Org-wide teams and their purpose

If you start working with Microsoft Teams and you create your first teams, you will think about if you need a private team where you can manage who gets access or if you want to create an open community where everybody can join the discussion. But what about the third option with “org-wide teams”?

Create a new team for the whole organization

What is an org-wide team?

Org-wide teams are quite close to public teams because everybody can get the information shared in this team. Public teams offer the option for everybody to become a team member but you don’t need to join these kind of teams. They are intended for open communities and to support teamwork across departmental boundaries.

Org-wide teams are intended for global usage. That’s why all active users of your tenant except of guest users and service accounts or resources will be added as a team member, if you create a new org-wide team.

Use an org-wide team for mandatory information for your whole organization

What is the purpose of an org-wide team?

You could work with an org-wide team in the same way as with every other public team. You can create different channels and add the needed additional services like Planner or Stream. But due to the limit of currently a maximum number of five org-wide teams in your tenant, we should talk about the purpose of this kind of teams.

Extension or replacement of your intranet?

Do you have an intranet in your organization and what is its purpose? Most of my customers have an intranet based on SharePoint. Can an org-wide team replace their current intranet? Probably not. But maybe it can be an useful extension. If you have a classic publishing intranet in SharePoint and if you want to offer the possibility to discuss certain news with all employees and to inform them about these news via a notification, you can create a post in Teams for this scenario. The post can even be done automatically with a Flow during the publishing process in SharePoint.

Troubleshooting & maintenance windows

If there are for example some technical problems and you need to inform everybody in the company without delay, it will be helpful to have implemented an org-wide team with a channel “IT-Service News” (see above image) where you can post this message and all users will get a notification about this important information. Maybe, you can get some hints from the other users which help you to solve the problem and to achieve the solution much faster.

Ad-hoc teamwork

Per default, every user can create a new team. If you don’t have an other solution to avoid tons of teams, you can provide an org-wide team for ad-hoc teamwork which will be limited to a single channel. Every user can create a channel for his needs and has a central location for his conversation and documents. It’s quite easy for everybody because nobody needs to manage permissions and in many cases you only want to work together on some documents and discuss several topics. After finishing your work, you can move the results to an other location and delete the channel.

I recommend to provide as few org-wide teams as possible. If you provide more than one org-wide team, they should have a clearly separated purpose. And if in doubt, you should work without org-wide teams.

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