With everybody jumping into using Microsoft Teams with both feet, it’s likely by now that you or your clients have realized that as standard, anybody can create a Team. It is also likely that there is potentially a lot of housekeeping to do to get rid of some Teams or create some processes to help keep things neat and tidy. I’m going to show you some of the best tips & tricks to keep Microsoft Teams from getting cluttered and out of hand.
First of all, let’s talk about some healthy practices with Microsoft Teams. There are no set ways that you should configure your environment, but here’s some tips anyway! If you want to simply get to the tidy-up methods, skip down below.
Within Teams, select the Help icon at the bottom left and select ‘Whats New’ to keep up to date with the latest changes from Microsoft like Together Mode and pop out Chat/Meetings, 3×3 mode and much more!
- Create Policies – You can create policies within the Teams Admin Center to restrict a lot of elements in Teams, for example, who can create them. Who can send messages within a certain team and much more. Letting your users simply download Microsoft Teams and sign in isn’t considered a planned deployment.
- Consider using Direct Routing or Calling Plans – If you’re looking to really adapt to Teams or supply it to your clients, understanding how these functions work is key. Check out my article on this here.
- Consider Azure AD Premium – The P2 subscription will allow you to create Access Reviews – You can use P2 features to force Teams owners to confirm every X months that their Team is still in use and required. Anything not approved by the Team Owners is automatically archived.
- Microsoft recommend defining a Team as a group trying to achieve a common goal – This might help to consolidate a lot of Teams for example if you have a Team trying to complete a project, you could create channels within the Team for different departments (you can create private channels now for sensitive conversations)
Finding Inactive Teams
Now we’re back from that tangent, let’s get down to it.
Teams Activity Report
Head over to the Teams Admin Center and browse to ‘Analytics & Reports’ on the burger menu and select ‘Usage Reports’.
Select ‘Teams Usage’ and the reporting period (7 Days, 30 Days or 90 Days) and run the report. Once the report generates, you can hit the excel icon and export it to CSV format. This will give you a good idea of which Teams and SharePoint sites have been accessed and the frequency, including how many messages are sent via these Teams.
Without getting too technical in an informational post, somebody over in TechNet has made this script. Running this script in PowerShell will first check for prerequisites (You first need to connect to Exchange Online, then Teams online and then SharePoint Online all in the same window and then call the script with a .\scriptname.ps1
What this will then do is run through a list of all your Office 365 Groups telling you if they’re associated with Teams and SharePoint sites and the conversations and accessed dates of the sites. I found that it ran an export at the end of the script, but as it automatically generates a HTML file, I had to create a C:/temp folder in order for the HTML file to be created.
3rd Party Tools
I’d like to stress that I’m in no way an affiliate or associated with them, but ShareGate offer a service called Apricot which offers a free trial by connecting into your Office 365 tenant and allowing you to run reports in a very easy and clean GUI. The reports are exportable before your trial runs out but as a product I think it’s fantastic in making life easy, even if not so cheap to appeal to the smaller market.
As Microsoft Teams continues to grow, it looks like we’re getting more and more functionality and hopefully there will be some retention-based reporting/scripting baked-in at some point in the future that makes all of this unnecessary but for now, getting familiar with the reporting and PowerShell scripts are a must.