The Results of Our Groups Survey


The results are in from our survey on the organizational impact of Office 365 Groups. I would like to thank all of those who took part, your responses were insightful and in some ways surprising. Thank you for the richness of your comments, as well. We asked six questions about Groups and had respondents from three continents. Clearly, this was not a scientific survey, but the occasional pulse survey can provide insights into the direction of the community. We asked the questions we felt were relevant to gain a better understanding of what is on the minds of the IT and Business professionals who are currently working with Microsoft Groups (or planning to do so in the future), and to get a dialogue going.

If you’re interested in taking the survey, we’ve re-opened it so that we can continue to capture data and comments. you can find it here.

Let’s take a look at the results:

Office 365 Groups Using

No surprises with the first question, as the majority of respondents are using Groups, about 82% said yes. This is encouraging, as I have had a number conversations that start with “We’ve turned Groups off.” When I hear that now, and after asking why and probing the answer of “Because governance,” I recommend them to read John White’s excellent two part blog on what turning off Groups really means (Part 1: You Can’t Disable Office 365 Groups, and Part 2: So, You Can Disable Office 365 Groups After All).

Office 365 Groups teams tyGraph

On the question of “How broadly does your company use Groups?” you told us (mostly) two things. One, that Groups are used in some teams and business units, and two, your company is still experimenting and not using Groups that broadly. This makes sense as Groups are new and we’re all trying to get a better grip on the “how-to.” The shocker came with 20% of respondents reporting that Groups were being used pervasively.

Office 365 Groups groups Primary use tyGraph

Regarding the primary ways in which companies use Groups, most responded for shared storage, calendar, and OneNote notebooks. Using Groups for Power BI was the least popular use.

Office 365 Groups governance tyGraph

Clearly causing a lot of the anxiety in the community is the response that most companies are not closely managing the creation of new Groups.

Office 365 Groups Concern groups governance tyGraph

When it comes to the biggest concerns about managing Groups, two rose to the top: the “What to use When” question is very much on all of our minds, especially with the intriguing Teams service now on the scene. It led the way in our survey, as well but only by a few percentage points over “Navigation is out of control.”

Office 365 Groups development product tyGraph

Finally, with regard to prioritizing Groups feature development, improving Groups navigation would be priority one for our respondents, followed by Enterprise-wide Groups policy creation controls.

Again, a big thanks to all of you that participated in our Office 365 Groups survey. In the coming weeks, I’ll share more of the insightful comments we received. The survey is still available and it would be great to get more community input. We’ve also published the results in Power BI. What do you think of these results? Do they resonate? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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