Microsoft Teams seems like it’s trying to be the one-stop tool for all your organisational needs. I think it works fine for chat and calls, but for knowledge management it is extremely unimpressive, often making things much harder than they need to be. Here’s four ways Teams is killing your knowledge management.
Teams has a “Files” tab where you can save files that are relevant for a channel.
The concept is good, but unfortunately it’s plagued by an unfortunate decision: If anyone posts a file inside a conversation it’s uploaded to the Files tab.
This makes it impossible to distinguish between these two scenarios:
- This file is here because someone consciously chose to save it so you could look at it
- This file is here because someone needed to share it that one time
Which means that the top level folder quickly becomes an interspersed mess of really important stuff™ and stuff that doesn’t matter at all.
Teams also has a wiki functionality where each channel gets its own wiki tab.
That’s wonderful - you and your team can share information and collaboratively edit it!
Except the information can be almost impossible to find again, because there’s no way to search for a specific wiki page or the content inside it.
This means that if you want to find something you have to either know exactly what channel and wiki page it’s located at, or go meandering through all the wikis of all your channels. Writing down stuff isn’t worth anything if you don’t easily let people find it again.
But for files, at least you can group them inside directories and then easily find those again right?
For example, we have a directory inside one of our channels called “Books” for, well, books. And if I want to find the books, I can just search for “Books” and Teams will surely get me the directory right?
Not a chance buddy. Teams only shows you files, not directories.
This means that to figure out what’s in a directory you either have to remember the channel it was in and find it that way, or go search through SharePoint, which luckily manages to get it right.
Often you create channels for projects or events, and those channels at some point become irrelevant.
Teams makes it very easy to be stuck with those channels forever. You can delete them - but what if there’s information in there you might need later?
There’s no way to mark that a channel isn’t active anymore. The best thing you can do is rename it and have everyone hide it so it doesn’t show up all the time - but that’s a real band-aid solution.
While Teams has come a long way for chat, it’s still lagging behind in regards to all the auxiliary functionality it offers.
It seems like it wants to do everything. Unfortunately it doesn’t do any of the things particularly well.
Many of these issues have been open on Microsoft UserVoice for years, with tens of thousand of votes, and no response from Microsoft.
So if you haven’t moved your wikis and file management to Teams yet - I’d suggest you wait a year or two. But if you have, like us, and the cost of switching away is too high, there’s nothing to do but arm yourself with a truckload of patience.