Best way for us to set up a team

New Contributor

We are a medium size contractor.  We have 30-50 customers, we complete 1-100 projects for each, per year for.  They range in length from 1 day to 12 months. 


Right now we hold each project in a channel, under the "projects" team.  Everyone in the company has access to each project, but don't necessarily need to.


Problem is, by the end of the year the channels within the "projects" team, will be a mile long.


How should we set up Teams?

  1. Keep it the same
  2. List a team for each customer, with projects for the customers as channels under each.
  3. Make a separate team for each project
  4. Other

All advice is welcome!



10 Replies
I’m with an architecture firm and kind of in ansiliar situation. We have 75+ projects per year that span multiple years. Im a little afraid of managing 100’s of Team sites on Sharepoint... Somebody suggested that we make the client the Team and set up projects below that. But most of our clients have a single project. So I’m not sure.
Well first question both of you have to make is if you really think Teams is a good platform for managing projects...IMHO, it is but depending on the number of projects you might fall in a situation where you are tons of Teams and from an IT and governance point of view, that can be a problem...Saying that my advice here is to have at least a Team per customer and then a channel per project you have for the same might happen this is not enough in case you have complex project with that case, a model where each project has a Team makes absolutely sense. Coming back to the problem of having tons of Teams, the ideal solution not provided by Microsoft yet should be the ability of closing / archive Teams that are not needed anymore, but as I said, this is not existing and you only have some compliance features that can help you here (such as eDiscovery) so you can make at least a partial copy of the information you have on those team you want to close....another approach could be to "manually close" those teams by removing access to them and making them private. In this way the info. in the teams remain there, but the teams are not accesible anymore from the Teams App
Hi Terry, Regarding your needs you could use the Teams, but you will have or many Channels or Teams based on your number of customers and number of projects. I advise for that numbers to use Teams with Project Online to best control the projects. You can create Channels per Customer and use Project Online to control them and if you do not need the Channel, you can delete the channel and the files that you have used on that channel it will remain on the SharePoint for historical.

OK, so set up each team as a customer and project for that customer as channels?  Then use Project online for control of said project?

Hi Terry, It depends. You can create just a Team with Channel per costumer to have a centralized place and use Project Online to control all projects. Or you can create a Team and a Channel per project, because if you create a Team per costumer is too heavy to control several teams.

Think of a team as a boundary, if you need a different list of users to have access to a set of conversations and files then create a Team.


Teams can handle lots of Teams and lots of channels in each Team, it'll only show you the things you favourite in the left column, those which arent favourited get put under 'more' links. For example I'm in about 30 Teams but only favourite 4 o fthen to keep an eye on, and then I pick the channels I need.


I couldnt really say in your case, perhaps managing permissions on having lots of teams would be a pain when someone new joins, in which case I might stick with the 'projects' team you discuss. Or perhaps grouping customers allows a better understanding and you can see more at a glance which projects are noisey etc.



I understand that Groups can have multiple Planner plans if created through a Team. Maybe I create an internal team for our 2018 projects and then a Channel for each project. Each project would get a conversation feed, a Planner plan, and Onenote. That might work for us since this will be an internal collaboration tool and not intended for our clients.

Any issues with that approach?

Watch out for the limit on the number of teams and channels currently. I'm looking into using teams for our project work in my department but there is a 200 channel limit per team which is less than half a years worth of projects for just our small team. I understand there's a workaround of deleting the channel while the data would remain on the sharepoint site but I'd like to retain easy access to older projects for all the users who don't necessarily have any sharepoint knowledge. I think there's also a limit of 250 teams so I couldn't make a team per project either. I'm not sure if Microsoft don't intend this to be used for all projects over many years or if this will get fixed but at the moment it's something I'm concerned about.

I'm a couple years late, but was curious if anyone that commented had any updates.

In my view, it seems that a Team would be a project and the Channels would be the topics that pertain to the project. This way, you could probably standardize on Channel naming-conventions to a large degree and get users used to what content applies to what channel - e.g. a "Submittals" channel and an "RFI" channel - things that are common to all projects.

Also, you might have a single client, but different studio in your firm manage different projects for that client - in that scenario having one Team for the client could get messy with lots of users working on different projects. Or maybe not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I would love to see an example from Microsoft where they map out in a huge diagram how they envision all these products being used.

bumping this up. Also interested to see some practical examples. Internally we use a naming convention to specify if the Team is internal or external, if it's direct or through a partner, then the name of the customer.
But yes it depends on questions that have been raised before like how many Teams would you have if you had one per customer?
How many channels (projects) would each customer have?
What about complex projects where a channel is not enough? if you create a separate Team for that then you go out of the convention
Sometimes I feel one more level of hierarchy would be helpful, like grouping Teams based on a specific attribute or category