Teams Best Practices & Considerations

Teams can seem overwhelming when you first start using them. While the interface is simple, the ability to add files, users, and plug-ins can feel unwieldy. Below you will find some tips for using Teams within the Loyola environment, as well as a more general article provided by Microsoft.

The Loyola Perspective

Teams are flexible and can be used for just about any group endeavor. Consider some of these ideas and how they might work in your office or with your projects. You will also find some questions to ask yourself before you begin to set up your Microsoft Team environment.

  • Teams as a replacement H: drive -- at the bare minimum Teams can work as a file repository for your department.  
    • Example -- Enterprise Applications (within Technology Services) used this change as an opportunity to merge several storage locations into one, and we created processes around our versions and document edits, including parameters for changes that require documenting (small spelling corrections, not a big deal, but major changes to the steps needs a second set of eyes). We set a goal of the end of 2019 to have our files moved, and older versions archived or deleted (as identified in our process steps). By the end of 2019, we will have a single repository for our internal SOP documents.
  • Cross-departmental projects -- are you working on a revamp of an event or activity that crosses into another department or division? A Team would be a good central space to share ideas, edit documents, and communicate outside of your email.
    • One of the biggest wins to having a Team that is used effectively is that you have a single place for all communication and documentation. No more jumping between your inbox and your files – all of the work can be done in a single location. The best part is, if someone new is hired mid-way through a project, the new person will have the full history in one place.

Need a refresher on the difference between a Team and a Channel??? 


  • Always assign a second Team owner. This helps if you are out of town, or if you need to hand off the Team because of a promotion or other departure from your work.  

  • Channels can be thought of as part of the file structure. If there are different groups in your department, maybe each would have a Channel. If you are using Teams as the central location for a project, maybe there are different functional teams in the project that are task-based. Those could be their own Channels.

Data Management

  • This move from H: and Inside.Loyola Team sites is a great time to think about data retention for your department. Are there legal requirements that you have to follow for data retention? If so, do you have a process to follow once those dates pass? While keeping data "forever" seems like a good idea, doing so adds risk to the University. Consider a reasonable cycle for data clean up within your OneDrive and Teams files.
Did you know?
You can sync your Microsoft Teams files to a folder on your computer. This lets you work directly in File Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac) and access files even when you are offline. When you go back online, any changes made to those files will sync automatically.

Learn how to Sync, Change & Work With Teams Files On Your Computer
Delete and Recover Files in Teams

Managing Student Access

  • If you already created a Team, you may want to consider creating another Team just for communicating with students
  • Otherwise, consider using a Team with all private channels, except the channels you want the students to have access to
  • Please review and update student access to your Teams and channels every semester

Guest Access and Member Management

  • Team Owners should look at the membership of the Team twice a year to validate that only those who need access have access. This is particularly true for sites that have "Guests" as members.

  • We have enabled Guest access for all Teams. Guest access enables an owner to invite someone from outside of Loyola to participate in a Team. Guest access is a bit more limited than Participant access but enables those with non-Loyola emails to work with individuals within Loyola. Since these users manage their own email outside of Loyola's security constraints, Team Owners monitoring Guest access and removing these users when their access is no longer needed is important.

Guidelines for Creating a Team with Guest Users

  • Remember that Guests have access to everything members do, including any sensitive files stored in the Teams

  • Does this guest need access to this team or should a separate team be created for communication with the guest?

  • The guest must be a trusted contact with whom Loyola has a contractual relationship

  • Owner responsibility: Delete the guest when access is no longer needed

Getting Started with Teams

  • Before you create your Team, consider the goal of the product you are working on with others. This can drive some of the decisions you will make such as:    
    • Channel structure and Channel privacy.  
    • Will you allow everyone in the Team to add new tabs, apps, people??? Or do you want to restrict that ability?  
    • Who will be your backup Team owner?  
    • These questions allow you to tweak settings at the creation of the Team (but don’t worry, they can be adjusted along the way too!).  
  • Start off small:
    • Use Teams as a replacement to email so that communication can be central for everyone involved
    • Use just the file repository. Starting here and building out as you and your team members become comfortable with the tool is okay.
    • Maybe you have a Team member who likes to tinker with new tools. Perhaps they can take the lead on new ways of using Teams?

Types of Teams

Types of Teams to Choose From

Team Types



Teachers and students collaborating on group projects, assignments, and more.


Staff leaders and staff members collaborating on University administration and development.


Student organizations or groups collaborating on University initiatives and development.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Students and University employees collaborating in interest groups and clubs.

Learn more about each team owners/members, permissions, features, & educational goals.

Get Help

If you need additional assistance with Microsoft Teams, please review related articles, or submit a ticket to the Help Center.

Submit a Ticket

Loyola Microsoft Teams Articles

Microsoft Team Support