With the announcement that Shared Channels in Microsoft teams is now generally available, it’s worth considering how you can use this feature within your organization. There are now three types of channels available within a Team:
- Standard Channel – Permissions set by the team, available to all team members
- Private Channel – Permissions set on the channel and accessible to a sub set of team members
- Shared Channel – Permissions set on the channel and available to team members and non team members
For a full comparison see my Teams Channel Types comparison article.
Whilst Shared Channels have had a lot of exposure for their use between organizations, you can also use them within a single organization to support cross-team working without the need for an extra Microsoft Teams team.
In this scenario, we are the owners of the Star Wars team. In the same organization we have an Avengers team and the two teams want to work together on a joint project. We are the team leader and owner of both teams, so can do all the steps ourself.
The Star Wars team already has several channels including a private channel.
The Avengers team is also an established team with multiple channels.
Rather than create a new team for the collaboration, we create a new channel in the Star Wars Team
The privacy for this channel is set to Shared and the whole Star Wars team is added to the channel. If required, you could include only a subset of the team members, by unchecking the Share this channel with everyone on the team checkbox.
Rather than the individuals from the Star Wars team the shared channel shows the Star Wars team as members of the channel. This means that as people are added or removed from the Star Wars team, they are also added or removed from the shared channel.
The members of the Star Wars team, can now use the channel from their team as with any other channel in the team.
To add the Avengers team to the channel, we choose Share with a team you own from the members page. As we are also owners of the Avengers team, we have full permission to add the team. If we were not the owner we would choose Share with team and initially invite the owner of the team for them to approve add in the team.
We can now pick from the teams we own and select Done
The confirmation that the other team has been added will display.
And we can now see both teams listed on the team members page
Members of the Avengers team will not see the shared channel in the list of channels within their own team.
All the channel content is exactly the same across both teams and both teams can use the channel from within their team as any other channel.
As we are members of both teams we see the shared channel in both teams.
Another way to share the channel is from the … menu next to the channel, rather than needing the access the channel management page first.