Disabling the creation of Office 365 Groups

by | Feb 21, 2019 | Blog, Office 365 Governance, Office 365 Groups, Provisioning

One of the significant governance challenges in Office 365 is that everyone can create Office 365 Groups and Modern SharePoint Sites. In a previous post, we detailed the different creation setting for Classic and Modern SharePoint Sites. While these options disable creation through certain interfaces, they do not stop the creation of Office 365 Groups. Users will still be able to create a Group through Outlook, Planner or as a result of creating a Microsoft Team.

Why restrict Office 365 Group creation?

Many organisations look to restrict who can create Office 365 Groups because of concerns about Groups being created for similar purposes or the sheer volume of Groups which will be created. Also IT departments are concerned about the volume of AD Objects and Exchange mailboxes created as a result of Group creation.

Using a service like ProvisionPoint enables User Self-Service provisioning of Office 365 Groups with options to apply organisational templates and implement approval processes. However to gain maximum benefit of a provisioning service organisations will want to disable other mechanisms for creating Groups.

How to restrict Office 365 Group creation

The first step of restricting who can create Office 365 Groups is to decide who can create Groups. It could be that Group creation is limited to Power Users or Champions. Alternatively, group creation could be restricted to just administrators, which is the approach frequently used with ProvisionPoint.

Next, you need to create an Active Directory security group to manage who can create Office 365 Groups. For the example of this post, I am using a security group called PPAdmins.

Microsoft has detailed steps on how to restrict the creation of Office 365 Groups to the security group in the previous step. It is also important to recognise that there is a licensing requirement for the users who are still able to create Groups once this process has been completed.

The result for a User

In Outlook the user will still see Office 365 Groups, but there will no longer be an option to create new Groups.

Office 365 Group creation disabled

If you would like to see the overall experience to an end user and the role of ProvisionPoint the please watch our video below.

It is important to recognise that disabling Group creation is only one part of a governance solution for Office 365. Users require an alternative method to create Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams, otherwise they will become quickly disengaged. The provisioning solution selected needs to have appropriate governance controls but also clearly communicated to users with through an adoption programme.