The COVID-19 outbreak has put modern workplace apps to the test. This is especially the case with modern collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams. In this blog post, we’ll look at a few Microsoft Teams governance challenges and address how to overcome them. These issues are always prevalent, but our advice may be particularly useful to organizations that are currently ramping up their remote working capabilities.
Modern collaboration put to the test
In the cloud-powered digital workplace, collaboration apps play an essential role in bringing people, processes, and systems together. For employees to be able to work anywhere, anytime and on any device, modern collaboration must be quick, easy, and reliable. Employees on different continents need to be able to collaborate as easily as those in the same office.
That’s why collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams offer the following features:
- Instant messages and chats
- Meetings via video calls
- File sharing
- Real-time document editing
- Integration with other tools and apps
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every area of society. Businesses and their employees are now more reliant on the functionality listed above than ever before. However, with more activity on Teams, more users logging in every day, more conversations happening and more meetings taking place, the risks to IT governance have grown.
There’s a need for greater scrutiny of the processes that govern Microsoft Teams. For instance:
- What is the process for creating teams and channels?
- Who in your organization has permission to create teams and channels?
- Who has access to these channels?
- Who controls access to teams?
If you can set up processes for Teams governance correctly, then you can help your employees to communicate and collaborate more productively.
Managing your Teams processes with process automation
Process automation is one tool that you can use to enhance Microsoft Teams.There are a wide range of process automation types—including process mapping, workflow automation, robotic process automation, document generation and more.
Here, we’re going to focus on how you can use workflow automation to help manage Microsoft Teams governance.
Questions to ask about Microsoft Teams governance
How can you better manage processes around Teams governance? There are three questions to ask yourself:
Do you know the difference between teams and channels?
In a recent webinar, Nintex + Microsoft Teams = Better Together, Mathew Johnson, Senior Sales Engineer at Nintex defines both what Teams and channels are.
He says: “Teams are a way of connecting people that share something in common.” That might mean people who are working on the same project, operating from the same location, or reporting to the same manager. Then there are channels that sit within those teams. As Mathew puts it, “Channels exist to provide an area for focused conversations, collaboration, and file sharing”.
So, it’s important to know the differences and which one should be used at a particular point in time.
How do you organize teams and channels?
It’s worth taking the time to figure out how you are going to use and organize those teams and channels. If you don’t have the right ones in place, then Microsoft Teams won’t be of value to your employees. At the same time, too many teams and channels can be overwhelming and confusing.
Mathew advises: “It’s good practice to create a team for each internal function, for example, marketing, HR, and legal. Within those teams you can then create distinct channels for collaboration topics. You can also create teams for each client or customer or around a particular client project.”
But what’s important is that there’s a system in place and a process to govern how that system is managed.
Have you set up a way to review access controls?
You also need to understand how access controls around these processes work. Microsoft Teams does not put any restrictions on who can create a new team. Unless you lock it down, any user in your organization will be able to.
Mathew highlights why this is problematic, but explains that each organization is responsible for the level of control they put in place: “This can create significant challenges to the security team and the IT team around the administration of Office 365. But it can also empower your employees to collaborate. As an organization, you need to decide which approach works best for your employees, customers and IT administrators.”
Nintex + Microsoft Teams = better together
Let’s look at an example of how Nintex can help you manage the processes governing Microsoft Teams. The example we’ll use is a workflow to automate the process around creating new teams and archiving them.
It works as follows:
An employee wants to set up a new team. They have to send a formal request to be reviewed by their manager so that it meets governance requirements.
First, they access a branded Nintex Form to submit a request to create a new team. The form provides options to choose the team’s name, description, who is added to the team, and you can create channels, too.
It also lets you select an archive policy: 30 days, 90 days or 180 days. This ensures that the team is reviewed after a certain amount of time. Is it still active, still being used or is it lying inactive, just taking up space?
The form is sent to a manager or whoever is designated to oversee new teams. The manager receives an email with the request, and they can quickly approve or reject in one click. If it requires closer inspection or if they want to include more information, they can access another Nintex Form to do so. If everything looks satisfactory and the manager gives the OK, then the team’s space will be created automatically using Nintex workflow automation.
After a predetermined period of time, it’s time for review. This is initiated automatically, sending an email to the relevant people. If it’s decided that it should be archived, then this is also carried out automatically using workflow automation.
Better Microsoft Teams governance
The example above is just one way that Nintex and Microsoft Teams can work together to improve communication and collaboration. But with the wide array of tools available with the Nintex Platform, you can use Nintex to streamline processes across Office 365 and beyond.
Modern collaboration centres on empowering your employees to work better together – with Nintex you can unleash their productivity while ensuring governance is taken care of too.
To learn how Nintex can help your organization embrace modern collaboration and improve Microsoft Teams governance, get in contact today.