O365 Groups Management Concerns

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I have been getting quite a bit of flack for not releasing O365 Groups on my campus. While I would love to release Groups and its other apps, I have some concerns. 


1. Naming policy still not in Azure AD. We are trying to avoid namespace issues. This is the number one reason why we have not implemented Groups. This is necessary for our environment.

2. Naming prefixes for apps like StaffHub(doesn't seem to work), Teams(can't find one), Exchange(Only applies in Outlook, not in admin console.) etc, all provide a different experience.

3. When deleting a Group, things still seem to hang around(SharePoint space). From what I have read other users have experienced this issue as well.

4. For existing Groups that maybe want to use StaffHub, where is the option to add it,? Tt would be awesome if it was like how you would add an existing group in Teams.

5. There doesn't seem to be any cmdlets for the group creation for StaffHub , Team, or Yammer. The cmdlets are only for licensing.

6. Retention policies. From what I have read groups are not a permanent space like SharePoint. With that being said, I could see many students using this. If this cuts in to our tenant space, it would be nice to set expirations on Group spaces.


I would be interested in hearing what other folks are doing with O365 Group management and how they are addressing the above. I can see how many of these apps could benefit our users but I also want to be prepared.


17 Replies

i can only give you some answers to point 3 and 5 :)


3) When deleting a Group, things still seem to hang around(SharePoint space

Yes i can confirm that (at least for our tenant). SPO Sites as well MS Teams hang around "forever" :(


5) There doesn't seem to be any cmdlets for the group creation for StaffHub , Team, or Yammer.

Do you mean that you seek for a cmdlet which creates a Yammer group and/or a MS Team ?

I'm not aware of any. If you wanna see which Office365Groups have been created via Yammer, then there is a property called YammerEmailAddress which would indicate that this group is mapped with a Yammer group


hope that helps a bit

Thank you @Stefan Fried! Good to know what what your experience has been for Office 365 Group deletion.


Yes, I am looking for cmdlets that can create Yammer, Team, or StaffHub groups. The only cmdlets I can find related to those apps would be applying a license or the New-UnifiedGroup. Those don't really help. I also tested to see if an owner of an O365 Group could make an existing O365 Group a team, that would be a no. In order to create a Team(even from an existing O365 Group) you must have permissions to create O365 Groups.

for 1. and 2. I asked recently and was told it's another 2 or 3 months as it's turning out to take more work than they thought. I agree it's a big problem, by Groups used to be so ordered, and now chaos!


For 6. this was pre-announced at Ignite, but was dependent on the soft delete function. As that arrived earlier this week then I guess we are getting nearer. The mechanism announced was that after a timer a group admin would need to validate a group was still required, and then after another timer the group would be removed if not validated.

@Steven Collier I think I saw your post. While that is great it is something they are working on, it doesn't seem to be coming soon enough. At minimum every application should have a working naming convention if the naming policy in Azure AD is not ready. How are you managing group creations? Especially with these new apps?


Thank you for the insight on these topics. I am thinking of worst case scenario if all 29,000 of our students decided to make the max amount of groups. That would be insane and completely unmanagable. Which is why retention and naming policies are on the top of my list. I can't see releasing groups until those are addressed.

We are struggling with this exact same problem on our campuses, as well - and according to the latest release regarding management features, the Group Naming Policy feature will be fee based.  (Poor Christophe Fiessinger has already heard my two cents in multiple 140 character segments!)  


I'm really hoping that Microsoft reconsiders making the Group Naming Policy feature part of the base subscription - otherwise, a huge number of Universities and schools will not be able to adopt Office 365 Groups.  Between an ongoing decline in enrollments and significantly reduced funding, most schools are simply not going to be able to afford to pay the piper on this one.  


Don't get me wrong - I don't expect Microsoft to give everything away to schools, and I realize that schools get discounts and plenty of free stuff.  However, it is in Microsoft's best interest to do this simply to compete with the likes of Google and Apple.  If the schools adopt their technology, then generations of students are influenced into having a preferred technology brand.  This idea assumes, though, that the student is going to get a good experience with that technology.  There are definitely premium features that should cost extra!  As much as I would love to have dynamic group creation and data classification, there are ways we can get around this or deal with not having it.  One thing we can't deal with, though, is even one instance of a student being able to impersonate our president or a dean.  I like having a job, so I'd really prefer that didn't that to happen on my watch.  Without this one simple management feature, the only option I feel is viable for our institution is to turn off Groups - and all the apps that are built on them.  This would be the only way to be able to deal with the poor experience that our users would see if we just turned off the ability to create groups.  No Planner, No Teams, and so on.  


It's really unfortunate that this whole sector is being put in this position because O365 Groups would be a huge benefit to students, faculty, and staff.  They would be fantastic for social clubs, RA's, study groups, mentoring sessions - you name it!  Best of all, after O365 Groups were introduced, we finally saw a light at the end of the Public Folder tunnel - but alas, it appears the light was just the licensing train heading right for us.


If other schools have addressed this in some creative way (DIY and scalable, preferably), I know our team would love to here about it!  

Wow. I just read through the whole MS post. That is extremely disappointing. Just when I thought O365 Groups had a future on our campus.....such a bummer. I hope this changes.
It's going to take a lot of communication and convincing, so I would encourage everyone to contact their Microsoft representatives. Keep voicing these things! We are the customer, after all. I don't know about your campus, but I know we still pay them a ton of money every year - so this seems like a very reasonable ask.

Are you entirely sure you are doing the right thing for your staff/faculty/students by holding back Groups though ?


While as the IT team I absolutely care about all these points, but I don't have any staff complaining. In fact they are loving the self service capability of groups / teams / yammer and being productive like never before. When the naming scheme comes I can get things back under control, and when we can expire groups even better for my storage. 


My only accountability is to keep my staff-customers happy and productive, sometimes this means compromises for me.


Absolutely, I do think this is the right thing! We have tried giving students the benefit of the doubt that they could be responsible - and have ended up with group names that would make the Kool-Aid Man blush.

We have over 50k student accounts to monitor for bad behavior like this, and a team of 5 admins. That's an untenable position for us.

This is something that regular business IT doesn't understand. If you have an adult staff member creating offensive or inappropriate groups, you can fire them or reprimand them - and honestly, they are adults, so it would be out of the ordinary for an employee to even try that.

Our users are literally teenagers and twenty somethings, so a high percentage of these groups are offensive.

When the naming scheme comes I can get things back under control, and when we can expire groups even better for my storage. 


Well this would be of course great...no question..., but are you sure that all the resources which were provisioned by the group creation are really gone whenever the group is gone  ?

There are plenty of cases where SPO sites still remain for ages :(

And please don't forget that MS Teams remain as well if you trigger the deletion of a Group (atm)


In my opinion, a full matrix and full big picture about all my groups and the corresponding resources are a must otherwise your will see a lot of orphan objects


just my 2 cents :)





I agree, and wouldn't want to give the impression I would understand the 'fun' of managing student users.

Is a naming policy really the solution? Whatever words and phrases were banned would they not get more and more creative? And then even if the names were acceptable, would the content not still be unacceptable. If this is the environment, maybe it's not the service for your students but is for your staff.

@Deleted I just created a uservoice post for this. We are in a very similar boat, along with the students creating whatever name they want we have concerns of namespace collisions. I am not sure if this will change anything but why not give it a shot.



Great idea - sending this out to colleagues and followers.  Thanks for creating the post!

We had some of the same concerns.  Retention policies were a big thing.  We were also worried about multiple groups being created and not being managed.  With a lot of the changes that have come about the last few months, we are looking at Groups as a good solution.  However, we are still have Group creation turned off for our employees.  We will be creating them from the Admin Portal when someone submits a request for a Group or SharePoint site.  It seems like a little more work for us, but will save us some headaches down the road.

But this means that your endusers will not be able to use MS Teams at all, right (don't think that you will create Teams for them too :) ?

--> no create Group permission --> no MS Teams for your endusers


i fully understand your arguments.


So the bottom line is that a new application such as MS teams does not automatically mean that customers will use them immediately.




We are still evaluating Teams.  I think since Office 365 is so new to our staff, that for now Groups will give them what they need.  We aren't looking to deploy Teams at this time.