1 May 2022
Microsoft 365 enables users to work and collaborate in their chosen workspaces, with easy, on-the-go access from anywhere. But underneath, the end user experience should be strong information architecture (IA).
The IA governs how information can be effectively organised, structured, and accessed – supported by business classification rules that control file retention and disposal.
The aim is to help users find information and complete tasks. To do this, you need to define how the various workspaces fit together and relate to each other to create the bigger picture.
Microsoft 365 has guidelines for organising content and it’s helpful to understand these before building (or renovating) your collaboration structure in the cloud:
This basic structure can be summarised as follows:
Team sites can be private (invited members only), public (anyone may join), or organisation-wide (everyone will join). However, private teams are the most common.
There are essentially only four categories of private teams:
It’s much better to have a flat data structure rather than burying data in nested folders several layers deep. This means you should end up with more Teams to keep things simple.
To find data, users should pin their most frequently used channels in Teams and use tools like Search and Delve in place of manual navigation via folder paths. This is a faster and more efficient way of finding data.
However, if this is a sticking point with users, they can still 'sync' document libraries to OneDrive to retain the old File Explorer feel.
Even though we’re in favour of more rather than less workspaces, it’s important to consider how to prevent sprawl and maintain consistency for users across the Microsoft 365 platform.
Therefore, you should consider processes and tools that will help in provisioning your workspaces consistently and according to your policies. Specifically, you may want to consider the following:
These three considerations will help you right-size your provisioning governance. Users will still be empowered to create workspaces where desired, but sprawl won’t creep into your Microsoft 365 environment.
Certain permissions can be managed by end-users. For example, every user with a OneDrive account can choose who to share their data with, and what level of access they allow. Similarly, owners of Team and Communication sites can decide who to invite into the workspace.
Within Teams, every new member will be able to edit all the content being shared within the Team. If custom permissions are necessary, it means a new Team or Communications site with custom permissions is probably required.
The detailed IA will include:
To create the IA, we use a process that involves capability modelling, application & file mapping, and an understanding of records management principles.
To simplify the process, we have developed generic IA models for various industries (schools, not-for-profits, exploration & mining) and common functional areas (governance, sales & marketing, admin & finance, HR, ICT) as well.
If you’d like to know more, please contact us about using these generic templates as the starting point for quickly preparing and refining your own IA.
Pact IT Solutions