Techniques Around Helping Users Decide: When To Use What In Office 365


Ignite is coming in only a few months and that means another new "When To Use What In Office 365" session along with an attempt to update and rebuild some of the Whitepaper guidance.


We have our work cut out for us. Would love any community help or support we can get!


What are some great "When To Use What" or Enterprise User Guidance resources you have seen published or shared in the last year?


Once I have reviewed the ones you all share I will try and build a more comprehensive resource list by combining it with the 20 or so I found so far this past year for future reference for everyone. :)

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Hi, Richard. I loved the session last year, and I used the Whitepaper extensively to help me understand. I'm still learning from it.


My users wanted me to emphasize what typical "features" come with each tool. So, I made a comparison "cheat sheet" (needs updating, e.g., add Planner/Sway, etc.)(highlighting is anything that was policy for us.) Others will likely find different features important. I know something is always lost when significant content gets reduced to a cheat sheet format, but it's all my users will consume sometimes!


It's hard to keep up with O365's tools/dynamics, and even harder to adapt user training materials, so I eagerly await your next iteration. Thanks so much for all the effort you and others put into this topic!



I know that @Christophe Fiessinger will be very interested in this topic and may have something to share.

I have been using your white paper to try to explain to people how the business process should drive what tool they need.  But they still want to know what all the tools do.  So I have been working on a PowerPoint with a slide for each feature.  The slide show when to use and when not to use based on your suggestions. But one of the things I added was whether there is an offline download and if so, listing a few of the major functionality differences between the Office 2016 client and Office 365 browser apps.  I am thinking of turning it into a wiki to have on our resources site when we launch.  I am finding that people seem really confused about the difference.

Thanks Andrea! Nice job. I did find the X's a little confusing. I know they mean yes, but are often used to mean incorrect. This minor comment is not meant to diminish your work in anyway. I agree that it is hard to keep up with O365. When I say 'hard' I really mean it takes an investment in effort and testing. For instance, today I am working on Alerts in OD4B for an internal customer.
This is good work Richard - It gets even more complex in organizations that use a range of vendors products. At the University of Washington Google apps are very popular and within some departments Confluence Wiki (Atlassian) is the go-to knowledge publishing platform. Still, regardless of the range of products, the user population wants and needs guidance on the best tools to use in their context. Maybe this can be conceived of as a recipe. The recipe includes ingredients, but just having the right ingredients does not guarantee a tasty dish. Ok I have been staring at this post for too long now, thinking about what collaboration or information management dim sum would be. Or what is equivalent to having the right ingredients to make excellent bread, but your oven doesn't maintain temperature reliably. - Greg

Hi Richard,

We use internally this decision guide for deciding about file storage. (NWU means per country)Governance for Office 365 solution usage as local file share replacements.JPG

kind regards,

Just got back from SharePoint Fest Seattle and heard that a change is coming soon to O365 groups.  Instead of just the OneDrive library, creating a group will create an entire Site Collection with Team site features.  Also, when creating a site collection, it will automatically create a group.  It will help our staff get over the confusion between Groups and SharePoint sites, but will have to look at the admin side of Group creation!

Yes, that is consistent with the info provided at the May 4 Future of SharePoint event.


Did they provide any timelines?

The person doing the session estimated it would be out in a few weeks, but definitely before Ignite which is September 25th.

best response confirmed by Martin Hamers (Brass Contributor)

Attached a presentation file that we developed, thanks to original work completed by a member of the Office 365 club. Hope it's useful?

Love this...Thanks, Jonathan!

We have something similar in more of a web page/chart with Consumer Reports style circle icons ("Harvey Balls"). Thanks for sharing.

FYI - The session Community Page is now published:


Working hard on finalizing a number of whitepapers and resource kits! Exciting for the event!

The PowerPoint is great.  Thanks for sharing.  We may model something like that and put it in our SharePoint Help Center.

Here is nice InfoGraphic I created on this topic...



Marcel - I love this!  Mind if I share it?


P.S.  You have a typo in the OneDrive for Business column.  "...and share with your colleagues..."

1 best response

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best response confirmed by Martin Hamers (Brass Contributor)

Attached a presentation file that we developed, thanks to original work completed by a member of the Office 365 club. Hope it's useful?

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