In the never-ending search for a good governance plan, it sometimes helps to look at the lifecycle model within an organization.

Microsoft Teams has been around for over a year now, with an uptick in growth and implementations across the globe rising. What's been lacking in all of this is a good way to manage the collaboration application. Do governance models that were implemented with applications such as SharePoint hold up against Teams? In my opinion, no. Because of the nature of Teams, with its Skype features and capabilities which go far beyond just document storage, new rules around governance are needed.

If you think about your organization and how you manage this application, the default would be to look at how you manage it on the organizational level. For SharePoint, the question centered more who can create or request a new site. But if we also look at how an owner or even members should behave in a Team, more detail is needed.

Rethinking Governance Models for Teams

For an application such as Teams, I think we need a whole new way of looking at our governance model: the direction of the lifecycle of a Team. Because most Teams are created for projects, with most of them having relatively short timeframes, a higher stream of throughput is there. Which is why we need to include the different ways lifecycle has an impact on a Team: the creation, the life and the end.

The model below has the lifecycle on the X axis: starting from the creation of a Team, the collaboration that takes place inside it, until the point the Team can be archived or deleted.

The Y axis has the three levels of governance: starting from how a person interacts with the application, to how a Team should behave, to how Teams are managed inside the organization.

governance blocks

This leaves you with a diagram of nine governance blocks, each of which deserve an answer as to how they should be managed. Let's break them down by stages.

Related Article: Digital Governance vs. Office 365 Governance: Which Do You Need?



Who can create a Team? How can users create or request a Team? Do you want to allow everyone to create a new Team? Do you want to create a request form with an approval? Or trust your employees to handle the decisions for themselves ?


What do we want to have in a Team? Which bots or third party solutions do we want to allow in it?


When do I create a Team? Can I find some guidelines in the organization as to what it is and how I can use it?

Learning Opportunities



How do you manage Teams in your organization? What are the metrics you want to report on? How do you measure the success of a Team?


As an owner, how do you manage your Team? How do you decide who can join or who needs to leave? What channels and tabs do you create? How do you want to work with external users? Where do you keep your meeting notes?


How do I engage in conversations, meetings and documents? What kind of etiquette rules are in place? Is it OK to use memes and gifs?



How can you make sure relevant documents and knowledge are saved when a Team is deleted?


When is it OK to archive or delete my Team?


How can I make sure I still have access to my relevant documents when a Team is deleted?

Answer these questions, and your governance plan for Microsoft Teams will make sense on all levels: organization, Team owners and members.

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