Office 365 will create groups automatically based on direct reports starting on April 13

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Microsoft has recently announced that Office 365 will automatically create groups based on direct reports starting in April. The company initially wanted to roll out this feature in March, but decided to postpone the release following users’ suggestions.

Microsoft will limit the roll out of this feature to a smaller set of customers. The first lucky customers have already received the MC94808 notification, offering them more information about the upcoming groups.

Office 365 direct reports groups

Managers who have 2-20 direct reports, but don’t have a direct reports group yet, will find a private group created for them with their direct reports starting on April 13.

Beginning in April 2017, managers who have 2-20 direct reports, do not already have a direct reports group, and have permissions to create groups in Outlook, will automatically have a private group created for them with their direct reports. The manager will be added as an owner, and the direct reports of the manager will be added as members by default. The group will be named “<Manager’s Name>’s direct reports”, but that can be edited.

If you don’t want to have these groups created automatically, you can disable Office 365 Groups. Also, if the manager doesn’t have permission to create groups, then Outlook won’t create any group.

If you want to turn off direct report groups creation or the entire tenant, but leave Office 365 Groups enabled, you can use PowerShell. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Run the following script: Get-OrganizationConfig | fl *group*
  2. If the value is set to True, this means that auto creation is enabled. To disable direct reports auto group creation, run this script: Set-OrganizationConfig -DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled $false.

It is good to know that these groups are not dynamic. The administrator needs to add or remove users manually whenever people join or leave the manager’s team.

For more information on how to manage automatic creation of direct reports group, check out this support page.


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