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Locking down team creation

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Occasional Contributor

Is there any place where the creation of teams can be limited to admins or certain user groups?

 

It's concerning that there doesn't seem to be much control over this, currently our staff need to put in requests to have things like new distribution groups created so that we retain some control and management of the system. The lack of ability to lock this stuff down has the potential to cause a huge mess across O365, and even more concerning is that the individual staff member who created a team is able to simply delete it - along with ALL the content without any input from an administrator at all, or seemingly any way to undo this change.

 

Is this product really ready for use?

49 Replies
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Solution

1. you can restrict who can create Teams/Groups see https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/manage-who-can-create-office-365-groups-4c46c8cb-17d0-44b5-...

 

2. an administrator can restore a deleted group, which recovers it's Teams messages see https://support.office.com/en-us/article/restore-a-deleted-office-365-group-b7c66b59-657a-4e1a-8aa0-...

 


@Daniel Rogerson wrote:

 

Is this product really ready for use?


Yes.

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Yep came across this in teams feedback just now, will have to give it a go tomorrow.

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Putting in controls on who can create Teams and O365 Groups is one approach to this governance problem and as a long term architect of SharePoint and O365 implementation this was always my recommendation but i now take a monitoring and education approach to this. Susan Hanley did a presentation on this at Ignite where the approach was to enable people to quickly collaborate through Teams and Groups that then provides greater adoption and realization of the collaboration benefits of O365, on the flip side, they added monitoring of newly created groups and follow this up with training as needed and user guidance.
If you add to this the new Site Design, O365 retention policies you can implement structure and process to creation of collaboration sites.
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Some of us (probably most) don't have time to sit and baby sit all the sites being blindly created. I don't think I would ever open up groups to staff, especially not mine lol..... some environments it might work, but I think the majority would rather restrict it. I don't know how many times I've had people come to be to create a group that already existed that would have been created anyway.
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@Steven Collier wrote:

1. you can restrict who can create Teams/Groups see https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/manage-who-can-create-office-365-groups-4c46c8cb-17d0-44b5-...

 


from that page:

"The administrator who configures the settings, and the members of the affected groups, must have Azure AD Premium licenses assigned to them."

 

So unless you have AD Premium you can not control who creates groups?

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@Russell Moir wrote:

@Steven Collier wrote:

1. you can restrict who can create Teams/Groups see https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/manage-who-can-create-office-365-groups-4c46c8cb-17d0-44b5-...

 


from that page:

"The administrator who configures the settings, and the members of the affected groups, must have Azure AD Premium licenses assigned to them."

 

So unless you have AD Premium you can not control who creates groups?

That seems to be the case

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does this mean all user accounts need and AD premium License?
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I’ll go see what the azuread folks say at the ignite booth and get back to you ;)
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Ok. Basically because your now using group based management when restricting who can create groups it requires a license for everyone you add to the group you want to allow to create groups. So if you have 2 admins and 3 power users that can create groups you need 5 P1 licenses.
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so not everyone ( regular users / staff) need the license , just my admins?
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Correct. Only if you limit creation obviously.
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Thanks for the clarification. I’ll give it a go when I get a chance soon.

It does baffle me sometimes how basics like stopping creation of groups and viewing login histories etc are made so hard to do and hidden behind extra subscriptions. :(.

I’d happily ditch half the add ons that are currently included for this stuff.
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That is very interesting to me. I specifically asked this question a Microsoft representative. They told me that every user needs a P1 licence. So I am very much interested in knowing what's true now. Could you please get back to me/us when you got around to testing this?

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Unfortunately we have no Premium Azure AD.  Any way to limit Groups/Teams without needing Premium Azure AD?

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To me, this shouldn't require premium, and you can still do it without, but If you were to get audited it's possible it could come up. It's only a couple bucks a user for P1 per month, just get 5 licenses or something and dish them out right quick should be good to go.
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Agreed that it should not require Premium.  Would be great if all users were not automatically assigned license so that we have a chance as Admins to roll this stuff out instead of allowing users to go willy nilly and create a bunch of whooie!  We are getting pricing.  And now here we go again with Planner.  There is no means to keep up with this roll out scheme.

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Added in a P1 Licence today for myself.  Followed instructions and then tested it out.  All working good.

 

It may only be £5 a month, but still should not be needed just to control your own tenant to stop it getting filled with team sites.

 

 

Russell.

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I'm interested to know what the experience is for the Teams user with the proposed solution of blocking at Group creation - i.e. is the 'Create a team' option still visible in Teams and then they encounter an error that says 'you do not have permission to create groups' with no where to go? Surely a range of options is what is needed depending on the organisational factors. it might be along the lines of:

a) if creation not allowed - no option visible in Teams

b) if creation allowed - 'here are some groups names similar to the one you are attempting to create.....' the Teams user can then pick one and request to join, or create new

c) if creation with approval - 'thanks for submitting your request, this has gone to ... who will advise you etc' (you get the gist)

d) create at will

Rather than wait for all options to be catered for, I'd prioritise a combo of b) and c) - we already have d)  :)  and did I hear that Flow was coming to Teams???

 

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The reference document from Microsoft on this says:

 

"Microsoft Teams: Both admins and users won't be able to create teams."

 

"The steps in this article don't prevent members of the following roles from creating Office 365 Groups in the Office 365 admin center. However, it does prevent them from creating Office 365 Groups from the apps and it prevents them from creating teams (because you can't create teams in the Office 365 admin center)."

 

No workaround is suggested.  Can existing Outlook groups, created in Admin Center, be converted to a Teams group via the Teams app, same as always?    

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Why would we want to limit Teams creation by any user?? They can figure it out themselves, 40+ Teams in the sidebar will solve the mass-creation by users itself. 

 

I strongly believe user are more than able to manage this themselves and only create teams they really need. 

 

What they don't do is cleaning up, unused Teams will stay there forever, so our approach will be to focus on cleaning up unused teams, GDPR will be happy with that as well ;)

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They can, as long they are in the permitted security group

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Maybe, maybe not!

Also depends on the number of users you have / type of users

 

The probability is that most users create one or more teams just for the sake of it and with a large number of users in the org, its a mess quite fast. Due to that private teams are not searchable, there is also the risk of duplicate teams in terms of names and functions ( @Chris Webb wrote about this further up)

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Emile, because you want to be able to maintain a working methodology within a company, and only people who are trained on that methodology should be able to create a team, e.g. managers.

 

The issue is people don't, as you suggest, create only the teams they need, they may all follow different methodologies with some creating teams for one off projects, others per client, some per department while we may decide that rather than a team for every item we may want one team with a channel for each client as a high staff turnover with small numbers of staff serving large numbers of clients would make for a lot of admin if it was one team per client.

 

One should follow set processes to maintain an orderly system. The last thing an IT admin should be doing is chasing users around asking users "what is this for, is it in use and can it be archived?" - the same reason you don't allow just anybody to create sites in SharePoint.

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Ok, some more background from us.

 

we have about 40k users globally. We have a fully loaded adoption program were we explain to all our users (all office workers) how they can use Teams for their collaboration activities. We don't want to bug managers with approval processes, that same manager needs info to apply/deny the request….. That's not how we want to work. 

 

If you make the connection to our personal life, we can decide on making/joining/leaving/deleting Facebook groups, so why not in our professional life? 

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So you have the opposite problem, an organisation that is so big it becomes unmanageable and where it makes sense to devolve responsibility to the users. In your case the responsibility for filing itself doesn't land in the same type of operations team as it does for a smaller company, filing is devolved because it is impossible to maintain at such a high level. It is the difference between actual work management and provision of infrastructure.

 

Sure in your personal life you can use social media groups as you wish, but this isn't social media. Sensitive data is involved and if a group is created without the correct permissions by a user who doesn't know better, who does the responsibility for GDPR compliance then fall on? It will still be the IT department. Most people, even with training, are not clued up enough and you cannot assume everyone thinks and acts the same way as a techy.

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GDPR is a separate issue, and not an easy one…. We're looking at that and try to use the Compliance and Labelling tools to automate that for the user. At the end he/she will always stay responsible, but we're helping the users to get insights in GDPR related stuff. Not there yet (either) btw. 

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Just in last 2 days had over 10 requests to create a team. If this people had this ability to create it themselves I would have 10 new Teams, SP sites and who knows how many channels/lists etc. After a month good luck finding anything there.

Teams implementation is still in planning faze in my organization, new teams creation was unlocked at first. Soon we end up with so many useless and trivial content that we decided to put an end to it.

Now someone has to spend his time to identify and clean up that mess! Och wait, it will be ME....    

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Case in point!

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Absolutely my issue.  We run on G3 and F1 licensing.  You are not able to have any controls over this activity unless you have at least a G5 license that gives you more grip and power over Azure AD.  So, unless I want to buy G5 licenses for the Admins my only other choice is to live with the chaos or disable everyone's Team license.  If Microsoft thinks that by turning on all the new stuff by default somehow saves Admins time, they are very mistaken.  I can turn all that on relatively rapidly with a script, but cleaning up the mess is going to take much longer.  In our current predicament we can't even keep users from creating "Groups" of 1.  No real need for a group if you are only going to put 1 person in it, which is usually the owner!

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What happens if you try it and don't have P1? The article simply states that it won't work. However, I have set this up for one of my clients who does not have P1 and everything works great. Honestly, I completely missed that paragraph about needing P1 so I just blazed away. They've been running successfully with the restriction in place for several months now. Users in the group can create teams and users not in the group cannot.
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I've seen this too, but we've also got a small # of P1's and assigned those to a select group of users and added them to the group of 'allowed to create groups/teams' AAD group, which seems to be working.  The licensing literature is very unclear, but we have our control and that's what is important.

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I've been toying with locking down Teams creation through the official "Manage who can create Office 365 Groups" guide. Has it occured to anybody that if you restrict or completely lock down unified groups creation that this might work well in Teams but causes problems in other apps such as Yammer?

If I'm not mistaken it looks like although group creation is disabled, end users can still create a Yammer channel. This creates a new mess. Now you could potentially have lots of Yammer channels but no associated unified groups and how are you going to keep track of that inventory? Since you cannot connect a Yammer channel to an O365 group restricting group creation is not ideal either, not even mentioning what it might entail within other apps.

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Yes I noticed that too, Florian. I locked down team creation but it has also had an effect on Microsoft Planner. Users who are not allowed to create teams are also unable to create plans directly in planner but can add them as a tab to an existing channel within a team.

 

Also the plans that do get created within teams show up quite unorganised in Microsoft Planner. It says the name of the team in which they were created, but there's no way to group them. We have hundreds of clients all with one or more planner, it's a mess to just list them all and not put them within folders or categories like TaskWorld allows you to do.

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Whay is the session title ?

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I work for a nonprofit who is also bound by HIPAA rules. There is a concern here around all that is created (sharepoint, group, email) when a user creates a Team. I have read how to create a security group to only allow specific users to create groups but the question I have is will this in any way infringe or limit other parts of Office 365? Do groups expand your attack surface? Is limiting groups to a few people effective or necessary? It seems Microsoft would have included this if it were important. Finally, can you limit email distribution lists without limiting who can create groups? For the most part no one would have been aware of the group feature in the background except users started using the email to email groups! Can you limit this or manage distribution lists in Teams without going so far as to limit Group creation? Thanks again.    

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Restricting group creation only affects users in that sense that they can’t create a team, office 365 group in outlook, a planner plan, yammer group , or a stream plan! Other services or current groups or memberships aren’t affected!
You usually restrict group creation for all users except a few who most often is managers , IT etc!
Whether it’s necessary or not all depends on your organization , structure, number of users, need for control of documents ( degree of sensitively) and so forth!
A distribution list is not a office 365 group therefore not affected by this change!

Today teams created from teams will not show the office 365 group in outlook by default as it did before! This will limit the usage of the office 365 group mail usually! You can restrict it further though

Adam
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We have a similar challenge. We are a group of companies with about 3500 employees in the process of rolling out Teams. Group creation is locked down but we have not found a way to restrict group owners from adding a team to their O365-group. This can confuse the users before we have provided an explanation of Teams and how they can use the new features.

 

Does anybody know if you can restrict group owners from adding a team to their O365-groups? Powershell options are available to us.

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Afaik, there is currently no way of doing this due to the group already being created!
I’d love to see some policies for the client itself, removing options etc..
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@adam deltinger 

Still no way to prevent Team creation on top of an Office 365 group? 

This is very annoying as we see Teams for groups popping up in our company without group owners correctly trained. 

Of do you know a request in Uservoice I can vote for it? 

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Couldbt find any user voice for this request, but I suggest creating one!!

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public

Adam
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Thanks. When creating a new uservoice, I found this one:
https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/35917666-prevent-group-owner-a...

Let's vote !
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Vites!
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on@Russell Moir  on that note I am the global admin for the company and ad admin in azure. I still dont have the ability to control this. why do I need an additional license to do this.

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also we already have these setting configured manually.... what is the difference if I set this up via script @Steven Collier 

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@Javon Williams I believe it has to do with additional features being available.  One of the features you get with a P1 licence allows you do lock down the teams creation as per instructions above.

 

It comes with quite a few other benefits - I use them frequently.  You only need 1 person to have this P1 Azure licence.

 

As to why... well you would need to ask Microsoft that.  Good luck :cry:

 

Its clear from this thread they need to indroduce this into the mainstream admin interfaces of Office 365, especially now that Skype (which is still better than teams for many uses) has been given its EOL.

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@Steven Collier 

 

To be honest with you, this does not make much sense to me. We should not need to run scripts for such basic features. Like for SharePoint, where you can limit site creation by clicking a toggle switch, we should have something similar for teams.

 

This is really causing issues for us as we have un-trained users creating teams that are used for a short period of time and then forgotten.

 

When it comes to administration of services, we tend to prefer using a centralized administrative approach rather then open to users. This might not be true for all IT departments, but I am sure it is true to a good number of them.

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Do we know if there is any update on any improvement on this ? I want to just stop teams creation and not have an affect on any other O365 app .. I know if I lock the groups down it will affect everything which isn't an option for a lot of my customers, but they want to lock teams creation down and use a "Teams management approval process" .. trawled here, and the docs and loads of other info and so far I have come up with a big fat zero - its all or nothing - any ideas people ?

 

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@Raffi bachmann 
accordingly to this doc, there is no Azure AD Premium license required for 'Limit team creation to administrators'

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/plan-teams-governance

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Hi,

I think that will be usefull to everyone in a way to avoid users starting create too many 'TEAMS' on the Microsoft Teams, too many Sharepoint sites and etc. It will let some IT admins go crazy...

 

I openned a ticket on O365 portal, the basic was:

 

  1. Create a 'SECURITY' group on Office 365 Portal (https://admin.microsoft.com) and keep in mind to avoid SPACES on the group name (I'm not convinced about that but I did as requested by Support guy);
  2. Add as OWNER (maybe not necessary) and also as MEMBER 02 users who is 'admin' for that O365 tenant;
  3. Copy the script from that website (https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/manage-who-can-create-office-365-groups-4c46c8cb-17d0-44b5-...), past on notepad, save as you want (I used 'C:\TEMP\ADAZURE-TEAMScanAddTeams.ps1') and adjust it in a way to correct address the name of group created before (first line);
  4. Open PShell in Administrator mode and run the script.

 

We face issues since that scripts relies on the module 'AzureADpreview' but my laptop (running Windows 10) already has the 'AzureAD' module, so the support guy asked to first remove AzureAD and then install AzureADpreview with these commands below. Be advised to be using Powershell at least version 5.

 

  • uninstall-module azuread
  • install-module azureadpreview

 

After all, I opened a web browser using credentials for a 'regular' user who was not member of the allowed group for that, and his account was unable to create a 'new team'. I also do the same validation, but this time using an user account who was member of the group created previously for that - validation with sucess for both cases.

 

At the end/results of the script, you can see that the 'default' behavior (last parameter shown) that no one can create, but you also see another parameter (a little bit above) allowing the 'SID' for that group created. See the image.

 

azuread-teams-can-add-teams.PNG

 

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