Why You Should Invest in Training Your Team Owners for Microsoft Teams

Posted by Melissa Hubbard on December 20, 2018

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Team Owners are a very important part of a Microsoft Teams deployment. They are the people that are in a position to encourage team members to use Microsoft Teams and help them when they have questions. Team Owners also have access to team settings that when configured in an unthoughtful way can confuse and frustrate team members therefore hurting user adoption. 

For these reasons it is imperative that an investment is made in training team owners. Let’s discuss in further detail.

Access to Team Settings That Directly Impact the User Experience

Microsoft Teams is a digital workplace business application that has a vast number of features that can be configured and turned on and off. This allows  organizations to use Microsoft Teams in the way that works for them, and functionality that is not needed or they don’t want to be used can be shut off. There are several different roles within Microsoft Teams that have access to varying settings, some that apply to all of the teams in the Office 365 tenant and some that just apply to a single team. These roles include; Office 365 Administrator, Teams Service Administrator, Teams Communications Administrator, and Team Owner. Configurations set at the Office 365 tenant level trump settings made at the team level.

The default settings for Microsoft Teams allow for ANY user to create a team. When a user creates a team, they become the Team Owner by default. This gives them access to many team settings that greatly impact the user experience for all members of the team.  A lot of organizations have chosen to restrict who can create teams, and then choose qualified individuals to be Team Owners.

Team Owners are in control of adding and removing members to a team, meaning they are responsible for knowing who should or shouldn’t be able to access the files and content, including guests. Team Owners also set the team members' permissions for channels, tabs, and connectors. The settings for @mentions for the team and channels, as well as GIFs and memes are also in the hands of the Team Owners. If there are team expiration policies set by the Office 365 Administrator, the Team Owner will be responsible for renewing the team.

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All of these team settings are very important to the functionality of Microsoft Teams. Changing these settings, especially restricting permissions for team members, will confuse users. Team Owners need to be trained on their responsibilities and best practices for being a team owner to ensure that everyone gets the most value out of the application.

An Example and Source of Knowledge for Team Members

When Team Owners are active in their teams and helping team members when they have questions there will be greater user adoption of the tool. Team members need to have a ‘go-to person’ when they hit roadblocks or have questions on how to use Microsoft Teams. Often there are questions about where to store which types of files, when to send a chat message vs. a conversation message, following channels, how to add a tab, etc. The Team Owner should be the first line of support in these situations because ideally, they will be spending a lot of time working in their teams and will have an understanding for how it is being used.

Team Owners are able to encourage and engage team members to be active in Microsoft Teams. One way they can do this is by @ mentioning them in conversations, forcing the individual to pay attention to what is going on or risk missing out on important information. Another way is to add a Planner tab to a channel and start using it to track team tasks.

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When Team Owners are paying attention to the needs of their team members, they will be able to identify opportunities to use Microsoft Teams to be more effective and solve business problems. Investing in your Team Owners is well worth it when you consider the impact they can have on your Microsoft Teams implementations.

Withum Digital’s experience and tools can help you accelerate your Microsoft Teams adoption. Give us a call today at (240) 406-9960 or click here to learn more about our Teams Assessment offer.

Topics: Office 365, microsoft teams

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Melissa Hubbard

Melissa is an Office 365 and SharePoint consultant at Withum who specializes in simplifying and automating business processes using Flow and SharePoint Designer. She is experienced in managing projects throughout the entire lifecycle as well as developing and implementing SharePoint and Office 365 solutions.

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