Organisations have leveraged Microsoft Teams in a number of ways since the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to move to a remote working environment. Microsoft Teams is included in most organisations’ existing Microsoft 365 licences, so it made sense to start using its powerful features to keep physically distanced colleagues connected and collaborative.
Indeed, Teams has seen a massive increase in users as a result of the pandemic. From 20 million users in November 2019, Teams currently has 250 million monthly active users  . A small part of this increase can be attributed to Microsoft’s pre-COVID-19 plan to replace Skype for Business with Teams; however, the clear driver for the increase was the fact that businesses needed to quickly find a way to facilitate collaboration when employees couldn’t meet in the office.
Because most businesses needed to pivot to Teams very quickly, and because the software doesn’t attract additional licence fees, most organisations have implemented it without a lot of consideration for governance or management. This means that employees have had free reign to use the solution in the ways that suit their individual working styles. While this may seem positive on the surface, the ultimate effect is that individualistic use of Teams creates information silos and duplicate workloads.
Without governance, Teams can create extra work that impacts productivity.
1. There is no control over the creation of teams within Teams
Users can create multiple teams within the application, leading to information sprawl and confusion. The more teams that are created, the more siloed information becomes, with different document repositories associated with different teams locations.
In some cases, organisations may prefer to restrict the ability to create teams so that only supervisors and managers can create teams. This can prevent unnecessary teams from being created and ensure the application is being used in a streamlined and efficient way. However, the restricted teams creation can cause hindrance to employee productivity. In order to minimise this, the organisations can choose a hybrid governance approach.
2. Content is duplicated due to duplicate teams
With everyone able to create their own Teams location and upload information to that location, the end result is many silos, multiple copies of documents, and significant version control issues. Consolidating information becomes difficult and workers can struggle to understand which document is the most correct, valuable version.
3. There is no control over documents and chats within Teams
One of the useful features of Teams is the ability to conduct group chats. It is possible to create ad hoc group chats for groups of people collaborating on a small, quick task. However, many users aren’t aware of this and, instead, create a whole new, separate team within Teams just so they can have a group chat. Doing this triggers a number of related actions such as creating SharePoint repositories and email addresses, creating complexity and bloating the system.
4. It can be challenging for users to find the right team to engage
When users can create teams at will, the sheer number and variety of teams within Teams can become overwhelming. This can make it difficult for workers to see which team they should engage with. Engaging with the wrong team can mean that users miss out on important information, fail to complete essential tasks, and compromise both their own productivity and the project itself.
5. Users cannot find information easily
In many cases, users create teams within Teams and then don’t know how to effectively structure their content around workflows and project requirements. This can result in workers struggling to manage content effectively, creating inefficiencies and frustration. This can eventually lead to employees choosing not to use Teams, which defeats the purpose of having such a powerful application. This challenge can be overcome by creating templates that map to the organisation’s key workflows, automatically providing the right structure for each project.
Governance is valuable for organisations using Teams because it ensures the application delivers maximum value and doesn’t become overly bloated or complex.
Konica Minolta offers assistance with Microsoft Teams governance by:
To find out how Konica Minolta can help your business gain maximum value from Teams and increase overall collaboration, productivity, and efficiency, contact the team today.