Microsoft Teams: specifications and possibilities of the shared channels

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Microsoft Teams: specifications and possibilities of the shared channels

 

Have you been waiting for the Microsoft Teams Shared Channels? They are now live! 

Most of us have struggled without it for years (sharing, scaling, and replicating).

Before we try to understand what we can do with it, we need to focus on its features in the table below.

 

Features

Standard channel

Private channel

Shared channel

People can be added to the channel without adding them to the team.

No

No

Yes

Channel membership can be limited to a subset of the team.

No

Yes

Yes

Channel can be shared directly with other teams.

No

No

Yes

Channel can be shared directly with its parent team.

N/A

No

Yes

Guests can participate in the channel.

Yes

Yes

No

External participants (B2B Direct Connect) can participate in the channel.

No

No

Yes

Moderation

Yes

No

No

Breakout rooms

Yes

No

No

Copy link to channel

Yes

No

No

Each channel has a dedicated SharePoint site.

No

Yes

Yes

Scheduled meetings

Yes

No

Yes

Planner

Yes

No

No

Bots, connectors, and messaging extensions

Yes

No

No

Supported in-class teams

Yes

Yes

No

Tags

Yes

No

No

Analytics

Yes

Yes

No

 

Some things we would need to consider related to this topic:

 

  • messages are stored in a dedicated system mailbox associated with the shared channel.
  • you can only have teams of up to 25 000 users (which would exclude some companies using the org-wide teams above this limit).
  • you can have up to 200 shared channels in one Team.
  • a shared channel can be shared with 50 Teams at max.
  • only 5000 users can access the same shared channel (including Teams counting as members).

 

If we are super excited about the capabilities, we will need to understand if guests will be allowed to collaborate one day in shared channels. Also, some of the above specifications highlight limitations on creating org-wide teams with shared channels for organizations above 25,000 users (or 5,000 users depending on the usage - or the lecture).

 

ms-teams-collaboration.png

 

 

With new cool Microsoft capabilities come new corporate responsibilities (PPP). After a while, and having experienced a bit on your side, you will need to develop a robust architecture internally for the shared channels. So what could we do with this? Let me try to list a couple of ideas, and please make sure to add yours in the comments below, as I would love to see what you have done with them.

 

Scenario one: the corporate information shared channels

 

If you are not using Yammer in your current company, you might be interested in embedding those communications in Teams. This could allow to inform your squads about the new joiners or about the BBQ planned on Friday! Here, it would need to be limited to a set of Teams not to spam users all day long. And for organizations with over 10,000 users and less than 25,000, you can try to be bold and create an org-wide team with shared channels. This huge “out of the box” Team will provide an inclusive experience for new joiners and everyone in the organization to be a part of the same team (with the appropriate best practices and governance associated with it).

 

Scenario two: the dev library release update

 

Let’s imagine you have ten projects using the same components library. Every time you release a core update, if the project Teams are segregated, it will be challenging to inform them quickly with efficiency (CTRL C + CTRL V). Ms.Teams will simplify your communications one post at a time by sharing a release channel with all those projects.

 

Scenario three: the Incidents channel

 

You are running the most incredible product on earth and want to make sure that all your squads are aware when an outage is happening. Let’s create an “Incidents” channel and share it with all the needed Teams. Doing so will probably also reduce the noise around people not being informed, manage your SLA better, and provide the ability for SMEs to support. Once the incident is remediated, everybody will be notified. That's it!

 

Scenario four: the program management

 

Despite not yet having a program cluster, we could think out of the box and use one single Ms. Teams as a program container where every shared channel could be associated with a different vendor (for example, Vendor1-Project-Alpha, Vendor2-Project-Beta). Ms.Teams will isolate vendor activities in 200 shared segregated channels in this new hacked program. In this use case, the way we store and share files might need to be aligned internally to the last up-to-date internal directives.

 

Scenario five: broadcasting a status channels operations center

 

In a previous publication, we have seen together it is possible to operationalize status pages in Teams to create a command center. The shared channels will offer a fantastic enhancement opportunity to consolidate the information on one side and distribute it to various maintenance teams on the other side. For example, multiple teams might be interested in your organization to follow up on JIRA versus AWS.

 

Resources:

 

 

If you have not done it already, feel free to subscribe to my profile to be updated on future blog articles, discussions, and much more. You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter too. Let me know your thoughts on this, the ways you implemented things on your side, or if you have any questions.

 

Thank you!

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