Teams Files, SP Document Library, Best Practices

Occasional Contributor

Hello Community,


New Teams user here.

I have resisted Teams for a while but I am now taking another look, especially in these pandemic times.  I like the how Teams allows collaboration in a centralized location with channels, meetings etc.


However, I would like some help on a best practice for file sharing that includes inside organization and more specifically outside organization. 


We have been using SharePoint as a traditional server for file storage. For example we save all our project related files in a SP site called Projects>Documents>Client Name>Project Name and then each Project has a series of sub folders organizing files for that specific project.  


Within the context of collaboration with others outside our organization such as clients and/or vendors; what would be the best practice for the following: 


I have multiple contacts under one client, each contact works on different projects.


I believe, it would be best (correct me if I am wrong), to create a new Team for each project. In my thinking, I think this way only the contacts I invite to this team collaborate on things specific to that project. As opposed to creating a Team for the Client and then Channels for each project. It is my understanding, the permissions I set at the Team level cascade down through the Channels. If I am correct, this would be problematic and unnecessary - not all contacts within the client need to see what others are working on and if I collaborate with vendors, they don't need to see all projects, especially if they are not involved. 


This visibility/permissions challenge I have, brings me to the "Files" tab.


Since I already have a doc library in a SP site where all project related files are saved (by project under each client), I would prefer all the collaboration files that are shared (if any) are in the same Project folder. 


Right now, if I create a Team or Channel, It gets a new "Files" tab/folder in its own SP site. Can I point  this to a different folder in a different SP site so everything stays in one place? 


Is it possible to have outside collaborators see and have access to a folder in Teams that is within another project folder/SP site without them seeing all the other sub folders within that project. I don't want them to see "how the sausage is made" so to speak, but I don't want multiple locations for files either.


Or do I treat Teams as a collaboration space only and move any documents that are shared to the project folder when the project closes out? 


Hopefully I explained this well enough, I hoping we can leverage Teams more appropriately for our needs. Thank you for your time and any insight provided.


1 Reply
Hi! You are correct, having a separate team for each project makes sense here! Surely you can have a team of private channels for each project but it makes more sense to have a separate team.

You can’t alter the files tab and where that points to! You can however add a SharePoint library tab to the team and point it to the other library.

Teams honors all SharePoint permissions so who can access what is based on permissions set within SharePoint. All members of a team have default read/write access to the files in the teams SP site (files tab) but if you are adding a different library as a tab or a files folder within the files tab, these are controlled by the permissions you set in this library.

I’d recommend thinking thoughtfully about this and how you want to do this. Are you keeping all files in a separate library vs moving some files etc..since there seems to be a lot of different permissions, you don’t want to get stuck in a permissions nightmare. Also try out the experience with the files from other sources than the default library from within Teams