Simplifying Team and Channel Creation in the New Design

A minor but significant shift in attention is being paid to the process of creating new teams and channels amongst the flurry of new features that are showing up in Teams and the move to the new Teams 2.1 client. The change to the way teams are created is explained in Microsoft 365 roadmap item 163364, MC697434, which was most recently updated on January 19, 2024. It is currently accessible everywhere.


In essence, the modification streamlines the process of forming teams by shifting complicated steps like forming teams from pre-existing Microsoft 365 groups or templates to a separate screen that is only accessed when required. It all boils down to naming a new team, outlining its goal, and selecting the level of access (private or public), either with or without a container management sensitivity designation.


Container management labels are the way to go if you want to control how discoverable private teams are. Label settings allow you to regulate how people perceive private teams when they join a team.
Now, on a different screen, are all the other options that enhance but complicate the team creation process. The benefit of streamlining one of the most crucial Teams procedures cannot be disputed, even while organizations who have made significant investments in creating team templates may not welcome the change.


Collaboration via Team Channel May Be the Better Choice

Users who choose to create a channel instead of a team are presented with an introductory screen. The two possibilities are purposefully put side by side. People frequently form teams in situations where they may form a channel. It is hoped that by offering the choice to create a channel in addition to a team, people who were originally planning to form a team would change their minds and elect to form a channel.


Up to 1,000 channels (including deleted channels) can now be supported by a single team. The only constraint is that a team may have a maximum of 30 private channels. Other than that, the channels can be any combination of regular, shared, and private channels.


There is more than enough space on the many channels available for a new channel to conduct discussions on various subjects. A private channel can accommodate up to 250 participants (all of whom must be team members) if further privacy is required. In the event that a broader exchange of information is required, a shared channel can manage both internal and external tenant communications. The newly-added channel archive feature allows you to save the contents of the discussion after it is settled or comes to a natural end.


Reaching 1,000 channels marked a major turning point for the company. Having too many teams can only lead to resource waste, digital trash building up in unused teams and SharePoint sites, and a risk that users will become disoriented in a sea of teams (not all of which are well named or well managed).


Some Future-Related Hints

Speakers from Microsoft revealed during the Microsoft 365 Community Conference in Orlando that channels are currently receiving a lot of attention when considering ways to advance collaboration. Currently, teams own all channel types, however in the future, it might be possible to create a standalone channel that isn't restricted to the resources and membership of a Microsoft 365 group.


Such a shift would put our understanding of Teams to the test, particularly the current one-to-one relationship between a team and a Microsoft 365 group. The existing paradigm still has issues, particularly with regard to app compatibility for shared channels, where Planner is a much-desired but unattainable tool. Perhaps a different kind of channel is required to break the mold. We'll find out eventually.


Decrease the Total Number of Teams Formated for Microsoft 365 Subscribers

It would seem prudent to hold off on forming new teams until absolutely required in the interim. Help users realize that what is essentially an enlarged version of group chat can be done without the full-fledged structured resources that come with a team. Whenever feasible, utilize channels inside teams that already exist. Better channel utilization will likely lessen tenant digital rot, based on prior experience, and the future-oriented clues may help everyone get ready for whatever path Microsoft may have identified for creating the upcoming Teams version.


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