How we adopted Microsoft Teams – part two

We started using Microsoft Teams at Breadcrumb about two years ago. Although it was easy to get started, there was still a learning curve so in this series of three articles I will share our firsthand experience and answer the following questions:

Part two: How do we structure Microsoft Teams?

In part one of this article series we covered how we use Microsoft Teams. In this article I will talk about how we organise our teams within Teams!

Setting up the right ‘teams’ is one of the key steps to ensuring the successful long-term use of Teams. Read my article on Using Teams to create a team-centred workplace for an explanation on how Teams is structured.

We established a simple structure that supports effective collaboration and communication without clutter and noise.

Here’s how we structure Teams at Breadcrumb:

Company team

The ‘Breadcrumb team’ is all about our internal processes. It is a public team and every employee is a member. We use the team for social collaboration, office management, task management and notifications for announcements like a new HR policy or fire alarm testing. Anything and everything that is happening in our company is discussed in this team.

Project teams

Most of our teams are for projects. We create separate teams for each project, and this brings two important things. Firstly, it allows us to manage team members and add only people who are engaged in a project. Secondly, document management becomes seamless, because everything related to a project is stored in one location.

We create channels in the project teams to represent phases or specific activities. Channels allow us to have more focused conversations and store any related documents in a separate folder within the project library. We find this approach beneficial for large and long-running projects as it keeps Teams organised and easy to navigate.

Knowledge base team

This is a team where we accumulate and share our knowledge. Here we discuss new functionality, share product updates and solutions, ask for peer advice and troubleshoot issues. We are always looking for new and better ways of doing things, so a repository of helpful links and materials makes it easier to find a solution when it’s needed.

We create channels specific to a product or topic, for example, we have a channel just for Teams. Thus, information is grouped logically and more importantly we can share information with people who are interested in a specific topic.

Other teams

Over time, we also realised that there is a need for teams dedicated to specific business processes or organisational divisions. The need for such teams was dictated by either a necessity to restrict access to some documents or to create a collaboration space for a group of people with a set of specific tasks.

For example, we have a business development team. As it follows from the name, this team is a dedicated space for tasks and processes related to sales and the successful growth of our company. This team is private, meaning only people who are invited to this team can view conversations and access documents.

Other examples are teams for our developers and designers. These teams are collaboration spaces for people working closely together and sharing assets. Developers, for example, have their templates, reference documents and checklists. These assets are different from the assets shared by designers so the developers have their team where they have the freedom to organise things in a way that suits them.

In summary

The initial transition to Teams required some experimentation because there are no strict rules about how to structure Teams. It’s not always obvious the best way forward, but fortunately, it’s easy enough to reorganise if you find it’s not working.

Over time we found a formula for our Teams and learned some key principles that we use for configuring Teams for our clients. Check out part three to learn about our top tips for using and managing Microsoft Teams.

Is your company or workplace interested in using Microsoft Teams? Get in contact with us and we will help you out.