Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool for teamwork and collaboration that has transformed the landscape of digital work. You can create and join teams (groups of people and their shared tools and work), chat with others within and beyond your organization, share and manage files, and much more. However, to make the most of Teams, you need to configure some settings and permissions for your team on a case-by-case basis. In this blog post, I will highlight five important settings to consider for each of your teams in Microsoft Teams.
Not a team owner (yet)? Share these topics with whoever is or keep them in mind for your future teams. I’ll cover:
- Team name and description
- Team privacy
- Team members and owners
- Team channels and tabs
- Team notifications and mentions
1. Team name and description
The team name and description are the first things that people see when they browse or search for teams. They should be clear, concise, and informative. You can change the team name and description by going to the team name, clicking More options | Edit team, and typing in the new name and description.
Consider using a naming convention to make it clear which region, department, audience, etc. a team belongs to. For example, perhaps an EXT_ prefix will always preceed teams with external participants. Learn more about team naming conventions here: The Importance of a Teams Naming Convention | Microsoft Learn
You can also add a team picture to make your team more instantly recognizable.
2. Team privacy
The team privacy determines who can see and join your team. You can choose from two options: public or private. A public team is visible to anyone in your organization, and anyone can join it without approval. A private team is only visible to team members, and people need to request to join it or be invited by a team owner. You can change the team privacy by going to the team name, clicking More options | Edit team, and selecting the privacy option.
3. Team members and owners
The team members and owners are the people who belong to your team. The team members can chat, share files, and participate in meetings. The team owners can manage the team settings and permissions, add or remove members, and delete the team. You can add or remove team members as well as promote or demote roles (i.e. from member to owner) by going to the team name, clicking More options | Manage team, and selecting the Members tab.
4. Team channels and tabs
The team channels and tabs are the spaces where you can have conversations and access tools within your team. The team channels are typically organized by topics, projects, or departments. You can create standard channels that are open to everyone in the team, or private channels that are only accessible to a subset of team members. You can add or remove team channels by going to the team name, clicking More options | Add channel or More options | Manage team, and selecting the Channels tab. Note that the General channel comes with every team and cannot be deleted.
You can also edit individual channel names, descriptions, and whether or not it’s shown or hidden by clicking More options | Edit this channel.
The team tabs along the top of each channel are the shortcuts to your favorite apps and tools within a channel. You can add tabs for a Planner board, a Power BI dashboard, a OneNote notebook, and more. You can add or remove team tabs by going to a channel, clicking the + sign at the top, and choosing the app or tool you want to add.
You can also reorder the tabs by dragging and dropping them, or delete the tabs by selecting it’s dropdown arrow and choosing Remove.
5. Team notifications and mentions
The team notifications and mentions are two ways to stay updated and alert your team members. The team notifications are the alerts that you receive when something happens in your team, such as a new message, a new file, or a new meeting. You can customize your team notifications by going to Settings and more (…) and then Settings | Notifications, and choosing the notification level and sound for each activity.
The team mentions are the tags that you use to get someone’s attention in a conversation. You can mention a person, a channel, a tag, or the whole team by typing @ followed by their name. The team mentions help you communicate effectively and efficiently with your team.
Learn about all four ways to @ mention in Teams, and when to use which, in my other post (includes video): 4 ways to @mention in Microsoft Teams to get attention on your posts and replies
You can also send a message as important, indicating visually that it’s a high priority.
Learn about more permissions and settings
There are, of course, many more than 5 settings to consider for each of your teams. While I have highlighted specific topics and considerations, I encourage you to keep learning with these resources: