with people outside the team, use shared channels.

Larger organizations may want to form “template” teams to standardize the information they collect about specific types of work. This is beneficial for strategic customer management, classroom management, health care scenarios, claim management, incident management, and other industry-specific scenarios.

Get started with Teams templates for small and medium businesses can help you learn more.

You can use the general channel

When you create a team, the General channel is automatically created for you. This channel can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Use it to share an overview of what the team hopes to accomplish, such as a project charter or a list of team members.
  • Use it for onboarding new team members and other high-level information that a new team member would find helpful.
  • Configure the SharePoint News connector to post your modern status reports to this channel for announcements.
  • It may be the only channel at first for new or single-purpose teams as you determine how Teams can best support your goals.

The General channel cannot be deleted, renamed, or unfavorited. Channels are listed alphabetically (with the General channel at the top). Hide or Show the channels you use the most in teams with many channels.

Explore the Work in channels tab on the Teams and channels page to learn more.

Setting up moderation in your channels

Set moderation in Microsoft Teams channels
Moderation allows you to control who can access your team and what they can do. This is a great tool for protecting your team and preventing unauthorized access.

Team owners can enable moderation for a channel to control who can start new posts and respond to existing ones. When you enable moderation, you can designate one or more team members as moderators (by default, team owners are moderators).


There are numerous methods for organizing and managing your business in Teams. Use our handy Microsoft Teams best practices list above to get the most out of your Teams.

Most importantly, remember to manage your Teams by setting up channels in the most efficient way for your organization, to learn to manage conversations by outlining basic channel etiquette, to make meetings engaging by incorporating the chat function, and to avoid locking down functionality as this can dull your people’s user experience.

Finally, leaders must champion Microsoft Teams by asking questions and participating in team activities on the platform to determine what works best for everyone. Participate actively in meetings, use email chat, and act in the manner in which you want others to behave.

If you need extra help, you can always contact EmpowerIT to learn the Microsoft Teams best practices.

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