Use color-coding in your Teams Team picture to define types of collaboration

Across the years of consulting various organisations in the world around SharePoint, I have hinted at using various color schemes and themes (color-coding) to define the type of collaboration: Green for a department site, brown for a project site, red for a highly classified site, …

While this is still possible in SharePoint Online, with much greater ease then before, this idea can be used in Teams as well: Now that Teams is taking off, and many organisations are creating many teams to do their collaboration.
I can still remember my first Teams implementation I did, where the key users were proud to have “so many Teams in their list that they need a scrollbar to show them all”! We came so far from then by adding pins, your teams vs hidden teams, ….

Make information easier to find for your end users

The pins for channels has a limit of 25. So what other ways could you use to make it easier for your end users to find the correct Teams they are working in?

When you would apply color-coding in the Teams Team picture, you can easily see the difference. In this example I use it for the type of collaboration (blue for projects, orange for departments). You could add many more color schemes if you want (like a special color or shape to indicate external people are present or if the Team is internal only ?)

Blue for projects, orange for departments


These kinds of agreements are nice to think of, but how do your enforce it? A lot of organisations have a solution to create new Teams, you could bake it in there. On the other hand, this could be a check (just like the check that every Team has at least 2 owners, which you should have).

Next, you need a way to create this color-coding into the picture. For smaller organisations, doing this by hand might ease the pain. You could also just create the ones for the departments. Every HR Team might be in green for example. All IT Teams might be in yellow.

Another idea would be to use a red box with a “!” for highly classified Teams. Or a specific color to indicate external people are allowed in this Teams ?

How would you use the picture to give some extra information on your Team?

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 12 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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