I am building out an engagement program with about 7 streams. The purpose of stream one is to sort the members into the other 6 streams. Can I sort members into the 6 streams if they do not contain any programs and a cadence has not been set?
I guess what i want to figure out is, if I've distributed members throughout the 6 streams, added content afterwards, and activated the cadence will that be okay? Will the stream act as a container until I add the content? OR is it required to have content and activate the streams before I transition members to them?
The main use case I can imagine for what you're talking about (aka, not using something like a traffic director from the start to place prospects into the most appropriate engagement program and stream) is an on-boarding program, in which case the "exhaustion" reporting metric wouldn't be as important anyway. I think you're safe to go!
The short answer (to summarize Ed) is Yes, an empty Stream is perfectly fine. The lead will receive no content until you drop the Content in there and activate the content.
When testing or preparing an Engagement is a good practice to go to Setup and TURN OFF the Engagement entirely to avoid mistakes. But remember to go back there to turn it ON. Had a lot of troubleshooting only to realize someone turned the whole thing off.
An Empty Stream is a best practice for dropping in leads that Exited the Engagement as either a Good Exit or a Bad Exit. This way you do not lose the reporting data.