The Microsoft Teams blog has summarized updates that they’ve rolled out over the past month, and I feel that a few of these deserve special attention. Here’s one –
Control who can post in the General channel – When you create a team, a General channel is created for you automatically. Many organizations use the General channel to share an overview of what the team wants to achieve and to share other high-level information like a welcome presentation.
Team owners now have more control over who can post in the General channel. You can choose between three settings – allow everybody to post, limit posting to team owners only, or allow all team members to post but remind them that their message will be seen by many people.
You can find this setting in the Settings area of each team which you can access by clicking Manage team next to the team’s name.
Control who can post in the General channel
This is great. But, why is it important?
This removes some strong anxiety from team owners of large groups – sometimes they are confused about the “General” channel. It also makes it easier to explain when a conversation should be moved into its own channel.
When a group/team is formed and begins to work together, they have to “agree” how to communicate with each other. This can be an implicit or an explicit agreement. These formal or informal rules also are re-negotiated when moving to a new communications platform, such as Microsoft Teams. This new feature of managing the posting in the general channel helps to reduce the areas of uncertainty and can help teams leverage Microsoft Teams more quickly.
When you have a large group and you want to have some sort of centralization of access to conversations, but you *know* that only a few of your conversations will apply to the entire group, this update from Microsoft fills that need – you can know explain/teach/model for your team that only the team-wide announcements or high-level logistical conversations need to be in the General channel, and that the primary place for new conversations is within one of the existing channels, or within a new channel.
Another good rule of thumb would be that if your Group/Team is such that you automatically create one or more channels when you are creating the Team, for example, if you know that conversations within your group/team are naturally sortable, then managing your team to restrict who can post into the General channel may be a natural move.
And if this is the case – that you create some channels at the same time you create the Team, and you want to restrict posting in the General channel, I think it’s best to start with the setting that alerts people that their posting will be viewable by all members of the Team – this will help encourage responsible General Channel Posting.
OK, sounds interesting, but How does this Help my Business?
Let’s say that you are a Sales Manager, and you are creating a Team to work with your sales team. Your concerns probably include:
- Your concern is probably centered around how to get your sales team to use Teams.
- You probably are worried that unless you can teach your sales team how to use Channels the right way, that they are simply going to use the General Channel for all of their messaging.
- You are concerned that this will create too much noise and will frighten away some of your team members who aren’t as open about their large group messaging.
- You also want your team to recognize that the value within the messaging is useful from a historical perspective. (days and weeks, not years)
You don’t want to create a full blown Team for each of your sub-groups
Well, your concerns are radically addressed by this capability to manage who can post in the General channel. (No Sales Teams were hurt in this example.)
More details about the newest changes to Microsoft Teams that were released in November can be found here:
What’s new in Microsoft Teams – November Update [ https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/What-s-new-in-Microsoft-Teams-November-update/ba-p/132962 ]
If you have additional questions about how your organization can leverage the valuable business productivity benefits that you know are to be found within Office 365, but you haven’t figured out how to lead your organization in that direction yet, please feel free to contact Owen Allen (@owenallen) at Alpine Lakes Digital – he specializes in helping companies like yours manage the change that today’s business realities require.