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Guidelines for Microsoft Teams in San Rafael

This guide outlines where document libraries live and how Citywide teams work with SharePoint and Office 365 Teams.


Citywide Teams are centralized locations for cross-department collaboration, conversations, and document storage.   The City of San Rafael team frequently works across Departments to support programs, projects, or initiatives. It is imperative for project teams to consider where and how we collaborate on documents to ensure all information is discoverable and accessible for all team members.

We have controls in place to limit the growth of Teams and channels so we can more easily centralize and track the location of our work. Staff with proper training are given ownership where needed.

Before You Get Started

Here are important considerations for all members of the team when you embark on working across Departments.

  1. Designate the project/program owner
  2. Identify Where Documents are Stored
  3. Inform Your Project Team
  4. Do Not Use OneDrive for Collaboration
  5. When in doubt, ask Digital for help and we will get you set up with the right environment.

Department Teams

Digital Team screenshot

Each Department at the City has a designated Team for the storage of Department-specific work. Department Teams also include channels for coordinating intra-communication on specific topics. In the case of Department-led efforts that may require collaboration with staff outside the Department, Directors can approve  access to the Department team. This is only recommended if there is not sensitive information on your Team that you don’t want accessible by the invited members (i.e. Human Resources and Finance).

Citywide Project Team

Citywide Projects Team

This Team allows cross-departmental teams to collaborate and communicate on projects in private channels. A private channel includes a Posts tab and Files tab. It is recommended to include project-level communication in the designated channel and store all project-related files in the channel File tab.

Citywide Projects Team should be used for:

  • Projects with a completion date
  • Projects that require collaboration between multiple Departments

Xantrion and Directors can create a private channel and add members.*

*All Team members can create a folder in the General channel for sharing.

Citywide Programs and Processes

City council Team screenshot

The City uses Teams to centralize communication and coordination for ongoing programs and Citywide processes. This allows Citywide teams to use multiple channels and document storage to support programs and processes.


  • City Council Meetings
  • Public Records Requests
  • Communications Team
  • Events (Special Events Team)

City of San Rafael Team

San Rafael Team screenshot

The San Rafael Team is available to all staff. This team can be used for Citywide templates, resources, and or Together San Rafael content that is available for all team members.

Private channels in the San Rafael team can be set up for cross-departmental collaboration on City programs and staff events or transparent coordination between teams.

Collaboration with Guests - Consultants or Outside Agencies

Teams and SharePoint libraries can be set up that allow consultants and guests from outside agencies to collaborate with City team members.

  1. Teams: Set up for multiyear projects or programs.
  2. Shared folders/libraries: Set up in cases where an outside consultant needs access but the work is staying within a Department.

Some examples of how this is in use in San Rafael:

  • Climate Adaptation Team - a multi-year collaboration between the City, County of Marin, and non-profit partners.
  • General Plan 2040 - a multiyear collaboration between the City of San Rafael and multiple consultants.
  • Community Development (CD External) - A SharePoint Library that allows the Community Development Department to share and collaborate with consultants on a folder level

Where Why and When Examples
Citywide Projects
(Private Channel)
·        Controlled access to content

·        Dedicated communication channel

·        Dedicated location for documents

·        Asset Management

·        Contract Improvement

Citywide Programs/Processes Teams ·        Ongoing cross-Department collaboration

·        Requires multiple channels

·        City Council Meetings

·        Public Records Requests

·        Special Events

·        Communications Team

Department Team
(Invite outside Department staff)
·        Content should live in Department

·        Only need City Attorney or leadership to have access for review

·        Director approves access

·        DPW projects that need City Attorney advice

·        Planning documents that need review by Economic Development

·        Requires coordination with CM office but needs to stay in Department folders

Dedicated Team (with Guest Access) ·        Requires guest access

·        Needs multiple dedicated

·        General Plan 2040

·        Climate Adaptation Planning

Library with Guest Access ·        Content should live in Department

·        Need consultants to access

·        Can be linked to a channel in your Department Team

·        Limits access to folders and not entire library

·        Planning Projects that need external support
City of San Rafael ·        All City Staff can access

·        Content is not private in the General Channel

·        Easy to create and share folders in General

·        Private channels can be created for private content and dedicated communication

·        Staff Events

·        Together San Rafael

·        Directors (Private)

Department Team
(Restricted Access)
·        Daily operations

·        Department Use Only

·        Human Resources Team

·        Finance Team

·        Police Department

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