An optimal Guide to configure a basic Governance Team for Office 365?

Bronze Contributor

Some of you may have read the post on Governance I wrote just over a year ago. This time I'm going to provide you with more details and information on how to use Microsoft Teams in a smart way for Office 365 Governance.


If you are looking for a solution / tool to get you started with Governance in the shortest possible time (and which still gives you great value) I have, in this post, made a step-by-step description on how to configure a Microsoft Team to solve this.

The general confusion

When you ask someone about what governance is, you always get different answers. If, as a consultant, you get a assignment from a customer and the assignment is to implement governance for office 365,  it is therefore appropriate to first clarify what the client and I mean by governance so that we make sure that we mean the same thing. Some say it is about technical documentation, some think it is just about security, others think it is about how to provision/roll out solutions and services.
There is no given answer for what Office 365 Governance is and how it should be handled. The answer almost always becomes (like so many other times) “It Depends”.

My definition

My personal definition of Governance is to have a holistic perspective to identify, manage and have good control over the services you use. If you are about to get started with governance for Office 365, it is important not to overdo it from the beginning. It is important to start with what is most important and not least to take control of what you are required to have control over. Once you have got the most important and basic in place, you can expand the scope and level of detail gradually.


How to get started

To map an organization’s current situation, requirements and goals, you need an overview of what it is that needs to be mapped. I therefore developed a comprehensive manuscript that I would use in my work meetings. This manuscript contains all the questions I need answers to in order to provide good advice and the input I need to be able to document the areas in the Governance Plans. Governance plans (service documentation) are central. It is in these that one can, when needed / inquired, quickly find the facts. Therefore, it is also important that they do not become too extensive but are short and concise so that you can easily find what you are looking for and that they not only remain lying, but that someone is unable to update them as services, requirements, needs and settings change.


Which areas should you focus on?

There are not many templates on complete governance plans available online. I have therefore compiled a list below of the areas / points I always go through with the companies I help. Based on these points that provide suggestions on content in the overall governance plan as well as a governance plan for a service (e.g. Microsoft Teams), you can build your own meeting manuscript and Governance plans.

Start from these points and build your own reasoning and order on the questions so that you get a good flow in the meetings. Build the governance plans with an introductory description per point and then document the answers clearly

Superior Office 365 governance plan

(common and superior to all the services of the organization’s Tenant)

  • Office 365 values and benefits
  • Ownership
  • Interaction Rules and Digital Wizard/Manual
  • Updates change management
  • Basic overview of the services used
  • Licenses
  • Control of access to the services
  • Security and management
  • Risk-and vulnerability analysis
  • DPIA
  • Device Management
  • Securing Devices
  • Software Management
  • User Management
  • Securing users and administrators
  • Service Access Management
  • Securing Information
  • Confidentiality, integrity and accessibility
  • Compliance
  • Responsibility
  • Routines
  • Training and User Adoption
  • Support

 Governance plan

(One for each Service in Office 365)

  • Purpose / business value
  • Ownership, roles and responsibilities
  • Provisioning
  • Access Control
  • Sharing
  • Confidentiality, integrity and accessibility
  • Retention, Storage and deletion
  • Archiving
  • Monitoring and Alerts
  • Backup and restore
  • Reporting
  • Regular reviews


What to do when you have created the governance plans


The organizational part

It is impossible for a single person to have an overview of all the services in Office 365. Therefore, you need to introduce a simple and smooth change management process, delegate responsibility by appointing service managers and establish a change board. This is the organizational part of it.


The technical solution

Establish a technical solution that gathers all information, administration and collaboration in one place. Did you think about Microsoft Teams now? That is absolutely right. Below I will show how you, in a short time, can configure a Team in a way that gives you everything you need to get started with basic governance.


Open Microsoft Teams and create a new Team


1 Create a Team.png


Choose "Build a team from scratch"


2 Build a team from scratch.JPG

It is rare that all employees need access to this type of information  so make it Private (at least in the beginning).

3 Private or Public.JPG

Enter Name and Description (and classification if applicable). Then press "Create".

4 Name and description.JPG

There is no need to add members to an empty team so wait (skip) until you have configured the team and filled it with relevant information.

5 Skip adding members until the team is ready.JPG

There you go! Now the team is set up and now it's time to start "building".

We start by making a list that can be used to keep track of who is responsible for what.

In the "General" channel, click on the "Files" tab and select "Open in SharePoint".


6 Create an overview of responsibility.JPG


Click the gear icon and select "Add an app".

7 Add an app.JPG


Click on "Custom list"


8 Select Custom List.JPG

Name the list and click "Create".


9 Name the list.JPG


Edit the list settings.

10 Edit Settings.JPG

Click on "List name, description and navigation"


11 Show in navigation.JPG


Select Yes in "Display this list on the Quick Launch" and press "Save".


12 Show in navigation.JPG

We already have the title column, but we need another column to store the name of the person responsible. Click on "Create Column".


13 Create a column for responsible.JPG

Type the name of the column, e.g. "Responsible", and choose the type "Person or Group".


14 Add responsible column.JPG

Now the list is created. Now lets go back to our Team.


15 List is ready.JPG


Now we will add the list to a tab in the team. Click the plus sign.


16 Add a Tab for Responsibility.JPG


Choose "SharePoint".

17 Select SharePoint.JPG


Click on "Lists" and select the list we have created. Then press "Save".


18 Select the List.JPG


Now we have a nice overview of responsibilities as a tab in the channel "General". Now just enter the name of the services and the respective service manager / change agent.


19 Add services and people.JPG



Now is the time to pick up the "parent governance plan" for Office 365 and create a tab for it.

20 Superior Governanceplan.JPG





We start by picking up the governance plan for the team. Click the Files tab and select Upload.


21 Upload Superior Governanceplan.JPG



To create a tab for the governance plan, just click "Make this a tab". You can do this in two ways. Either click on it in the menu or click on the three dots to the left of the file.

22 Make this a Tab.JPG


There we have the governance plan in a separate tab in the channel "General". Easy to find and we don't have to go to "Files" first and then open it. It is always good to save a number of clicks, especially when it comes to important documents that you need to access quickly, often and easily.


23 Governanceplan as a tab.JPG


Now we will continue to create some more channels. We start with the channel Team Requests. Click on the three dots to the right of the team name and then select "Add channel".

24 Create a Channel for Team Requests.JPG


Set the name to Team Requests and enter a description. Then click "Add".


27 Name the Channel for new requests.JPG

I will not go into more detail on provisioning or how to automate the requests or creation of Teams in this post. but if you want to know more about it you can read "Who should be able to create new teams and how to handle it?" and Magnus Sandtorv's very good blog series "Take control of your Microsoft Teams environment".



Now let us create a Channel that we will use to control our change management. Click on the three dots to the right of the team name and then select "Add channel".


24 Create a Channel for Team Requests.JPG





Set the channel name to "Change Management" and enter a description. Then click "Add".


26 name the change channel.JPG


What would change management be without a plan? Of course, we will use Planner to control and plan for the introduction of all updates and changes that are constantly appearing in Microsoft 365 Roadmap and other sources. It is this plan that will be the most important tool for the Change Board you have established.

Enter the "Change Management" channel and click on the plus sign to add a new tab.


28 Create a Tab for the Change Plan.JPG



Click on the tab type called "Planner".

29 select planner.JPG


Choose "Use an existing plan from this team" and then click "Save".


30 select an existing plan.JPG


We do not want too long names on our tabs, so we rename it as follows: Click the arrow to the right of the tab name and select "Rename".


31 Rename the tab to Change Plan.JPG


Enter the name "Change Plan" and then click "Save".


32 rename and save.JPG


Now the plan is in place as a tab in the channel. Now add the "Buckets" that are best for your process.


33 Add the buckets that represents your change prosess.JPG


Now it's just to fill up with updates and changes as they appear in various sources around you.

In the upcoming change meetings, you go through all the new updates of the plan and handle the existing ones that are in the other phases (Buckets). Check and discuss their status and assign managers, set deadlines and follow up.


34 Now you can add updates to the Plan.JPG


The change meetings would be great to have in this channel as well. Just click on "Calendar" and create a recurring meeting. Place the meeting in this channel and it will be displayed as follows. In addition, you automatically get a tab with a practical OneNote to write meeting notes in.


35 Add a meeting to the calendar and channel.JPG


Now we will create a channel for a service. (You repeat this step for every service you want / need to handle).

In this example, we create a channel for "Microsoft Teams". Add the channel as follows:


36 Add a Channel for a Service.JPG


Enter the name and description and then click "Add".


37 Add name and description.JPG


Once the channel is established, we will add a "filtered Microsoft 365 roadmap" that shows only the upcoming updates that are relevant to this particular service. Click the plus sign to add a tab and select the tab type called "Website".


38 Add a tab for filtered roadmap.JPG


Open Microsoft 365 Roadmap in a browser and select "Microsoft Teams" and filter only to see the updates that have "In development" and "Rolling out" status. Then copy the page url.


39 configure filter and copy url.JPG


Go back to the team and the current channel and paste the url from the filtered roadmap. Name the tab "Roadmap" and then click "Save".


40 name the tab and paste url.JPG


Now we have the filtered roadmap as a tab in the service channel and it becomes easy for the person responsible for the service to identify and capture changes and updates (and then enter these into the plan we just created). The nice thing about this is that you don't have to go through the entire roadmap. Instead, you can focus on what you are responsible for. In other words, less noise.


41 view filtered Roadmap.JPG


Since each service should have its own governance plan, we place it in the channel for each service.


42 A governanceplan for a service.JPG


Go into the channel and click on the "Files" tab and then select upload.


43 Upload the Governanceplan.JPG


Since the governance plan should be easily accessible, we choose to display it in a tab in the channel.


44 Make this a tab.JPG


It can hardly be simpler and clearer than this. (However, you always have the opportunity to use the team's OneNote for Governance Plans instead of word files. You can choose which option is best for you


45 View The Governanceplan.JPG


If you have Alert Policies, or Activity Alerts or other alerts that you wish to send into a service's channel, simply copy the channel's email address and enter it when you set up the alerts you want. (For example, it may be interesting to capture information about teams that have been deleted or if someone has changed the rights on a SharePoint site, etc.)


46 Get Email Adress for Alerts.jpg


Here is an example of alerts that have been sent to a channel. This is a very good and easy way to inform and call attention from a service manager.


47 Activity Alert to channel.JPG


Finally, we will look at how we can use the team's OneNote to gather all notes about each service in one single notebook. Add a tab and select the OneNote type.


48 Add a Notebook Section for the service.jpg


Select the team notebook and create a new section with the same name as the channel. Then click "Save".


49 Create New Section.jpg


Rename the tab to "Notes".


50 Rename the tab to Notes.JPG




51 New Name.JPG


Now we have a section for the service in the team's notebook.


52 The Notebook.JPG



That's it for now. In an upcoming blog post, I will team up with a very good colleague to show how to automate the creation of a Governance team and also automate its configuration in a smart way that saves a lot of time and minimizes manual work. Keep up to date here in the Microsoft Tech Community as well as on my blog so you don't miss it.







6 Replies
Very nice guide for how to handle O365 governance!
Nice writing...might I recommend you something? Why not writting in the blogs section in the Tech Community? Writing this article as a message in a community space is going to make it not visible as soon as new messages are coming to this space
Thank you very much for this great easy-to-read guide and your very useful blog, Magnus!