Common Teams Mistakes / Teams Worst Practices

Teams is a very powerful tool. But there are many common mistakes I have observed across customers. Here is a list of 50 mistakes – or – worst practices. Make sure you are not committing these Teams mistakes.

This is just a list. I will expand on some of these mistakes as separate articles or videos. If you do not understand a particular topic or have a different opinion, please post it as comments.


This list is in no particular order. 

User level Teams mistakes

These Teams mistakes are mainly due to lack of awareness about features and also due to lack of guidance about which feature to use when.

  1. Continuing to misuse Inbox in spite of using Teams
  2. Starting a new conversation instead of choosing reply
  3. Too many notifications ON
  4. Banner notification is ON
  5. Using Group Chat instead of creating a Team and vice versa
  6. Creating too many Channels
  7. Creating too many private Channels
  8. Forgetting that there are external guests and posting confidential content
  9. Using Teams chat for unofficial purposes (forgetting that everything is archived)
  10. Not realizing that Teams chat and conversations are legal evidence (just like email)
  11. Using Teams for files which should ideally go into OneDrive (and vice versa)
  12. Creating Teams instead of Channels
  13. Creating Private Channels instead of Teams
  14. Not using Planner for shared task list (continuing to use Excel or something else)
  15. Forgetting to check updates in other Tenants
    Thanks Ajay Sanglikar , Technology Strategist, Microsoft for pointing out the duplicate item. Corrected it now… and added another item instead (see no 29)
  16. Not synchronizing Teams files to local drive
  17. Synchronizing only a sub-folder locally (instead of the full document library)
  18. Not using blur background during a video call (if the background is distracting)
  19. Not doing a test call to check audio and video BEFORE joining every meeting.
  20. Not putting yourself on mute while in a call / meeting
  21. Not informing all team members that meeting recording is available for future reference right within Teams
  22. Not realizing that the meeting recording is accessible by ALL team members (not just the ones who attended the meeting)
  23. Not knowing / using the transcript and people timeline feature of stream – which can give you automatic notes and allow you to jump to a particular person speaking (if video of their faces is recorded)
  24. Not knowing / using voicemail facility during a missed call
  25. Not noticing the swipe-up menu on the mobile app
  26. Now knowing that you can see a list of all tasks assigned to you in the Planner – My Tasks tab
  27. Not knowing that Planner tasks can be seen in Outlook calendar automatically
  28. Not noticing the … (ellipsis). These mean more options in today’s modern and mobile app type of user interface.
  29. Not noticing the Plus sign (add a Tab button) in each channel
  30. Keeping people hanging in the lobby while joining the meeting
  31. Not using direct photo capture from Teams mobile app (This is safer as the photo is not stored locally in the mobile device at all)
    Thanks Pooja Rastogi (Microsoft) for the suggestion.

IT level Teams Mistakes

These Teams mistakes are primarily due to lack of understanding that Teams (and Office platform) is designed for enabling people to do more and better rather than for restricting what they can do. Restrictions are often put in an unreasonable and unwarranted manner – just because that is the way IT works. This approach leads to poor adoption, and eventually pathetic ROI.

  1. Not allowing users to create Teams
  2. Blocking External Sharing
  3. Blocking GIFs and Memes
  4. Not installing Teams mobile app
  5. Not installing Planner and ToDo apps
  6. Just focusing on Teams – not on OneDrive (and the rest of the platform)
  7. Continuing with traditional File Shares and Mapped Drives
  8. Blocking all add-ins and connectors
  9. Focusing too much on developing bots / LOB integration (while ignoring the base Teamwork)
  10. Not enabling Channel email IDs
  11. Not implementing banned word list
  12. Not implementing automatic governance policy for managing unused Teams
  13. Using SharePoint in places where Teams is more suited
  14. Using Yammer in places Teams is more suited
  15. Not focusing on Information Protection and focusing too much on Private Channels

Adoption related Teams mistakes (if any)

  1. Not having a long-term approach (only launch-centric plan)
  2. Not having a budget for adoption
  3. Not involving senior management in adoption efforts
  4. Not standardizing common usage practices
  5. Not knowing / using the Teams Broadcast feature for driving adoption through senior management

Related articles

Here is a series of Teams articles I have written so far.
13 at the time of writing this article.

Teams logo to indicate end of the article - Teams mistakes

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