Requesting best practice discussion on setting up Teams and Channels

Copper Contributor

Hello everyone!


I'm interested in soliciting discussion on the best practices when setting up teams and channels inside of MS Teams.


First, let me give you a bit of overview in our deployment. We are using Teams to manage most of our internal projects, and while it works great internally, our setup causes some problems when trying to bring people outside of our organisation into Teams for discussion and collaboration.


As an example, we have set up a Production team with channels for each client. This works great internally. Each Production team member has access to the information they need to complete deployment for the client with all the rich features Teams brings to the table.


The issue comes when we want to provide clients access to their project. Currently, unless we're missing something, outside users can only be added to teams, and not channels.


To get around this, it seems like we'd need to change our Teams setup and create teams for each client, which seems excessive and really counter-productive from an efficiency standpoint. We would have hundreds of teams to manage, which seems like an administrative nightmare.


The alternative to this is to create secondary teams for the client to join, but then we have the issue of either having two copies of documents (one in the Production team and a dupe in the client's team), and two different conversation threads, etc.


Operationally, we're kinda stuck on this one and would be very appreciative of advice from anyone else running into similar issues. It seems like being able to share channels outside of the org would be the answer, but we're assuming there is some kind of technical hurdle with this since it's not already a 'feature'.


Thank you all, and I look forward to your thoughts.







8 Replies

@Todd Harrison 


Hi Todd.  Guest users certainly can participate in channels as shown here - 

best response confirmed by Todd Harrison (Copper Contributor)

@Todd Harrison 


If guest users simply need to access files, you could extend permissions to them to the underlying SharePoint folder associated with the Client Channel.


If guests need to participate via the Teams interface and also have access to Posts, Planner, etc you could make every Client Channel in the Team a Private Channel, then add guests to the Team overall and only to relevant Private Channel(s).


For the second option, it may not be ideal if you're already actively using a Team with Standard Channels, as they can't be converted to Private.


I'd be curious how others have handled this use case.

@PeterRising this link leads to a notice about an event happening today. is that the intent or did you mean to link to an article detailing guest access to channels?



Good spot thanks, wrong link. :lol:

@PeterRising Oh goodness, this is a game changer! Thank you so much for pointing this out. We've been floundering here, and have spent tens of man-hours trying to figure out how to do this. :) 



Thank you for this Dave! That helps clarify things so much. We hadn't understood the impact of private channels and had incorrectly understood how they work.

Thank you!
Aaah, I actually misunderstood your answer. Sorry about that! Yes, we know that when guests are added to a team, that they have access to the channels. That's part of the problem. We want them to have ONLY access to their channel, not everyone else's.

In our setup, if we add a guest to the Production team, they immediately have access to all channels under that team, which gives them access to other client's data, which is what we're trying to avoid.

Hi Todd,

Microsoft is adding shared channels which are scheduled to be generally available shortly. This capability will allow you to collaborate with external users in a specific channel without giving them access to the entire team.

This article might be useful to give you a better idea about how to leverage shared channels for various use cases: