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The 4 Stages of Microsoft Teams Lifecycle Management

August 10, 2021
5.5 min read
The 4 Stages of Microsoft Teams Lifecycle Management
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Microsoft Teams has seen usage grow exponentially over recent years, with around 250 million active users using the service. On top of recent exponential increases in active users, Microsoft Teams is proven to increase worker satisfaction by around 88%, when used correctly.

With every powerful solution comes the need to properly govern its workspaces and files. Microsoft Teams is no exception. If you want to make sure you are using it correctly, you are going to want to gain a greater understand of the lifecycle of a team!

While understanding the lifecycle of a team is an important start, there are many ways things can sprawl out of control. This article will overview the 4 stages of team lifecycle management but to understand the most common sprawl issues and how to solve them, you can download our eBook.

What are the 4 lifecycle management stages?

The lifecycle of a team can broken down into 4 stages.

the 4 stage of teams lifecycle management
The 4 stages of a team’s lifecycle
  • The request stage
  • The provisioning stage
  • The usage and optimization stage
  • The closure, expiration and disposition stage

Understanding how each of these stages work is crucial to proper Microsoft Teams governance.

Requesting a team

Before a team is created, the first step on our journey is to request your team. There is plenty to do before you even add the members. Creating an engaging Microsoft team requires some research.

First things first: you have to set your goal. Determining the purpose of your team will guide you through every single stage of its lifecycle. Whatever the goal is, make sure to take note of it so that you can optimize towards it.

Once you know the goal, you can start compiling a list of who needs to be made a member. Anybody who’s involved in the office 365 group or project will need to be added. A great tip for setting up your team is to try to make sure there are at least two team owners.

Below we have listed key elements you want to hit in the requesting stage.

Microsoft Teams Lifecycle Management  - Requesting Stage

Provisioning the team

You might choose to design your team from scratch. If you prefer not to do that or want your team format to match that of other projects, you can use an existing team as a template. Or, for an existing Microsoft 365 group, you can set up a team that will automatically include all of the members.

Whichever way you choose to do it, you have to know how you’re going to undertake ‘team’ management from this point onwards. Keep in mind that there are over 20 ways to create a Microsoft 365 group and since any Microsoft 365 group could be ‘teamified’ this leads to challenges around how, when, and who creates teams. So often the use of a request, approval, and teams provisioning automation solution might be best (see more on this in our Sprawl eBook).

Once you have established your team add a few relevant channels to start with. These will grow over time but less is more and be strategic at the start.

Below we have listed key elements you want to hit in the provisioning stage.

Microsoft Teams Lifecycle Management  - Provisioning Stage
Key Elements of the Provisioning Stage

Usage and optimization of the team

This usage and optimization stage of the teams’ lifecycle begins almost immediately after the setup. It describes the whole period in which the team is functioning at its optimum, helping your members work together.

During this stage is when most of the overseeing will be done. Managing a team in the usage and optimization stage primarily focuses on making sure that it is a positive contribution to the organization and work culture. This means exploring and experimenting as well as monitoring.

The most important thing a team manager can do during the usage and optimization stage of the team’s life is to ensure it keeps helping progress rather than starting to hinder it. It can be hard to let go of a tool that has worked successfully but eventually, you may reach a natural endpoint for the team.

Below we have listed key elements you want to hit in the usage and optimization stage.

Microsoft Teams Lifecycle Management  - Usage and Optimization Stage
Key Elements of the Usage and Optimization Stage

Closure, expiration and disposition of the team

A vital part of closing a team is to give the members time to save important files and store the information they may need to contact one another for future work. There are several options available as to how you deal with a team that is at the end of its lifecycle.

Some important factors come into play concerning data and security. It is recommended that teams and channels that are no longer needed should be deleted if they contain sensitive or redundant information. There is no need for this to induce anxiety as that process for deletion could be multi-staged.

Once you have passed the notice period you gave to the members, you can delete the team or channel (or archive it in place via permissions or migrate it).

Forget something? For both a team and channel, no problem, at least for the first 30 days after the initial soft delete. This should be enough time to determine that you have all of the necessary information saved elsewhere and the team can be fully erased.

Be aware that deleting a channel does not necessarily remove folders or contents from other areas of the Microsoft 365 suite: this may have to be done separately. If necessary, you can choose to employ expiration or retention policies – more information about when these might be useful can be found here. Keep in mind that while these are a great starting point many organizations go beyond these with their own disposition processes for more escalation control, additional approvals, more steps for the disposition, and more.

Below we have listed key elements you want to hit in the closure, expiration and disposition stage.

Key Elements of the Closure, Expiration, and Disposition Stage

Keeping Your Digital Workplace Organized Is Easy When You Use Our Resources

Looking for more help with lifecycle management? Watch the video below from our CTO and Microsoft MVP, Richard Harbridge, and/or find additional ways to stay on top of your digital workplace by downloading our eBook from the link in the section below.

When groups, sites, teams, files and documents continue to grow, there are many ways your digital workplace can easily sprawl out of control. In fact, Digital Workplace sprawl is a common issue that many organizations face.

To help you understand its impact on your digital workplace, we have compiled 8 of the most common issues we have encountered and provided insight into how to solve them.

Download our eBook
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