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52 Replies
Currently asking for feedback as per the uservoice you mentioned

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public

So still working on it. It is a big priority for them as it’s the #1 requested uservoice.

Would recommend raising this at the Teams AMA here in the community on 14th February. I will also raise it as I would like an update on the precise status and any ETA.

Hope that answers your question,

Best, Chris
You’re not alone in this :)
Hopefully we know more soon! I’ll bring this up on the AMA in February

Adam
I would like to be optimistic here, but I'm not and I would not expect a lot from the AMA in regards of this question...developing this feature is getting complicated after more than a year requesting it...but let's hope we will finally get it :)
I i would bet my money on it i would say we wouldn’t find out anything on the AMA about this, other than we already know, but you gotta have faith:folded_hands::face_with_tears_of_joy:
Appreciate the response. I wish we would've gotten at least some status updates, other than a request to fill out a survey that had nothing to do with private channels.

We now have suppliers telling us they will only use Slack to collaborate as there is no easy way to segregate content in Teams - this is becoming embarrassing ...

This is what frustrates me the most.  The latest update to the user voice:

NEEDS YOUR FEEDBACK  ·  Suphatra responded

Hey Microsoft Teams users — I want you to weigh in on new features around channels and group chats. The engineering team and I have put together this survey to find out how you want to see channels improve. You can fill it out here: https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esTxHdABLQxKLvn"

 

This is kind of insulting to everyone's effort into getting this feature implemented.  It's like she is trying to hijack the thread because it is the most visible just to get hits on her survey.  Absolutely nothing to do with channel based permissions.

I don't think so.

 

It's likely that the dev group has several options as to how they develop the final form of what will be delivered as private channels. You have a chance to influence their thinking by participating in the survey. Metrics and proof drive a lot of development decisions inside Microsoft...

Aw, don't pick on Suphatra :) She doesn't even work there any more - just saw a tweet that she's working somewhere else.
I belive the private channel feature has become overrated! Will have a blogpost on this soon!!

Adam
I know many does :) it’s not number 1 on uservoice for no reason!

Adam

Well, I only can say - 15 (!) k (!) votes (!)

 

I also don't see why this isn't solved yet. And I discuss this topic with users, every day, really!

What users in general want is: "make it possible to have no separate group for topics which belong to a group but can't be placed there because not everyone is allowed to see the stuff." Mainly it is because of HR or Management-Topics - maybe others. It is that "easy" what is needed in basic. Improvements can be made later - but the main feature is necessary asap.

Without this the number of groups is just not possible to handle. A Manager needs sometime 3 groups per Team, one about the Team, a second about HR and a third about strategic topics. With private channels that would be 1 Team with at least 3 channels - MUCH more easy to handle that.

I never thought of switching to Slack but if they just would copy how slack does it it couldn't be that wrong and optimizations can be done afterwards.

Agree - same scenario.  We go out into the business and deploy Teams in a consultancy mode, we don't have self-service at the moment as we need our business users to really understand how to get the best out of the solution (and build our champion network).  In almost every case the request for private channels comes up.  This can result in no further progress with the request or creation of separate Teams (once again creating the silos we wanted to remove) and more often than not ends in these 'multiple' Teams being abandoned for the default email channel (or 'Shadow IT').

Agreed.


We're looking to roll out Teams and asking groups if they want to trial it. Lot of interest in it, which is great, but as soon as you say "Oh no, everyone in the Team can access all the content", it dampens interest.

 

We have projects and maybe two people out of a six person team only have access to some sensitive data for a section of the project. Idea of creating a separate team for them isn't a goer. 

Then you can create, name and pin a groupchat were you can have private conversations, a files tab etc..

It's a fair work around but I don't think it's going to work. If they want to review documents that exist already on the Team, they'd need to re-share them again for example?

 

Having a group chat outside of the team, breaks the concept of Teams itself. It should be the place that all information for that project should go (if possible). 

They could link to the team documents! Either case they would have to switch over to another channel for the doc, if there’s not gonna be duplicates

I can see both scenarios having merit.

One the negative side of private channels - that's breaking the Team dynamic right there. Everyone is part of the team except some team members are more equal than other team members. It's an ingrained thought process that has been drilled into people with file shares with the multitude of folders with different permissions where the document you need is never in the folder you can access. 

 

So it would be a good thing to stop and really think through a Teams/access to all structure.

 

On the positive side of private channels - having them right there so you can protect managerial data and still get all the benefits of the full team membership is crucial as well. But I can see people falling into the 'every channel is going to have separate permissions' and we'll be right back in the shared folder nightmare. I can see it useful for managers/supervisors/project leads to have a separate area, but not every single channel having a different permission list.

 

Teams can certainly do with some updates - will be interesting to see how they deal with it. It's not just a channel - it's a channel, and a folder in a document library, and permissions in the underlying SharePoint site and Office 365 group. And what happens to Planners created - they're tied to the group, but if you want a separate one how do you tie all those Office groups together? That's probably why it's taking so long to do...

 

 

Good post! I actually have a blogpost coming soon on my take on private channels :)
Great post. It's just, I guess, I've never been on an all equal team!
Neither have I, actually. But our company has gone full tilt into the 'noone can see what I'm doing' and it drives me nuts when there's no real reason except for ego and fear. Which in my capacity I need to figure out how to manage - all IT support people have to do that to some extent. It's funny because the 'common view' is old people hate change - I'm the oldest one in the department by many years and here I am trying to push a modern, open system.
Now managerial stuff I understand, confidential stuff I understand. I sorta wish there were 'sub-teams', or maybe reflect a SPO hub/spoke constructions - where a managerial/private site could be hooked up and look like a channel to teams but have all the SPO/permissions technicalities in a separate site collection where they belong - then nothing too special has to be done.

I also think, thats a difference between theory and practice. It also depends where you live, in Germany for example people are very conservative abour accessrights and want to block what is possible. Yes, I fight against, but won't win that fight ever… Cultre changes slowly and if there is no solution, which solves other problems, it changes not at all.

What Robin says makes much sense. I also think there are many possibilities how to do "private channels" or "subchannels" or something like that, but like at the moment, creating many groups is no solution. It will bring many problems later on...

I think I put my foot in it when i said the file storage was SharePoint but an easier interface. Was asked why SP supported custom permissions and not Teams.

I don't think Teams should be SharePoint though just because it utilizes it. The group chat is a decent alternative which I'll suggest.
Regarding filés theres always the possibility to create another library in the team site and just add permissions to managers etc! The files would then exist within the team and can also be a tab or as cloud storage! The downside of bringing it inside is that other people will see it but get a access denied
Teams is respecting custom permissions in sharepoint but it’s not a good idea to edit the default permissions! As I said before it’s better to create another library and add use that with custom permissions

Thanks for your suggestions @adam deltinger 

 

The entire conversation has me thinking differently. I really don't want to be replicating our folder permission structure in Teams and have every channel/document library have unique permissions.

 

Having it be more open would mean people would be less likely to save sensitive documents (and that has me down the rabbit hole of Azure File Protection) in Teams which for our org mightn't be the worst idea.

 

I still think Office 365 is like a broken mirror. From a distance everything but looks ok but get closer and you can spot the cracks. Still, the thread has given me a lot to think about.

 

I think we need a sense check here - yes we'd like to have teams where all information is shared equally, transparently and without prejudice ... the reality is that 90% (probably higher) of organisational design is based on the 'industrial revolution'.  Hierarchy, channels of authority, accountability, responsibility, mechanisms of reward, culture etc. etc do not support a democratised work environment. 

 

Ultimately human beings simply don't trust each other.  This is exacerbated in a business world were seemless external collaboration is becoming much more important and where in the future a significant proportion of workers may not be directly employed by an organisation.

 

I agree with the O365 the analogy with a 'broken mirror' and I often feel Microsoft is trying to be all things to everyone an ultimately delivering a water down experience ...

 

Garry

@ Selfridges

True! We have sharepoint to do files with excplicit permissions! I guess teams was ultimately developed for collaboration, also trying to move away from this old way of doing things

That works if everyone is a member in the team where you want to link information from. But say that you for any reason would like to have an "outsider" invited to just one channel/specific topic. Then the described solution doesn't work.

 

There are cases where you would like input/collaboration with a participant in just one channel. Even perhaps one specific thread. Then Teams doesn't provide a solid/easy solution.

 

Like in Yammer, you can "invite" a user in a thread just by @-mention the user. Afterwards you even can remove the "outsider" from the conversation/thread. That would be nice to have in Teams also.

No its not solid!
You can explicitly share a doc to anyone (outsider) from sharepoint/ hopefully soon teams and then start a private chat!

These are all work arounds I know cause we try to replace the feature itself with a solution! The key thing til we get this feature is plan out how teams / channels are set up with this in mind

This is a very good discussion and it has gotten me thinking.  Has there been any info even leaked as to how security boundaries/restrictions might be integrated as a component of Teams?  The only thing I could even begin to think of is via AAD groups.  O365 Groups span the entire Team & don't have any teeth as security principals outside of controlling their members.  I'm not holding my breath for this feature to be released soon.  As others have said, it could end up causing the same problems we all currently deal with in SPO, File Shares, and the like.

 

I want to try and manage expectations and not place Teams out there as the answer for everything.  I don't think it is, and IMHO sometimes the answer to: 'Does a Team fit my business need?' is "No."  That can be because of use case, data type (PII, etc.), policies, licensing, duration of project, etc. or who knows?  So I want to be able to try and provide constructive alternatives.  There are quite a few to choose from.

 

Not any info afaik! As you said, this will take time! I’m not gonna speculate but adding AAD sec groups within a 365 also seem querky! But as you say, there’s not much room for that kind of security diversity in a 365 group today!
I completely agree! Teams is a great product and I love it, but that’s doesnt mean it fits for everything...

These type of discussions are great. They're making me think more about how teams/SPO sites can be structured. One thing I've had to learn is to not be afraid of multiple sites. I'm used to having a SharePoint site that has lots of different lists, all with broken inheritance, because the site was a group that owned the process, but others in the company were also part of the process as well.

 

Now, I'd be more inclined to have a single site for just that one process, and figure out, through Teams tabs or hubs or special linking, how to bring them all together. It's easier to keep the security simple, and link the things  you need linked. instead of trying to force the security to fit a certain architecture.

 

Just like we used to 'argue' about subsite or site collection, now we'll 'argue' about channels vs teams! The need is there, that's for sure.

Not defending Microsoft but as a Developer I can relate especially since the architecture is inherently tough to synchronize changes between Teams and the corresponding SharePoint site collection.

 

Imagine the scenario when creating a private channel. Any changes in channel members would: 

 

  • Require changing folder permission in Documents Library
  • Require changing permission in Teams Wiki Data library
  • OneNote issues if you have a shared notebook
  • Site Pages permission would have to be defined per page
  • Conversations, Calendars, etc. 

 

Fred

 

https://twitter.com/fredyano/status/1083430531176583171

Nice! One thing to throw into the mix also is how you think of Teams as far as the length of their existence. It's going to be easy to fall into the 'Team is the new storage' solution - which might not necessarily be true. A team should have a lifespan - you work in the team, then when that work is done you move/archive/whatever all the information you want to keep around. How many of us have project folders on a cifs share that have outdated project plans and issues lists that no longer are relevant? 

Thats also a great point! I might add that :)

I am a part of an infrastructure team of 5. We collaborate and share resources that are indefinite.  Diagrams, Wiki's, and a number of other things that we reference on a continual basis.  Why do you think I need to retire any of this information?????

 

Our project management team works with 20-30 projects a year that involves different people.  Creating a team/sp site/completely separate repository for each of those projects is something they are not interested in.  Especially if sub-projects are being created. 

 

This cant be so difficult to do as I can go right to Sharepoint and change the inherited permissions on any subsite/library/folder/file.  

 

It frustrates me to no end seeing posts tell me how we "should" do business. Like somehow they know my users; my environment; my use-cases.  Bottom line, MS said they are working on it. I would appreciate a response from them. That is all

Not saying you do - but we've got lots of project folders with outdated information that *shouldn't* be kept. We aren't very good at closing down projects and only keeping the accurate information.

 

We're in the exact same scenario - I'm in Infrastructure with 17 other people. Same type of projects. In our case, I've got 10 years of different projects in a few SharePoint sites - inheritance is broken depending on who else needs access, and some projects were large enough to get their own sites. Some projects are still on the network. It's never been a 'one security group fits everything' - there's always 2-3 people that aren't part of the original team that need access to one specific piece of information but not anything else. 

 

For us, I would prefer not to replicate that out to Teams/SPO - I want to try something different. I really dislike keeping all the security straight, and it's easy to take shortcuts and make it totally unmanageable (raising my hand here, I'm an offender as well)

 

It's not an easy job - and everything comes down to permissions in the end. 

I see your points! Also agree on that they should open the lid soon, even for a little bit

My take on this topic:

 

Groups Membership Model Makes Teams Private Channels Hard to Implement

 

Secure (or private) channels is the biggest user request to the Teams development group, possibly because Slack has this feature. The only problem is that the Office 365 Groups membership model doesn't allow for filtering within a group, so introducing elements available to a selected set of members might create all sorts of difficulties for how Teams interacts with the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem.

https://www.petri.com/teams-secure-channels

Great post! Don't know if it's a coincidence but its the fourth blogpost about private channels since mine :) I love the debate and work arounds etc .. and I'd love to know what Microsoft is talking about in house and what they are "working on"

 

/ Adam

I have a dream for Teams ...

publicprivate.jpg

Great post. I think an issue is that Office 365 Groups aren't well known. So explaining Teams using Groups even though they're essentially the same is tricky. I think more people are used to  Microsoft tools offering more granular permissions.

 

I believe users don't care much about how things are built and what they depend on. They want the features, like slack! Trying to hard to explain why it doesn't work, rarely does the trick! Explaining the benefits of not using it and doing things another way is better :)

 

Adam


@Garry Rawlins wrote:

I have a dream for Teams ...

publicprivate.jpg


One way of looking at this is that slack uses one domain (dns-name) like teams uses one tenant. I.e a channel in a slack space/domain could be considered as a full Team. With that approach Teams gives you just what you want. Although, in another way.

Still...I can see the need and use cases for having channels within a team with different members than the overall team. Since in some cases you need to "pop in" a person for just that specific topic/question and afterwards discard her/him.

Agreed - one of the reasons I don't use the 'Inner Loop / Outer Loop' concept when talking to our business teams.  Sounds like management consultant speak ...

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