Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview

Office 365 groups enables teams to come together and get work done, by establishing a single hub and a single set of permissions across Office 365 applications, so teams can simplify collaboration and increase productivity. A group can include: a group mailing list, a group calendar, a share OneNote Notebook, shared space for storing files on which the group is collaborating, a website, and planner (a tool for tracking tasks associated with the group).

Note: Your Dartmouth mailbox needs to be in the O365 environment, rather than Gmail, in order to create and maintain groups. People whose mailbox is in the Gmail environment can be members of the group, however. 

An Office 365 group can be created as public or private. A public group is open to everyone. If you just want to see what the group is doing, all the content and conversations are easy to view. And, if the group interests you, you can join it and become a member.  A private group is exclusive and only open to its members. The content and conversations are secure and not viewable by everyone. Choose a private group when you are concerned about security and privacy. Although anyone can see the name of the private group, information isn't accessible from search, links, or in other ways. Joining a private group requires approval from a group owner.

A group owner can change a group from public to private (or vice-versa). For Office 365 Groups in Outlook 2016, choose Edit Group from the ribbon. On the group settings pane, you will be able to toggle the privacy setting. In Outlook on the web, click the More group actions button at the top right (looks like three dots) and choose Edit group from the drop-down menu.

Note: Although you can't participate in a private group that you aren't a member of, anyone can send email to a private group and even receive replies from that private group.

Group owners and group members

There are a few things to call out about group members and owners.

  • When a group owner leaves your organization or team, all email, conversations, files, and calendar events are saved, so other group members can access the data. Group ownership can be reassigned by an Office 365 Administrator. You should also consider having multiple owners for a group in case there needs to be some management tasks and the group owner isn’t available.
  • A group can't have more than 10 owners.
  • A user can't create more than 250 groups.
  • Groups with more than a 1000 members are supported, but group users may notice that accessing group conversations and the group calendar can take a long time.

Conversations and email

A group has its own mailbox so all group emails are easy to locate and manage. The email address would be "<groupname>". In BWA, you can also have a conversation with group members by posting and replying to short messages. The entire history of conversations are preserved, helping new members get up to speed quickly.

Conversations are sorted by date from oldest to newest. You can quickly catch up with new conversation messages which are marked with a blue tab and even add attachments.

Occasionally, you might want to send an email message to the group, to ensure everyone gets the message right away. When you create the message, just type the group name on the To line.

Group calendar

A dedicated group calendar helps all members coordinate their schedules. Everyone in the group automatically sees meeting invites and other events. If you belong to more than one group, it’s easy to view each group calendar side-by-side. Events that you create in the group calendar are automatically added and synchronized with your personal calendar. For events that other members create, you can add the event from the group calendar to your personal calendar, and the event automatically synchronizes with your personal calendar. Finally, you can overlay your personal calendar with a group calendar, to see how schedules align.

Files and Collaboration

Sharing content, such as files and folders, is a hallmark of group collaboration. Shared content can live elsewhere in Office 365, but Groups makes it convenient to view and edit files regardless of the actual location. Sharing content also helps unlock useful information hidden in mailboxes and personal folders. A group’s document library is the primary place for group files, but you can access other shared and followed documents that you may need throughout the day to further collaborate with your group.



Article ID: 67017
Fri 11/9/18 2:54 PM
Fri 3/17/23 1:10 PM

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