Creating a Strategy for Channels within Microsoft Teams

Find this Podcast “Creating a Strategy for Channels within Microsoft Teams ” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.

In this Podcast, Creating a Strategy for Channels within Microsoft Teams, we discuss…


1:14Channels in Microsoft Teams
13:02Naming Conventions

Slack to Microsoft 365 Migration Ultimate Guide

Danny Ryan:It’s Tuesday, October 22nd today. I talked with Tommy Ryan about Microsoft team channels and in particular, how do we use them and sort of a strategy around using them? And also, we talked about moving from different platforms over into Microsoft teams’ different platforms that use tags.


Today we’re going to talk about Microsoft teams and in particular strategy around working with channels and along those lines that we’ve been doing a lot of migrations and moving from various platforms over into Microsoft teams, and just wanted to talk in general about channels and what we’ve done what we’ve learned so far and in jump into that.

How’s it going, Tom?


Tommy Ryan:My head is about to explode!


Danny Ryan:I’m catching Tommy at the end of the day and his head’s about to explode. So, this could get exciting ladies and gentlemen, this really could get exciting. So, let’s start off with talking about. In general, which with channels, you know, we may be for folks who are new to teams a little bit.

So each team you have the [00:01:00] opportunity to create channels within that team and I know for us we had a little bit of a discussion and prepping for this sort of like we want to have the right amount of channels and sort of what do we use them for and those types of things and along with that as sort of like how to when you talk about like slack and talk about.

Google and in Gmail tags in those platforms. How does this man sort of how does this map over to Microsoft team? So, let’s just start off with channels in general. So right now, the channels are all they’re all public you’d mention. There’s they’re also they’re moving towards something where we might have private channels and so ability to do things

Tommy Ryan:Yeah.

It’s on the roadmap and we have customers that really care about that and you know, looking forward to incorporating that in how they use teams know kind of the. To back up on teams itself. And you [00:02:00] know, what what’s channel is all about what I find with teams is. teams are a great user interface to take your documents and bring them to life with conversations and over the years with Microsoft. We’ve. Ways of collaborating you have co-authoring and documents got discussion threads that you had in SharePoint and all these things were great ways to have a way to collaborate, but I found that conversations in teams are a great way to really huddle up around a document.

And get work done, you know, it’s not, you know, mine’s a little bit of the groove days of you really felt like you had a team working together around that document. And so, when you have a [00:03:00] team the concept of. The collaboration that you around that shows up in a conversation and conversations show up in a channel and when you create the team for the first time, you’ve got a team with the general Channel and that General Channel allows you to collaborate around these documents and you have this whole stream back and forth with people that allows you to tie.

Conversations directly to that content, but when I’m done with this content and say I said it to somebody these conversations don’t go along with it. So, you don’t have to strip out the comments in the document. You don’t have to do any cleanup around that those conversations are tied to what you have in your document repository that’s tied to the document.

And so. Conversations are a key concept within a channel and really a big part [00:04:00] of how you make decisions around. Well, how many channels should I have why created another Channel because I’m given a channel like create that team for the first time and then my view and I look at it is I want to have a high signal.

Noise ratio when I’m doing collaboration and when I’m navigating around and teams, and so if I have a general Channel and I have a whole bunch of different subgroups within the team having these conversations that I really don’t care about then I’m going to want to start separating it out and saying.

So maybe for a project team, I’ve got a project management Channel or a testing Channel or a developer Channel just thinking of where like people are coming together to have conversations that I know I can hop over into [00:05:00] and that’s where I’m going to get a lot of. Good use of my time, you know looking at conversations within a team.

Danny Ryan:So that you’re there. You were like little thinking of like a channel per roll like


Tommy Ryan:That’s one way of looking at it a channel parole another way to look at it is how do you get work done? And one of my roles that I play is being in sales and we have this. These teams called it count teams and when we go help a customer, there’s an initiative there, you know say a job to SharePoint migration and that initiative will be one or more projects to get that done.

And as I work with the delivery team and our finance team and come together and get its o w done, I need. People to come in and help me and I don’t want them to be bogged [00:06:00] down with other initiatives. I have at that account. I want them to come and help me with this initiative. So, if I have a channel per initiative, that’s a great way to segment the conversations and then also my accounts.

I have kind of a general contracts area. And that just contracts area has things like an MSA maybe some vendor agreement document some you know, some terms that are generic across everything I do with that client. Well, I’m going to put it in that General agreements Channel and that’s where eyes account manager will be in there and then maybe someone in finance or being there but people that are delivering projects.

Maybe they never touch that the only way they get involved with in that account. Is within an opportunity that there are helping scope out. So, it really, I look at as ways of, you know channels typically segment the [00:07:00] conversation. So, when someone comes in, they don’t get lost in the Clutter of everything that happens within that team you have some teams that they’re small enough and there’s.

There’s not a lot of frequency of conversations that take place that you want to keep it simple. Maybe you just use the general Channel and that serves the purpose of occasionally when you come in here and collaborate in the team itself is enough of a boundary to say this is valuable for our this team to come in and work on conversations in one place.

Danny Ryan:Yeah, I know. There’s been times that which I’m like I can’t remember where I put something in which channel, I put it in. So, I use search to sort of try to find it and then I find where I put it so sometimes it’s an it’s a little bit of a, you know, using the free text search just to find where I


Tommy Ryan:I think that’s the no today for me.

I think you get to a certain threshold of teams that that navigation. On the left [00:08:00] that allows you to navigate through teams and channels becomes useless for me. I put my top teams at the top of my navigation. I have expanded maybe three teams and then everything else. I need to get to within the team.

I am going to search for it within that free text search of the top and what comes into play. Within an organization is standardization around how you name things because we have account codes. Certain client has said a three- or four-letter abbreviation for that account. Well, I can find projects for that account.

I can find sales opportunities for that account. And so, when I know I need to go and look for something I won’t go through the navigation or start typing a short code or I know that you know, something has its a. You know, it’s [00:09:00] a migration for that account. So are put in the short code and the word migration and it’ll bring me to that right team and channel.

Danny Ryan:It’s almost like you’re tagging it because you’ve got a certain code.


Tommy Ryan:… got a naming convention.


Danny Ryan:.. a naming convention for it. So, you’re searching doing free text search for that naming convention. And that’s your sort of way of tagging it.


Tommy Ryan:Yes.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, that makes sense. Along the lines of tagging. I know where when people are migrating moving off of like a platform that does have tagging and then trying to somewhat map it over to the more of like the hierarchical folder base world of teams. And you know, it’s it looks like we’re what you have to do is you sort of have to take it and make a. Make a mapping and move it to one place, but then it sort of like a combination of I’ve moved it to that one place along with using search to actually find [00:10:00] different things. It seems like a combination of the twos and what you end up having to do with and teams
Tommy Ryan:And teams is you know today it. Has a little bit of that Legacy of the mindset of you. No folders is how you organize and you can even think of it, you know, the channels is another way of, you know, you’re deciding where it goes and when you create a new channel, you see that manifested within SharePoint as there’s a new folder in the root of the file the documents library that you have for that team and so.

When you segment things teams, really gravitates towards folders as a way to organize around that and where is a challenge that we were talking about earlier today. Are tags allowing you to put information in more than one place. Did I do see in the roadmap that tags are on the road [00:11:00] map. So that’s going to come later. And so, you can say augment that information and by tagging it so you can quote put it in more than one place virtually to find information.

Danny Ryan:Yeah, I mean if it’s going to since we have something in ship .44, what was it called? Taxonomy? She’s within SharePoint. Yeah, it sorts of had.
Tommy Ryan:Managed metadata


Danny Ryan:managed metadata. That’s it. And then Yammer has its own, you know has tagging as well. I mean, it’s just it’s going to. It’ll be theirs. Yeah, eventually will be there. But right now, it’s just sort of like you’re dealing with the fact that Allah often content has to do with a number of different topics. And then how do you find that later on tagging seems to seem to be the sort of the prototypical way. Doing that in searching for tags, and I think for the time being what we’re what we’re saying is yeah, you get it into the [00:12:00] appropriate hierarchy. You try to keep it in the general. You don’t get any more complex than it needs to be use the general Channel as much as you can, and you use free textured along with that to find what you. To what we want to find the information that you need to.


Tommy Ryan:And I think one thing that we have to keep in mind is teams is for team collaboration.


Danny Ryan:Yeah. It’s yeah getting..


Tommy Ryan:getting information created so it can go to its next step in its life.


Danny Ryan:Cycle.


Tommy Ryan:some things that we do, and I always put it through the sales lens because a lot of things that I do or related to that is when I’m getting an S. So, w. It eventually has to land in the contract’s library and with the sign file that it has a certain structure and Convention to make it very easily discoverable. But that work in progress of getting work done [00:13:00] within teams. Naming conventions is going to be important and you know having some repeatability of I do this the same way within like teams within the same kind of classification of a team. And then when that information is created, there’s a pro, you know, post processing step that maybe this becomes knowledge and now that it’s knowledge. It’s a finished. Version one of the documents that needs to live beyond the quick swarming around getting that content created. It goes into another place to live long term that maybe has a managed metadata structure around it that makes it easier to discover through search and navigation.


Danny Ryan:Yep. Yeah, and I think this gets back into the this is probably a good place to wrap up. I mean, sorry gets bit gets back into. The fact that Microsoft 365 has a number of different places where you’re putting content teams is one is [00:14:00] one place that enables for these small team small to mid-size team collaborations, but some of that content is going to be in SharePoint some of its going it up is records and some other location, but you’re really using a combination of the different services that are available inside of. Instead of Microsoft 365 and I think what ends up happening is like with most things you’re you know, there’s been a lot of a lot of focus recently on teams. And so, you sort of try to use it for as many use cases that you can but then in the end, you’re using it in combination with the other products that are available from Microsoft 365. And it’s also it’s also just a reminder as well. How important search is to all this stuff as well.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah that that was just talking about that today was someone else is you know, we’re on this journey. We’re helping a ton of people get into the platform and then getting into the platform you’ve got to do some [00:15:00] information architecture around how things are going to be structured where you going to put things and then you’re going to get work done within that platform. And then you’re going to try to find stuff and we’re..


Danny Ryan:we’re not quite there. But we’re getting some customers


Tommy Ryan:on that Journey that are starting to talk about. Well, what’s my search strategy now that I’m getting adoption of the platform. I’ve got most of my stuff migrated over there. We’ve got to find it.


Danny Ryan:it awesome. I appreciate these little conversations because I think it helps me ask me practically when I’m working with like in this case working with teams and hopefully helps our listeners as well as their sort of thinking through moving from other platforms, like Slack and G-Suite over into a utilizing Microsoft 365 and in particular utilizing Microsoft Teams, so thanks for taking some time out of your busy day.


Tommy Ryan:Sure. This is always good always enjoy. Thanks


Danny Ryan:Thanks everyone for listening and have a wonderful day. [00:16:00] Bye.


Danny RyanCreating a Strategy for Channels within Microsoft Teams

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.