New to Microsoft 365 or just setting up a new "Team"? Well, the first thing to consider should be how you set up a Team, what channels you should create, and how should you work with documents, tabs, etc.
So let's take a closer look at all the aspects of a "Team" on Teams.
For most Teams-related things we can create some sort of 'best practice', however, how you should structure your Team with channels is almost impossible to put in a best practice. Why? Well, because every Team is created for a specific purpose, with a specific set of people, all with different needs.
Should you put everything in the 'General' channel? Or should you create (lots) of different channels? In the end, there is no right or wrong here, it all depends..
If the tasks you are going to do within your team can be easily split up in different topics, then the logical step would be to create separate channels for these topics, to keep discussions focused on a (channel) topic, and not have all kinds of different discussion topics being discussed in one channel.
The size of your team also plays a big part in how you should organize things. In the case of a small team, it might be easier to just start with the general channel and go (and grow) from there.
However, in larger teams, it might be better to 'design' a good channel structure first, either alone, or with the help of one or two team members. Preferably do this before the other team members are added to the Team. This way, you can first work on creating channels and a set of ways or working.
When everything is set up, have a meeting with everybody that will be involved in the Team to make sure everybody knows how the work will be organized, what the 'rules' are, etc.
Just adding people to a Team without telling them anything beforehand is usually counter-productive.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there is an example of a channel structure for a Team of a big department that has multiple teams. Each of the teams within that department will have a separate channel within that Team. By using separate channels for those teams, the information is separated between teams so a member can easily find the information they need. But as all teams are working in one Team, all the information within those teams is also available to the whole department, which improves the collaboration between those teams.
You'll notice that next to the Management channel a lock symbol is shown. This signifies that this channel is a 'private' channel, which means that unlike regular channels to which all team members have access, only a subset of users (in this case, only the managers) have access to this channel.
In the past, all channels were open to everybody, and if some discussions and documents would need to be 'shielded' from other members, then the only solution was to do these talks and file sharing through a Team Chat, or request yet another Team just for this purpose. With private channels, you can now easily create a channel that is only available to a few members within that team. Team members that are not a member of a private channel will not even see the private channel(s) in their overview.