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Experiences "migrating" to an O365 Group

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0093%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Experiences%20%22migrating%22%20to%20an%20O365%20Group%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-40093%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3Epretty%20much%20agree%20with%20all%20negatives%20and%20since%20you're%20coming%20from%20a%20mega%20menu%20the%20navigation%20will%20definitely%20be%20a%20step%20down%20in%20quality.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ESharePoint%20Home%20is%20probably%20supposed%20to%20fill%20this%20gap%2C%20though%20is%20currently%20far%20from%20it.%20I%20have%20yet%20to%20find%20a%20way%20to%20show%20a%20user%20all%20TeamSites%20he%20or%20she's%20a%20member%20of.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ESince%20we're%20coming%20from%20FileShares%20and%20a%20rather%20poor%20implementation%20of%20OpenText%20ContentServer%2C%20our%20experience%20is%20a%20little%20bit%20better%20compared%20to%20before.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-39930%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Experiences%20%22migrating%22%20to%20an%20O365%20Group%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-39930%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EYes%2C%20the%20service%20account%20has%20to%20be%20physically%20loaded%20as%20a%20Group%20Owner%20for%20my%20usual%20script%20to%20work%2C%20even%20though%20it%20is%20a%20Site%20Collection%20Admin.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-39902%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Experiences%20%22migrating%22%20to%20an%20O365%20Group%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-39902%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EGreat%20Analysis%20Brent!%20It's%20really%20interesting%20the%20problems%20you%20are%20having%20when%20moving%20the%20documents...are%20you%20also%20having%20them%20when%20you%20add%20the%20service%20account%20as%20site%20collection%20administrator%20in%20the%20group%20site%3F%3CBR%20%2F%3E%3CBR%20%2F%3EThanks%20for%20sharing!%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
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Valued Contributor

So, I am starting to "migrate" the particular team that I work for over to Groups (that means from our existing SharePoint site, existing Yammer group, existing mailboxes, etc).  Wanted to share the general experience and reception so far, with PLUS / MINUS perception notes:

 

  • PLUS - We are looking to use Group Conversations and shut down use of Yammer for our team discussions.  So far users seem more apt to use the conversations because it is more like email, so probably a ding for use of Yammer
    • In general we are going to guide Groups users away from using Yammer
  • PLUS - We are using an automatic group membership (everyone that reports to my Manager) - which works perfectly!  We have a revolving door of interns/temps as part of the team, and access to resources is no-brainer.
  • MINUS - This will be our first Modern SharePoint site, and big negative is critical links removed from the UI. 

    • Menu - using "/_layouts/15/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx" to recreate our horizontal navigation.  This accomplishes what we need, but I fear that it may eventually go away...

    • Permissions - I understand group permission limitations, but our connected SP sites have to have additional viewers and contributors.  Right now from the UI, can only apply permissions to Group Owners and Group Members.  Using "/_layouts/15/user.aspx" to get around this for now, but again will future updates restrict this?

  • MINUS - Document Migration - we have our own PowerShell scripts that we use to migrate content between sites.  The scripts appear to only work run by a Group owner if the person running the script is a Group owner.  We typically use a service account and set it as Site Collection Admin, run the move, then remove the service account.  Here the service account still doenst have rights even after being made the SCA for a Group.
    • We will definitely be doing most of this for our users since we don't want to put the tedious actions on them
  • MINUS - Calendar - we use a SharePoint Team Site calendar - was able to easily open the SP Calendar in Outlook "Agenda View", copy entries, and paste them into the Group Calendar (in Outlook Agenda View), but they never synced back up, never appeared in the Group calendar, though I see them in my physical Outlook calendar
    • Dont seem to be able to create just an entry (without actually inviting all attendees)

  • MINUS - Group Navigation - switching between the different Groups workloads is still pitiful
    • I've manually entered direct links to the different workloads in the Groups SharePoint Site, but users continually get "lost".  They'll end up on the calendar which has no links whatsover (sometimes), the options are in different places in each workload.  I know this has been brought up over and over, but its been months and months, if not over a year at this point, and doesnt seem this is getting any better at all.
  • MINUS - Groups files - this is maybe just our opinion, but do not like the Groups Files automatically including email attachments in the default view.  Often confusing, especially if things have been moved to the SharePoint files, you see duplicates, etc.

  • PLUS - Groups app - easy access to everything, general consensus is much easier to find stuff from the app then from the web itself
  • MINUS - Groups app notifications - marking conversation messages as read seems to be wonky, users are complaining because they have to physically leave the group a couple times before it tells them they have read all the messages.

  • MINUS - Planner - Though there is excitement about what Planner can be, some negatives emerging - no Planner app, unsure of a way right now to move items from a SharePoint Action Items list to Planner (other than just manually reentering stuff).

  • PLUS - OneNote, this has always been my favorite thing Microsoft has built, so glad to see it easier integrated into our group activities.  We are migrating our running Staff Meeting Agenda (from Yammer note) to OneNote
  • MINUS - UI - we have always used a custom enterprise mega menu throughout our SharePoint environment, for easy navigation, with no customization options, we lose this and will have to start teach our users to keep going to our Intranet homepage, then navigate where you want to go with the menu
  • NEUTRAL - Dont care for the single column of the websites, we have traditionally used a custom responsive layout that has at least 2 columns of content.  Everything just feels to big / too much whitespace.

  • MINUS - SharePoint App, we have multiple document libraries, the Groups/SharePoint apps really only focus on the primay Shared Documents one. 

 

Overall, it seems like it will be a positive adoption, but there are several things that just miss the mark, at least for how our organization works.

8 Replies
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Great Analysis Brent! It's really interesting the problems you are having when moving the documents...are you also having them when you add the service account as site collection administrator in the group site?

Thanks for sharing!
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Yes, the service account has to be physically loaded as a Group Owner for my usual script to work, even though it is a Site Collection Admin.
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pretty much agree with all negatives and since you're coming from a mega menu the navigation will definitely be a step down in quality.

SharePoint Home is probably supposed to fill this gap, though is currently far from it. I have yet to find a way to show a user all TeamSites he or she's a member of.

Since we're coming from FileShares and a rather poor implementation of OpenText ContentServer, our experience is a little bit better compared to before.

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Hi Brent,

 

Thanks for a really good write up. I agree with most of the points written.

 

because of the customization issues and the want to stay as light on customization as possible to adapt quickly to new changes I've started trying to train people to think of the App launcher as the mega menu these days. I know it isn't but it's transferrable understanding.

 

I say if you want to find files go to onedrive and search,

if you want to find sites go to sharepoint and search and if you want to find conversation go to mail and search.

 

I also find it a benefit to set up the "main" sharepoint site as a custom app in peoples launchers for ease of use.

 

It helps that people are heavy outlook users internally and in most of our clients as that's the easiest way to get people to "find" things in a manner most normal to them because the links to onenote and files are right there in the groups menu. It annoys me that these then can cause confusion because it opens up different browser tabs etc.

 

The mishmash web UI is absolutely abysmal at this time. I'd rather a client use teams than the Web UI at this time because if offers a more unified experience.

 

I agree the new "Group files" thing is badly implemented in the Mail app. It doesn't do a good enough job of seperating itself and showing the end user that it isn't the same as actually a proper browsable file structure. 

I'd feel more comfortable if it was just labeled "Recent Group Files" and the link to the full files area was a bit more loud and proud.

 

as you've mentioned there are some glaring gaps in migration elements between services.

 

I look forward to you updating us with your user adoption findings.

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Thanks for sharing this Brent. It's really useful to see the experince of people and organisations trying to implement something new and the challenge of getting users onboard and adopting the new platform.

 

As others have said, 'SharePoint Lite' has its limitations when used with Groups or Teams. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft builds on this and how it integrates with both Groups and Teams. Lots of organisations have invested heavily in building and designing SharePoint intranets. Now with 'SharePoint Lite' a lot of that work is being undermined and the users suffer as a result by getting lost in UI and navigation.

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Update on further testing with the calendar, not quite as bad my first testing indicated, but here is exactly how it works:

User A adds a calendar entry to Group X

If User B is subscribed to receive notifications for that Group X, they will receive a MEETING INVITATION in their personal inbox, as well as a NOTIFICATION in the Group inbox that says a new entry has been created (with the option to add it to their personal calendar).

If User C is NOT subscribed to receive notifications, the will receive a NOTIFICATION only in the Group inbox that says a new entry has been created (with the option to add it to their personal calendar).


So bottom line, this will probably drive users away from "subscribing" to groups until they implement some notification changes.
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Is it possible to modify the views in the file areas of Groups? To add or subtract columns?  I thought I could but don't see any commands that make this possible?

 

Thanks,
Rob.

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Files tab is a view of the files the Group is working on and it's not customizable (at least today). However, you can customize document libraries in the Group site