Frequent Microsoft Teams Questions Answered: Creating a New Team vs. Creating a New Channel

Frequent Microsoft Teams Questions Answered: Creating a New Team vs. Creating a New Channel

29 April 2020
Since the shift to remote work began, Microsoft Teams has experienced a tremendous influx of new users. Its functions as a collaboration platform are to reduce internal email volume, improve internal communication, and boost productivity.
For organizations that have just deployed the application, many questions arise regarding its structure. Specifically, many organizations are unclear on when they should create a new team or a new channel, when to make a team public or private, and more.
Having been acquainted with Microsoft Teams since 2017, Prosperoware has vast experience in structuring and governing Microsoft Teams. As such, we’ve developed the most effective practices to help you leverage the best out of Microsoft Teams, so here are a few tips on when to create a Team and when to create a Channel.

Creating a New Team vs. Creating a New Channel

For Microsoft Teams, a Team is the top-level container. When you create a new Team, you automatically create a new SharePoint site and an Office365 group. You can add up to 5,000 members of the Team and customize their permissions.
Channels are second-level containers for Microsoft Teams. A new Channel will have to be under a specific Team as you cannot create stand-alone Channels. Each Channel has a folder in the Team’s SharePoint site, tabs, and a chat. Members of a Team will have access to all Channels within that Team unless you create a private Channel with different security.
So how do you determine which one to create?
Think of a Team as a workspace. They are necessary for new projects or clients or internally for departments, offices, committees, and more. You can create a new Team for various purposes:

  • For projects which contain phases and a specific project team. The phases of a project will be Channels within the Team. The project team

  will store their project-related documents within the Team and collaborate to ensure successful delivery and completion.

  • For departments/practice areas/offices within the organization. The employees within the department will be members and collaborate on

 department-specific work. Department Team can have Channels for general announcements & for each project that the department is working on.

  • For clients that the organization works for on multiple projects. Each project can be a Channel within the Team. Members of the Team are

  people who work on that particular client and collaborate on one or multiple projects.

  • For external collaboration. If your organization intends to collaborate with external parties, such as clients, vendors, or suppliers, it is

  recommended to create a specific Team. The organization can then add internal and external collaborators to the Team, as needed.

Create a new Team when you need the work to be broken down into phases and distributed to specific groups, or when the work is confidential and needs separate security.
As you can see, if Teams are a workspace, Channels are folders within the workspace. Create a new Channel for a specific topic within a Team, a phase within a project, or a project for a client. Channels will be helpful for team communication, storing files for collaboration, and adding relevant tabs.
When it comes to external collaboration, create a Channel within the Team where you have added your external collaborators. If your communication is confidential, you can set Channel security to Private, which indicates that other members of the Team will be unable to access it.
Channels enhance the collaboration within a Team and can help break down larger projects into smaller components for more efficient completion.
If you are an organization having just installed Teams, your first challenge is creating a consistent structure for maximized productivity, with embedded governance. Creating such a structure takes time and resources. To increase the efficiency and governance of Teams, consider engaging in automatic provisioning.

Creating a New Team vs. Creating a New Channel

For Microsoft Teams, a Team is the top-level container. When you create a new Team, you automatically create a new SharePoint site and an Office365 group. You can add up to 5,000 members of the Team and customize their permissions.
Channels are second-level containers for Microsoft Teams. A new Channel will have to be under a specific Team as you cannot create stand-alone Channels. Each Channel has a folder in the Team’s SharePoint site, tabs, and a chat. Members of a Team will have access to all Channels within that Team unless you create a private Channel with different security.
So how do you determine which one to create?
Think of a Team as a workspace. They are necessary for new projects or clients or internally for departments, offices, committees, and more. You can create a new Team for various purposes:

  • For projects which contain phases and a specific project team. The phases of a project will be Channels within the Team. The project team will store their project-related documents within the Team and collaborate to ensure successful delivery and completion.

  • For departments/practice areas/offices within the organization. The employees within the department will be members and collaborate on department-specific work. Department Team can have Channels for general announcements & for each project that the department is working on.

  • For clients that the organization works for on multiple projects. Each project can be a Channel within the Team. Members of the Team are people who work on that particular client and collaborate on one or multiple projects.

  • For external collaboration. If your organization intends to collaborate with external parties, such as clients, vendors, or suppliers, it is recommended to create a specific Team. The organization can then add internal and external collaborators to the Team, as needed.

Create a new Team when you need the work to be broken down into phases and distributed to specific groups, or when the work is confidential and needs separate security.
As you can see, if Teams are a workspace, Channels are folders within the workspace. Create a new Channel for a specific topic within a Team, a phase within a project, or a project for a client. Channels will be helpful for team communication, storing files for collaboration, and adding relevant tabs.
When it comes to external collaboration, create a Channel within the Team where you have added your external collaborators. If your communication is confidential, you can set Channel security to Private, which indicates that other members of the Team will be unable to access it.
Channels enhance the collaboration within a Team and can help break down larger projects into smaller components for more efficient completion.
If you are an organization having just installed Teams, your first challenge is creating a consistent structure for maximized productivity, with embedded governance. Creating such a structure takes time and resources. To increase the efficiency and governance of Teams, consider engaging in automatic provisioning.

How Prosperoware Helps

Prosperoware CAM is an enterprise privacy management platform for content systems, including Microsoft Teams. It improves processes around managing office documents and reduces risks related to privacy and cybersecurity.
CAM provides various capabilities for Microsoft Teams, including:

  • Automatic provisioning of Teams and Channels from an organization’s DMS and Practice or Matter Management Systems.
  • Automatic creation of tabs to DMS web application.
  • Quick application of security, ethical walls, and information barriers.
  • Movement of documents from Teams to your DMS, iManage and NetDocuments, and more.

Find out about our exclusive licensing options for Microsoft Teams here.

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