I noticed that many organizations do not allow users to create teams Microsoft Teams. This is a disaster. This defeats the purpose of teamwork. In this article I will discuss the common objections and concerns behind blocking user creation of teams. I will also provide solutions to address these concerns. (Reading time 5 minutes).
- User education. Users need to know that Teams is to be used for official work and all data is archived as well as discoverable. This increases accountability.
- Recycle unused teams using Azure AD Groups Expiration Policy to automatically delete unwanted groups.
- Use Azure AD Groups Naming policy to prevent misuse of team names.
- Focus more on enhancing effective usage rather than making the creation process cumbersome.
- It is fair to block very junior staff from creating teams. But beyond a certain level in the organization, you should trust employees to do the right things.
Disadvantage of blocking Teams creation
Users will create chat groups to manage teamwork. This will lead to large-scale confusion and chaos. Group chat is NOT the right way to manage a project. That is why the “teams” part of Teams exist. Chat is for ad-hoc work and teams are for structured work. That is why both features should be available to users. Teach them which approach to use when and leave them alone. Trust them.
Too many teams will get created and it will be a mess
This is a common concern. There is a simple solution for it. In Azure AD, you can set recycling and automatic deletion of unwanted teams. The recycling period is configurable. Few days before the automatic deletion, the team owners get a mail to check if they want to extend the site. If they don’t respond, the site is deleted. Simple and effective.
Users will create teams with some reserved, objectionable or misleading names
Customers are worried that people will use names like “CEO office”, “HR”, “Incentives”, product names unofficially while creating teams. The solution is to configure Teams with automated prefix / suffixes. This way, user created team names are never used in isolation. Problem solved.
Too many teams will finish off the SharePoint storage quota
You already know the solution. Automatic purging of idle teams releases the space wasted by unused teams.
Users will misuse Teams for criticizing the company or its management
If employees want to voice their opinion about anything they find objectionable, they have many other methods available. They are not waiting to create Teams for this purpose. The solution is to inform all users that Teams data – chat, meeting recordings, conversations, files, etc. is stored and discoverable as per regulatory and compliance requirements. They are smart enough not to use it for anything which will land them in trouble and hold them accountable for some objectionable activity.