Office 365 Groups Team Sites and content rollup


  • Our educational institution is investigating ways to implement Office 365 groups across our organizational schema to increase collaboration. While it appears that Microsoft is favoring a model of ad hoc groups created by users, we are hoping to implement groups under a stricter policy. We understand that there are some issues with which we would have to deal (for example, it seems there is no way to restrict a user from leaving a group). We are running into some issues and would like to verify our assumptions and seek input on solutions.

    Academic institutions typically have a very hierarchical and nested organizational structure, but the implementation of Office 365 groups seems to be very horizontal. For example, in an ideal world, we would have a group for the College of Arts and Sciences, and within that we would have a group for the Department of Communication Arts. Typically, in Sharepoint, this structure can be implemented using a single site collection with subsites, and then web parts can be used to roll up content to the top level. That way, departmental documents can be housed within specific subsites, yet if a department's document needs to be visible to the entire institution it can be done by altering the permissions so that it would appear in an appropriate web part at the top-level site.

    It appears that by embracing Office 365 Groups we would gain some collaborative features (Planner, shared inbox, shared calendar, etc.) while losing the ability to easily roll up content to a top-level Sharepoint site available to the entire institution. This is because Office 365 Groups create new site collections.

    1. Is there a way to have the site for an Office 365 Group be a subsite of an existing site collection, either upon creation or subsequent modification of the group? Or at least have the Group's default file storage be a document library in an existing site?
    2. Is there an out of box way of which we are currently unaware to easily roll content to a Sharepoint site available to the entire institution, even across site collections?
    3. Is there a preferred alternate method of enabling increased collaboration across departmental groups that provides access to tools like Planner without using Office 365 Groups?

    Thanks in advance for the input. We are hoping to leverage Office 365 Groups; we are just trying to figure out how to make it fit our organization.

    Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:52 PM

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