Governance concern - users creating O365 Groups via Yammer, then being unable to use Teams

Robert Hostetler
Occasional Contributor

Hello Microsoft Teams folks,


I'm working with a client that has thousands of users around the world and less than a year ago migrated to Office 365. They are gradually enabling various pieces of Office 365, like Email, SharePoint, Skype for Business, etc...


O365 Groups is on the road map to be turn on, but is off for now. Because Groups created in Outlook is a preresiquite for Teams, that is also turned off.


They are already using Yammer and have the older style of groups that Yammer has had for years set up in it.


My understanding is once O365 Groups is enabled, all existing legacy groups in Yammer will be automatically setup as Yammer based O365 Groups. Also, Yammer based O365 Groups cannot be used as a means to create a Team in Microsoft Teams.


If I am correct about the above, I can see end users doing one of the following:

Path #1: Once O365 Groups is enabled on the Tenant, an employee looks at their Team or Department's Group in Yammer and sees that it now has a O365 Group.


Path #2: Once O365 Groups is enabled on the Tenant, an employee happens to be on Yammer and creates a Group there. They are oblivious to the fact that Microsoft has setup functional differences between using Yammer as the starting point vs. Outlook.


End result (regardless of path taken): They go and check out the O365 Group. They have heard from someone else at the company or an article online that O365 Groups have Outlook features and also give you the ability to run Microsoft Teams. They believe that O365 is broken and end up creating a help desk ticket, contact O365 admins at the company and complain about it, contact IT leadership and complain about it, and/or complain about Microsoft or their IT department to the public.


I'm assuming that Microsoft has ran into this already with their own O365 Tenant and may have gotten feedback via their TAMs having discussions with larger companies with O365 Tenants. If so, then have likely seen increased support workload and reduced customer satisfaction as a result. I know that in terms of what can be currently done about this is try to do as much training/education/awareness activities to reduce the probability of this occuring. But are there any workarounds from a technology perspective today or are planned to be released soon that can more or less guarantee that this issue goes away? If anyone from Microsoft IT can publicly comment on what they are doing, that would be awesome and greatly appreciated.


To help with better understanding the type of workaround I'm looking for, here is a link to what I've proposed on User Voice, which requests the ability to only allow Outlook based O365 Groups while Yammer stays on the older and legacy style of groups that only exist in Yammer. Obviously that is a long term suggestion that can't be done today, but hopefully that helps you better understand the style of resolution that I'm seeking.

4 Replies
The O365 Groups scenario and its hooks into so many things is rapidly turning into a problem IMHO. It creates quite a mess as *everything* gets a Group. If I want a Yammer group - now I get an O365 Group. But what if I don't want a document library, OneNote, SharePoint site and other bits.
This "all or nothing" approach is becoming quite problematic.

What I'm doing at the moment with some of my clients is a lot of education, and allowing controlled chaos to exist for a few months which allows me to observe how they want to work and what groups they feel they need. From there I can roll in governance and compliance based on the needs of the people - not the policies and practices of IT.
Also as part of my education I inform users in the customers that their Groups *might* be deleted (not without informing them of course) in case we find duplicate purposes or a better structure.

Unfortunately that doesn't answer your question sorry, but I hope it helps a bit in terms of approach.

Well, leaving feedback here and on Uservoice is one of the methods to influence future developments, and hopefully the folks at Microsoft will notice this. I agree with what @Loryan Strant said above, and similar concerns have been expressed multiple times already. Groups/Teams are not the solution for everything, and the more "parts" are introduced to them, the more problems pile up.


Back to the orgininal question - a very similar scenario was detailed by a fellow MVP recently. I'm certain Microsoft is aware of this, as I'm sure what the type of feedback they will start receiving from large customers will be. The priority unfortunately seems to be to make the service flashy and likeable for the small- to medium-sized companies out there, without putting much thought into overall governance.

For me I actually have the ability to create Office365 groups turned off for all users.  When we first got our tenant almost a year ago and we had groups turned on, we started seeing groups like test and username own group, etc.


Now with the release of Teams and the fact that you need Office 365 group creation to create a team, I haven't turned on the Team function, because to get a team created, that would cause a lot of helpdesk requests everytime a group wanted a new team created.  This will be true if we ever turn Yammer on also.


Another factor is all these groups will also show up in the Global address group, and do you really need a Office 365 group associated with Teams to show up in the Global address book?


I'm looking for the goverence along with maybe an approval process so that if we did turn it on, that before the group goes live the IT group gets a request to either approve or deny the group based on its name.  Just don't like the fact its all or nothing.

Use Group Expiration Policies, Labeling, Classification along with Naming Conventions enforcement to streamline the process of auditing, monitoring and analysis.

Currently everything is coming as O365 Groups and that too without a flag to differentiate the origin.  Not sure if MS is working on this option. This definitely will help observing the O365 groups precisely from workload perspective.


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