Splitting Teams into Favorites and More
In Office 365 Message Center notification MC177587 called “Focus on your active teams,” Microsoft announced that they will be rolling out a feature to declutter Teams clients in early May to be completed worldwide by the end of June. The feature splits the display of teams within the “team gallery” into Favorites, those that a user accesses regularly, and More, or teams that have not been accessed in the last 45 days.
It was inevitable that Microsoft would have to introduce a feature like this. Limited space is available in clients to display the teams list and over time, that list grows. Teams on the list might belong to projects that you participated in at one time but not now, or finished projects, or discussions that you are mildly interested in, and so on. In short, teams can be a chaotic mess.
Automatic Movement to More
The documentation for the feature says “to keep you organized, we’ll automatically move teams you haven’t visited in several weeks to the More menu at the bottom of your teams list.” In other words, background processes periodically scan the set of teams available to users to look for teams that haven’t been accessed in the last 45 days (approximately, depending on when the background scan happens). Any teams meeting these criteria go into the More section of the teams list.
Users are notified when Teams move teams into the More section and have the chance to reverse the process by moving the teams back into Favorites.
For whatever reason, perhaps because disappearing teams used for classes are a bad idea, this feature is unavailable in Teams for Education.
Out of Sight But Always Available
It’s essential to give users a heads-up about this change as otherwise you run the risk that people will panic when teams disappear, even if they are notified (it’s the kind of thing that people click on and forget). Out of sight might mean out of mind in that users can concentrate on the teams most active and important to them, but it’s critical that users understand that all the teams they belong to remain accessible and that they will see activity for hidden teams in their activity feed.
If someone discovers that the automatic check moves a team they want to track into the More section, they can always mark it as a favorite to move it into that list. To restore a hidden team and make it a favorite again, click to expand the More list to view the set of hidden teams (this list is organized alphabetically) or search for a team and then mark it as a favorite.
There’s no way to mark a team as a perpetual favorite.
For more information about Teams, read Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.