How to coexist two site collection created for the different purpose for the same department?

Occasional Contributor



I need your suggestion on the followings:


There are multiple departments in the organization such as HR, Marketing, Sales, Account, Finance etc.


Now, there is a content site for each department also there is another site collection that gets created when we create the MS teams for each department. Can you please suggest how can I prevent having two seperate site collection for the same department while continue utilizing the MS teams for the collaboration while SharePoint for the content management? What are the criteria that I would require to take care?


Please help!




8 Replies
These sites have different purposes and security. Use the team site for work in progress and private content. When a file needs to be shared broadly for read access, move it to the relevant communication site. To “connect” the two sites for the work team, add the communication site or a library as a tab in a Teams channel. From the comm site, you can add a navigation link to the Team or team site and target the link so that it is only visible to Team Members. It is actually a good idea to have (at least) two sites for groups like HR, Finance, etc., who have both private content and content they want to share with the rest of the organization. The communication site will allow those teams to create pages that provide context for the rest of the org without the risk of accidentally exposing private content.
Thank you very much Susan for your response and suggestions,

It seems within HR, there are multiple "Teams" site for team work - while there is only one communitcation site for HR. Although it seems reorganizing whole site structure by reducing the subsite into site collection could be a good idea?

does that mean - each department/project should have two site collection for better collaboration and security? If so - I wonder if having multiple site collection for the same purpose is a good idea? Maybe in "Teams" ( Teams Channel) site, publishing features can be activated so the same site collection can be used for the content pages and team work for document collaboration? Is that a good idea?

Are there any best practices for SharePoint online site structure?

Best Regards,
best response confirmed by tom_s1865 (Occasional Contributor)
It depends. For large organizations, HR might have multiple communication sites - one for Benefits, one for Recruiting/Talent Acquistion, one for Performance Management plus a "main" HR site that might be a hub for all of the HR sites. See: for an example. No, you should not activate publishing features on your modern team site (you may break things if you do) and NO do not mix private team collaboration with communication sites for "publishing" content to a broad audience. Your team site is where you "make the sausage." The communication site is where you "sell the sausage." Your multiple site collections are NOT for the same purpose at all. One is for collaboration and the other is for communication. Different purpose, different audience. Especially with HR, you do not want private HR content on a "public" site. I teach a workshop on information architecture for SharePoint intranets if you want to learn more. The next one will be at 365 EduCon in DC in June.
Awesome, You are the best! This clarifies all I had in my mind! Thank you so much for your attention and time :)

@Susan Hanley I have one last concern on the info architecture - Now, Associated site collection types could be "Communication site", "Team Site" and site collection created by "Microsoft Teams" - My confusion is, how do I decide if Microsoft teams site collection created to collaborate for the private project to be associated with the hub site collection? What are the pros/cons? 


OR Microsoft teams site collection should never be associated with hub - because as you said, it;s made to "make a sausage" and private to the team? - Although I believe, if on the Hub portal, people even try to search the content, they will see/view result based on their permission and in that sense, probably associating "Microsoft Teams Site Collection" should be safe as respective people only be able to view the content?


Kindly help clarify :(

@tom_s1865 Another "it depends" answer. If you want the search scope for your hub to just show sites connected to the hub, don't associate private sites. Private content will be searchable at the organization level. Typically, private team collaboration sites are not connected to the hub(s) representing your intranet, but they could be. By associated to the hub, you will remove the ability of the Team Owner to set the theme on the SharePoint site associated to the Team. When a user goes to the team site, which they might not do if they are working in Teams, they would see the hub navigation - which could be helpful or could be a distraction. I typically do not consider private collaboration spaces part of the intranet, so I don't always connect teams sites to hubs, but there are exceptions when there is an outcome goal to scope search (or read permissions) to a group of team sites. If that is the use case, then I might associate a team site to a hub but not add it to the hub navigation.

Hi @Susan Hanley, just to say thank you for the great insights you share. I have some similar questions and I would appreciate tour valous feedback. I'll post in a separete thread to better following. Thanks