Why does creating a new Plan also create a new Sharepoint site / team site / mailbox etc?

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I'm unclear on all the things that go on in the background when you create a new Plan, such as creating a new Group, a new mailbox, team site, etc etc. It means that IT at my large organisation has disabled the ability for individual users to start new plans. This means I have to request one from IT every time I need one, which in my role is quite often.


Is there any way that a Plan can just be a Plan, where you can invite the appropriate contributors, without it creating all that architecture in the background? 

14 Replies
Yes you can do that if you go to an existing SharePoint site, click New, choose Plan, you'll get a Plan linked to the SPO Site and associated Group
Thanks Dean, I could try this if I even knew where to look for the associated SPO site.... I'm very confused by the setup
Hi Katherine - Thanks for your question! One of the benefits of Planner is its integration with Office 365, which includes integration with Groups, Teams, and SharePoint. Typically when you create a new plan from Planner, the plan is associated to a new Group, and includes all the resources you get with the Group (Group mailbox, Group calendar, SharePoint site, and OneNote notebook). You should have the ability to create new plans for existing Groups or Teams without needing to create a new Group, but I know every plan could have a different set of contributors.

Is there a specific reason why your IT has disabled the ability for individuals to create new plans?
In the Planner App, go the Planner Hub, click All Plans, click the ellipses next to a Plan, choose open in SharePoint, on the ribbon of the Home page of the site, click New, choose Plan. This will create another Plan for the same SPO site

Hi @chtran , I can't say for sure but I think it's because they don't want a million Sharepoint sites being created all over campus!


I understand how integration is a good thing, but I guess my issue is more about not being able to *choose* which integrations you want. I don't really understand why I would need a mailbox for a Plan, but maybe I'm just unclear over what that would actually offer!


Incidentally I went to Teams and was able to create a new Plan from there myself, without clearance from IT. I can do that but I guess I just want to understand the thinking behind how this works.

In my opinion, MS made a fundamental mistake when they originally designed Planner. It never should have been something that created other objects, Plans are support tools for Groups of users. A Group can have many Plans, it never made sense for each Plan to create a new Group, fortunately we have some workarounds now, but we are still stuck with that initial decision.

Hi @Dean Gross  - i did as you suggested and the ellipses menu did not have 'open in sharepoint' as an option.


As you'll see from my other reply, I did manage to create a Plan in teams. Unfortunately my Plans do not all need the same team members added, and I am not given the option to remove members, only to leave the Plan myself.


I'll need to just admit defeat and request each time from IT 

Thanks for the additional information!

A few of the resources in the Group are an essential part of the Planner experience. For example, Planner task comments are stored in the Group mailbox and our task attachments are stored in the Group SharePoint. Groups also handles the user access to plans, so Group owners have a single place they can go to manage access across all Office 365 resources for that Group.

A good way to think of it is an Office 365 Group comes with several resources to immediately help your team start collaborating quickly. Planner is one of those resources along with a SharePoint, OneNote notebook, and Group mailbox (or team conversation space) for communications.

Thanks @chtran , but what if I want different members of my team invited to different plans?

don't give up that easy, try this.
In the PLanner app, click on the Plan, then click on the ellipses to the right of Schedule, then chose Sites, Click New, Plan, this will display a task pane on the right in which you can create a new Plan for the site or use an existing one.

@Dean Gross There was no 'sites' option in that menu




I did find a way eventually to get to the site and click 'new' and then 'plan' - the problem here is the same as I mentioned before: I can only have a plan with the same members as the site has. I don't seem to have permissions to remove people from the plan (although weirdly I can add people), so this method is pretty much useless for me. I'd have to ask IT anyway to remove the people I don't want included.


Thanks for your help anyway. The problem at the heart of this is that I need a different 'group' for every plan, which means all these sites and mailboxes will, by default, have to be created. 

You can't have a plan with custom permissions inside an existing group like you are saying. So only way to accomplish that is a new base plan and aka attached 365 group.

I agree with Dean, Microsoft Pigeon holed themselves into the group makeup and most of us don't like it. It's great that planner connects to all these, but what might make more sense is hide all these pieces from everyone so they don't show up and exist all over the place similar to how Teams hides the group from Outlook and address list when created now. Having Nigel's **bleep** list plan created and showing in the GAL is comical.

Planner should hide everything (SharePoint, Group, etc.) from everywhere visually in other areas so it just looks like a stand alone plan. All group created content should have what it was originally created by (Plan, Team, Group etc. and only show in those admin area's by default. So all the SharePoint sites attached to plans, should not show in SharePoint admin center unless a specific flag is removed (similar to showinaddresslist but could say showinalladmincentres etc.) and also should not show up on SharePoint home, or the files library show up in OneDrive etc.

Obviously you can have admins unhide the site if it's needed to be used down the road and or have a team tied to it, but minimizing the visual footprint when you create a plan just to have a plan would be a better option. Planner of all things is simplistic and shouldn't have it's attached resources populate everywhere else throughout o365 when it's really just a Plan.

That is strange, mine looks like