Understanding Microsoft Teams


The course is part of this learning path

Understanding Microsoft Teams

In this course, we will look at Microsoft Teams and how to plan a Teams Deployment within an Organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Preparing your organization for a Microsoft Teams Deployment
  • The lifecycle of a Team and how that affects your userbase
  • How to manage identities and authentication within Microsoft Teams
  • What Hybrid connectivity is and how it plays a part in the transition to Microsoft Teams
  • Managing organizational settings within Microsoft Teams
  • And understand what coexistence means and the different modes which can be used during a Teams deployment

Intended Audience

  • Users looking to learn about deployments and coexistence in Microsoft 365.


  • Have a basic understanding of device management in Microsoft 365

As you are likely aware, Microsoft Teams is the one stop shop for communication and collaboration in your environment. It brings together and integrates with other Microsoft 365 tools to empower users and organizations to achieve more. Specifically, Teams make use of Microsoft 365 Groups, SharePoint Online sites, and a Exchange Online group mailbox to store resources for a Team. And since Microsoft 365 Groups utilize Azure Active Directory for identities, Azure AD features like multi-factor authentication carry over into Microsoft Teams. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Microsoft Teams is built in a unique way to empower users across a plethora of business scenarios. 

It enables persistent chat across calls and meetings which allows users to refer back to old meetings and chat as needed. Alongside this persistent chat, Teams organizes users into what are known as a Team and then breaks those Teams down into channels. Each Team can have multiple channels but channels can only be attached to a single Team. You may have noticed that when I'm speaking, I sometimes say Microsoft Teams and other times I just say Team. This is on purpose as a way to differentiate the two. To clarify, when I say Microsoft Teams, I'm referring to the collaboration software called Microsoft Teams.

When I simply say Team, I'm referring to a feature within Microsoft Teams that brings together groups of people to work on a specific project. So, if a Team is a larger group focused on a project, then a channel breaks down into smaller focus areas of that project. For example, a Team may be created for the HR Team and the hiring process of new employees. This Team might have three channels: A general channel for discussions amongst the HR Team members, an onboarding channel to discuss onboarding of new hires, and an HR policy channel where HR Team members discuss and ask questions regarding company policies. While the larger Team is specific to HR, those channels split off into HR-specific topics. However, while a HR Team may be consistent throughout the lifetime of an organization, there are scenarios where a Team will have a finite lifespan based on the project it focuses on. In these scenarios, it is important to understand the life cycle of a Team in order to properly plan for the inevitable archiving of those resources. A Team has three stages that should naturally progress through.

Naturally, these stages are called the beginning, the middle, and the end. The beginning stage actually starts before the Team is even created. This is where organizations define a Team and set up prior to inviting members. How is it going to be created? Is it going to be done through an existing group or creating a new group? Who's going to own the Team? All of these questions are part of the beginning stage and can be thought of as the planning phase. After this stage, you should know and have the goal of the Team, the Team members and owners and where they originate from, the permissions for all Team members, and have all of your proper channels set up. Once the beginning phase is completed and you have invited your members, you're ready to move into Stage 2, the middle, where Teams is fully functioning.

Really, this is the stage where organizations need to drive engagement and usage of Teams in order to get the most out of their tools; showcase behaviors and routines around Teams, like the mobile app, in order to drive utilization, and maintain focus on a channel to adjust and pivot as needs arise. Creating new channels, adding new members, and inviting guest users to keep up with the Team's needs. The best way to think of Teams in this stage is like a living organism. They change, adapt, and grow over time and keeping track of these changes is the best way to empower your employees to ensure that users have everything they need. And once that Team's goal has been achieved, the Team moves into the final stage where prepares for deletion or archival. It is best to prepare for this prior to the actual date of the end of a Team.

As understanding how you want to deal with resources kept in that Team may take significant amount of time. Once a Team is deleted, it can be reversed up to 21 days or 30 days depending on the type of group. However, after that the Team will be permanently deleted, which is why preparing for this stage is so important. But now that we understand Microsoft Teams, let's take a look at how user identities are managed through Teams.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Lee has spent most of his professional career learning as much as he could about PC hardware and software while working as a PC technician with Microsoft. Once covid hit, he moved into a customer training role with the goal to get as many people prepared for remote work as possible using Microsoft 365. Being both Microsoft 365 certified and a self-proclaimed Microsoft Teams expert, Lee continues to expand his knowledge by working through the wide range of Microsoft certifications.