Best practices: teams vs channels

We, a small (50) company have enabled Mattermost in GitLab Omnibus, and then ran a short trial among software engineers, and liked it and want to stick with it. I am trying to figure out the best way to slice the information space; narrowly, the question that I am unable to answer is: when should I prefer creating a team to creating a channel?

I could not find any guidelines on that; the Teams FAQ is concerned with the how, not the why of team creation; the Documentation on organizing Mattermost promises to talk about teams and channels, but only goes on on the latter; it does speak of subteams getting a channel each, however.

At the moment, we will be using Mattermost only for internal communication. That we here stands for a few company teams: software engineers (SWE), product managers (PM) and IT. Currently that excludes e. g. sales and marketing; those we will be looking at later. To me, an argument for a single team is that all these people communicate quite often on common channels. For example, SWE and PM (a PM connects a customer and SWE) together discuss customer applications; they certainly should be in one team. Similarly, SWE and IT interact quite often. The IT also makes company-wide announces. But that might be a naive understanding of a novice, that would make our life difficult later.

So I am looking primarily for any guidance on this question, but am also interested in general best practices resources that are helpful in planning a Mattermost installation.


Hi @kkm,

Thank you for your question. In response to “when should I prefer creating a team to creating a channel?”, we see most people use one team if it’s a group that works together frequently. On the core Mattermost team, we use one team and make channels for different projects or topics.

I hope this helps?

Hi @kkm and @lindy65,

I just wanted to join the discussion since I’m facing basically the same question and this was the only thread concerned with best practices :slight_smile:
Do you maybe have any size recommendations for teams vs. channels?

For example, I’m currently part of a mattermost team consisting of multiple thousands of users of a large organization. My actual team (read: the people I work with directly) are about 30 people, where these 30 people work on different projects.

Would I now create a private mattermost team for my team containing multiple project-related channels or rather simply create multiple private channels (e.g. a general one for the whole team (“A-Team”) and one private channel for each project (“A-Team: Project Bloons”, etc.)) within the huge organization team?

Or are there any restrictions to consider that could help me decide?

Thank you in advance for any advice! :slight_smile:

Hi @Merlin2001,

Thanks for your questions :slight_smile:

Sounds like you have a similar work environment to our Core Team where we have a big Contributors Team where we interact with the community as well as our team members but also have a separate private team where we keep information that would relate only to Mattermost staff. Both teams are on the same server.

So, in answer to your question, perhaps it would be a good idea to create a new team for your smaller 30-people team. Direct message channels are common across teams while public and private channels would be team specific. When receiving a desktop notification from someone on another team, you can jump to that team by clicking on the notification.

Let me know if this helps or if there’s any other information you need!

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I would agree with the previous comment and advise to create a team as well