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Extending your Information Architecture to Microsoft Teams

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Session from SharePointFest Seattle, Aug 22nd, 2019, presented by Microsoft RD + MVP Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet). Content updated from previous versions of this session.
One of the collaboration strengths of Microsoft Teams is its relatively simple hierarchy, focused on improving small team (inner loop) collaboration and communication. However, organizations still need to be thoughtful about how they align their broader information architecture (IA).

This session outlines the core tenets of your SharePoint IA, how these translate across Microsoft Teams, and how Teams impacts your long-term IA strategy.

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Extending your Information Architecture to Microsoft Teams

  1. 1. Extending your Information Architecture to Microsoft Teams Christian Buckley Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC Microsoft RD & MVP
  2. 2. COLLABORATION CAN BE COMPLEX
  3. 3. https://www.slideshare.net/SPSParis2017/keynote-mark-kashmann-sps-paris-20171014
  4. 4. your sites Communication sitesTeam sites Department Team Project Extranet (Partner, Customer) Committee (Planning, Executive) Initiative, campaign or event Share work with organization Community of practice or interest Training and policies Updates and reports
  5. 5. Communication sitesTeam sites Created by users or admins Created by users or adminsCreated by admins Navigation Theme and logo Search scope Hub sites A communication site or team site News and activity rollup
  6. 6. But does SharePoint fit every collaboration scenario?
  7. 7. Outlook SharePoint & OneDrive
  8. 8. Outlook Inner Loop • Event team working together on an upcoming customer event • Technical Support trying to resolve an open customer ticket • Project Manager assembling a v-team to collaborate over the life of an initiative SharePoint & OneDrive
  9. 9. Outlook Outer Loop • Ideation opportunity and you want input from the entire company • Looking for expertise outside of your working team • Open discussion on topics that should be maintained as part of the organization’s broader knowledge assets Inner Loop • Event team working together on an upcoming customer event • Technical Support trying to resolve an open customer ticket • Project Manager assembling a v-team to collaborate over the life of an initiative SharePoint & OneDrive
  10. 10. Outlook The Open Loop Outer Loop • Ideation opportunity and you want input from the entire company • Looking for expertise outside of your working team • Open discussion on topics that should be maintained as part of the organization’s broader knowledge assets Inner Loop • Event team working together on an upcoming customer event • Technical Support trying to resolve an open customer ticket • Project Manager assembling a v-team to collaborate over the life of an initiative SharePoint & OneDrive Groups, Graph, and Security
  11. 11. How does all of this impact my information architecture?
  12. 12. According to SharePointMaven (Greg Zelfond), SharePoint Information Architecture consists of the following 4 major building blocks: • Site Hierarchy • Navigation & Search • Taxonomy • Security Check out Greg’s blog at https://sharepointmaven.com/
  13. 13. In 1998, Louis Rosenfield and Peter Morville published Information Architecture and the World Wide Web, a text about applying the principles of architecture and library science to web site design. Morville and Rosenfeld describe the relationship between users, context, and content as “information ecology” and visualized it in a venn diagram. “You only understand information relative to what you already understand.” Richard Saul Wurman
  14. 14.  News, announcements & information (top/down, bottom/up)  Collaboration & communication  Personal, team, division, cross-company  Usability, reliability, recognizable (theming and branding)  Reorg, acquisition, growth  Continuous innovation, change management  Mobility and flexibility – informed & engaged  Intranet AND extranet  Who should and can access, create and consume (governance)  Secure and compliant (proactive and reactive)  VPN, multi-factor authentication  Apps and services integration  Out-of-the-box, configuration, customization – budget vs. requirements  Find what you’re looking for (Search, discovery, browse/navigation) Considerations for the modern intranet
  15. 15. Top 10 IA Mistakes (for websites and intranets) 1. No Structure 2. Search and Structure Not Integrated 3. Missing Category Landing Pages 4. Extreme Polyhierarchy 5. Subsites/Microsites Poorly Integrated with Main Site 6. Invisible Navigation Options 7. Uncontrollable Navigation Elements 8. Inconsistent Navigation 9. Too Many Navigation Techniques 10. Made-Up Menu Options https://www.nngroup.com/articles/top-10-ia-mistakes/
  16. 16. Chat for today’s teams Communicate in the moment and keep everyone in the know Customizable for each team Tailor your workspace to include content and capabilities your team needs every day. A hub for teamwork Give your team quick access to information they need right in Office 365 Security teams trust Get the enterprise-level security and compliance features you expect from Office 365.
  17. 17. Reorg?Restructure?Archive?Change management? What this looks like in Teams
  18. 18. Team Modern Group Chat Channel SharePoint Reply ChainMessage Images, Emojis, Stickers, Giphy, Recordings Teams logical architecture OneDrive Tabs Folder Tabs Activity Feed Meetings Calling Apps Apps Contacts Teams Chats Voice
  19. 19. Conversation storage Chat service In memory processing for speed Leverages Azure storage (moving to Cosmos DB) Exchange Chat and channel messages are also stored in Exchange for information protection Conversation images & media Inline Images/Stickers are stored in a media store, Giphys are not stored. Where are conversations stored?
  20. 20. File storage 1:N chats Files are uploaded to OneDrive for Business and permissions are set for the members of the chat Team conversations Files are uploaded to SharePoint. A folder is associated with each channel in the team Cloud storage Dropbox, Box, Citrix ShareFile, Google Drive Where are files stored?
  21. 21. Data Entity Storage Image Files Voicemail Message Recording Calendar meeting Contacts Media service on Azure (using Blob storage) Team files  SharePoint Chat files  OneDrive for Business Individual mailbox in Exchange Chat service table storage (moving to Cosmos DB) Media service on Azure (using Blob storage) (<24 hours) Individual mailbox in Exchange Exchange Ingested to Exchange to enable compliance Ingested to Exchange to enable compliance Encoded to Stream Telemetry Microsoft Data warehouse (No customer content) Entity Storage Storage Key data entities and location where data is stored at rest
  22. 22. Common question: Does using Teams replace my need for SharePoint?
  23. 23. No, of course not. SharePoint is a core infrastructural component of Microsoft Teams, and works side-by-side with Teams to provide powerful and flexible collaboration options for your organization, with multiple ways to connect with and leverage your legacy – and future – SharePoint content.
  24. 24. SharePoint Inside! https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/skypehybridguy/2017/10/28/ microsoft-teams-use-an-existing-sharepoint-library/
  25. 25. Exchange Inside!
  26. 26. Office 365 Groups Inside!
  27. 27. Memberships and Roles aka.ms/guestaccesshelp
  28. 28. Guest Access
  29. 29. How Microsoft Teams impacts IA
  30. 30. According to fellow MVP and SharePoint Librarian Sarah Haase, SharePoint information architecture is “the art and science of organizing, storing, and labeling content (e.g. documents, list data, Office 365 groups, SharePoint sites, etc.) to support content findability and usability.” She wrote a great blog post on the evolution of the modern SharePoint site, and how there is now the need of “flat” SharePoint IA: https://regarding365.com/information-architecture-in-a-flat-sharepoint-world-934885869e8a
  31. 31. Questions to Ask when Planning for Teams • Who can create Teams? • Do we need Teams naming conventions? • Should we allow guest access? • Will we allow users to add their own apps? • How long should we test before we broadly deploy?
  32. 32. How can Tabs impact your IA?  Provide an interface into relevant content  Surface sites and tools in context to conversations  Remove the “which tool do you use when?” argument  Provide a quick path to add content into your Teams that may not be properly classified / organized
  33. 33. How about adding Connectors? Push rich content to Microsoft Teams Connect to services like Trello, GitHub, Bing News, Twitter, etc. Receive notifications of team activities for each service / stay in sync Complete tasks within a channel
  34. 34. Will Bots impact my IA? Automate manual tasks Enhance a conversation thread Act as a personal assistant to find information and content Ability to answer natural language questions Run surveys Provide quick status updates on open projects and tasks, kick off workflows, etc Improve the user experience
  35. 35. Exchange / Outlook • Folders • Rules • Email is hard to sort into a strict taxonomy because: • Most messages could live in more than one category. • Personal and business priorities may shift several times a year, rendering email taxonomies obsolete. http://boxesandarrows.com/the-information-architecture-of-email/
  36. 36. Office 365 Groups naming policy You use a group naming policy to enforce a consistent naming strategy for Office 365 groups created by users in your organization. A naming policy can help you and your users identify the function of the group, membership, geographic region, or who created the group. The naming policy can also help categorize groups in the address book. You can use the policy to block specific words from being used in group names and aliases. The naming policy is applied to groups that are created across all groups workloads (like Outlook, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Planner, Yammer, etc). It gets applied to both the group name and group alias. It gets applied when a user creates a group and when group name or alias is edited for an existing group. Examples Policy = "GRP [GroupName] [Department]" User's department = Engineering Created group name = "GRP My Group Engineering" https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/create-groups/groups-naming-policy
  37. 37. Enforce a naming policy for Office 365 groups in Azure Active Directory To enforce consistent naming conventions for Office 365 groups created or edited by your users, set up a group naming policy for your tenants in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). For example, you could use the naming policy to communicate the function of a group, membership, geographic region, or who created the group. You could also use the naming policy to help categorize groups in the address book. You can use the policy to block specific words from being used in group names and aliases. Note, this policy requires the Azure Active Directory Premium. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active- directory/users-groups-roles/groups-naming-policy
  38. 38. Managing Teams
  39. 39. Teams clients Teams Services Skype Infrastructure Office 365 platform and services Azure https://aka.ms/teams-foundations
  40. 40. Teams clients Teams and Skype for Business Admin Tools Controls for managing communications and Teams specific features M365 and Azure AD Admin Tools Controls for Groups, Identity, Licenses, Access https://aka.ms/teams-foundations Security & Compliance Admin Tools Controls for managing Security & Compliance across M365
  41. 41. SunsetActiveInitiate ConfigurationManagement Expiration policyRetention policy Ability to create teams Naming convention Classification of teams Create a team Cloning teams Add members and owners Add channels Add apps Create team join link Archive teams Delete teams Add members and owners Add channels Add apps Create team join link Remove members, owners and channels Post messages to Teams Remove apps
  42. 42. What are the “Best Practices” for managing IA in Teams?
  43. 43. Words of Wisdom from Microsoft Having a solid information architecture is an important prerequisite for realizing a well-maintained and well- performing portal. Designing the optimal structure requires detailed planning. If not done properly, you can adversely affect user adoption or have significant performance issues; the likelihood of both is very possible. Consider the following factors: • Business objectives and the organizational structure. • The kind of content you are dealing with. Is the content collaborative or published content? • Content classification and confidentiality. • Life-cycle of the content, and possible retention/disposition strategies. This also applies to sites as well. • Users of the content, their behaviors, common tasks, and expectations. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/solution-guidance/portal-information-architecture
  44. 44. Words of Wisdom from Microsoft Information architecture is not a one-time process, rather, it a continuous process. While an optimal information architecture may not always be obvious to end-users, a poorly designed and managed information architecture will certainly be remembered if the experience is a bad one. Keep measuring, keep evolving, and keep it relevant and fresh. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/solution-guidance/portal-information-architecture
  45. 45. IA + Governance in Microsoft Teams • Group and team creation, naming, classification, and guest access • Document your organization’s requirements for team creation, naming, classification, and guest access. • Identify existing SharePoint sites to be “Groupified” and connected to new Teams • Identify existing Office 365 Groups to also be “Groupified” and connected to new Teams • Plan to implement these requirements as a part of your Teams rollout. • Communicate and publish your policies to inform Teams users of the behavior they can expect. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/plan-teams-governance
  46. 46. IA + Governance in Microsoft Teams • Group and team expiration, retention, and archiving • Document your organization’s requirements for team expiration, data retention, and archiving. • Plan to implement these requirements as part of your Teams rollout. • Communicate and publish your policies to inform Teams users of the behavior they can expect. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/plan-teams-governance
  47. 47. IA + Governance in Microsoft Teams • Teams feature management • Document your organization’s requirements for limiting Teams features at the tenant and user level. • Plan to implement your specific requirements as part of your Teams rollout. • Communicate and publish your policies to inform Teams users of the behavior they can expect. • Security and compliance https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/plan-teams-governance
  48. 48. www.SuccessWithTeams.com
  49. 49. 10 Tips to get Started with Microsoft Teams (article by MVP Susan Hanley) 1. Before you create a new Microsoft Team or Office 365 Group, see if one already exists. 2. If you have an existing Group and want to leverage Teams, be sure to connect the Team and Group at set up. 3. Think about naming conventions for Groups and Teams. 4. Create a new Team for each project. 5. Do a little up front planning with your team to identify some initial channels —but don’t go overboard. 6. Try to avoid customizing the default Documents (i.e. Shared%20Documents) library in your Team-connected SharePoint site. 7. Understand the different user experiences for interacting with files in the Teams vs. SharePoint interfaces—and plan accordingly. 8. Determine your “go to” user experience for files, but make it easy see the big picture. 9. Create a link to your Team from SharePoint. 10. Share your tips, ideas, and questions in the Microsoft Tech Community https://www.computerworld.com/article/3179768/enterprise-applications/10-tips-to-get-started-with-microsoft-teams.html
  50. 50. https://fto365dev.blob.core.windows.net/media/Defaul t/DocResources/en-us/Office_365_Adoption_Guide.pdf https://teamworktools.azurewebsites.net/tft/index.html
  51. 51. In my personal experience, what works is: • Start by talking to your users about their preferences – don’t design the IA on your own, with all of your personal biases. • Look at your IA through the lens of specific business scenarios – and understand the outcomes. • Be consistent! It’s easier to be consistent when governance and change management are the priority. • Look at your systems holistically, understanding both company-wide and line of business needs – and the gaps between them. • Be prepared to regularly iterate on your strategy. • Organic growth through pilots is the most sustainable model for successful enterprise collaboration.
  52. 52. Christian Buckley cbuck@collabtalk.com @buckleyplanet Thank you very much!
  53. 53. cbuck@collabtalk.com +1 425-246-2823 www.CollabTalk.com Contact Us Strategy. Influence. Amplification.

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