SharePoint and Teams

Why you need a Teams and SharePoint workspace directory

Discover how a workspace directory improves information structure, enhances discoverability, and combats sprawl within your SharePoint and Teams estate.
Martin Hattingh
May 2, 2024
3 min to read

As your organization grows, so do the number of employees, and the SharePoint and Teams workspaces that those employees use to collaborate. An increased number of workspaces can make it difficult for people to find the documents and other information they’re looking for, especially when there are a large number of duplicate, test, outdated or orphaned teams and team sites.

Workspace directories alleviate the negative effects of an increasing number of Microsoft 365 content containers by providing a set of tools with which to structure information, make that information easily discoverable, and prevent unwanted future sprawl. Here are some of the reasons you need a directory:

1 - Improve information structure

A workspace directory provides a centralized hub where all SharePoint and Teams workspaces are listed and categorized. Using the metadata recorded against each workspace to enable features such as searching, filtering, and sorting, users can quickly locate resources relevant to their work.

Screenshot of the SProbot workspace directory Teams app, showing a list of SharePoint sites and teams available within the organizationi

A workspace directory which contains properly described and categorised sites and teams simplifies the process of finding and accessing relevant information, leading to enhanced discoverability.

2 – Enhance discoverability

The same metadata that improves information structure also provides users with a detailed description of a workspace’s purpose and context of what resources may be available within the SharePoint site or Microsoft 365 group, regardless of whether they have existing access to it.

Information shown in the directory is allowed by workspace owners to be visible organization-wide, with standard access requests triggered when someone who is searching for content attempts to access a site or team they do not yet have the necessary permissions to.

This increased discoverability improves awareness and transparency, resulting in fewer information silos and enabling users to more effectively leverage existing resources instead of reverting to the default behaviour of creating new content (which could potentially be a duplicate of something which already exists).

Screenshot of a grid listing of workspaces in the SProbot Teams app

When people use existing verified content instead of creating new duplicate content, unnecessary content sprawl is reduced.

3 – Reduce content sprawl

When people can’t very easily find suitable existing SharePoint sites or teams to house content they need to work on, they tend to take the path of least resistance by simply creating a new container.

The powerful, easy content discovery made possible by a workspace directory prevents this and reduces instances of potentially duplicate workspaces being created. This has a compounding effect on discoverability, because the less cluttered the directory is with duplicate, outdated, unused and empty workspaces, the easier it is to find that elusive “single version of the truth”.

A workspace directory provides the tools needed for enhanced governance of both the initial creation and ongoing maintenance of workspaces within Teams and SharePoint.

Workspaces should only be created when they’re necessary, and then correctly categorised, tagged and described so that they’re easy to discover in future. Directories and their related tools can enable approval-controlled provisioning based on templates and governance rules, ensuring that the correct metadata is always applied to new workspaces, and that existing workspace remain up to date.

Provisioning and Approval Workflows

Provisioning and approval workflows reduce the creation of unnecessary workspaces by only allowing SharePoint sites and teams to be created once they are approved by a designated person or group of people. You could for example only allow Client Portals to be created once the client operations manager approves them.

Templates and governance rules

Templates and governance rules connected to the provisioning and approval workflows enable you to enforce compliance and security policies for both Teams and SharePoint team sites, protecting organizational data. Templates also provide users with a standardized structure, navigation and look and feel within their workspaces, increasing usability.


Implementing a workspace directory within an organization promotes more structured and disciplined workspace creation and management. This empowers users to locate relevant content easily and improves collaboration. Administrators can more reliably ensure that data within workspaces has relevant compliance and security measures in place to protect both the organization and its users. Lastly, by improving existing workspace visibility and value within the organization, workspace directories reduce sprawl and duplication.

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