Why I wish Microsoft would unify Office 365 groups and Team Sites

A group in Office 365 (link to a Sway) is a very useful concept: it allows any user to quickly create a shared mailbox, document repository, OneNote notebook and shared Calendar. Compared to a Team Site, it’s quick to set up and requires no special privileges. (That does create some potential governance issues, but I am not going to dwell on that in this post.)

Based on the URL format, a group becomes a Team Site “lite.” Unfortunately, there are some aspects of Team Sites that I like better than groups and vice versa. So here is what I wish Microsoft would do:

  • If the “group” becomes some permanent fixture of the organization (some organizations would say “task force” versus “committee,” etc.), it could be useful to allow a group to be converted to a Team Site so additional apps can be added.
  • The functionality of subscribing every member of a Team Site to a Site Mailbox would be an excellent option.
  • The functionality of subscribing to the OneDrive space of a Group, like you can create alerts on Document Libraries, would be excellent to add to Groups.

I will add that I am anxiously anticipating the release of Planner, which is of course, a Groups feature.

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