Why you need two Owners for Office 365 Groups

by | Sep 16, 2019 | Blog, Groups, Lifecycle Management, Office 365 Governance, Provisioning

Recently I attended the Ignite the Tour event in London, which was an excellent opportunity to learn about plans for Office 365. One particularly useful presentation for me was Microsoft talking about managing Office 365 Groups. This session introduced several governance topics, including classifications, naming conventions, and who can create groups.

The most exciting aspect of the presentation from Microsoft was them explaining how they managed groups internally. They explained that for every group they required that there were always at least two owners. This fascinated me because it is a requirement frequently identified by our enterprise customers.

Two Owners are better than one

So why is it essential to ensure a group has at least two owners? The short answer is continuity. A group without an owner will not be effectively managed. The membership might require changing or external guests may need to be added. The lifecycle of the group needs to be managed, whether that be archiving or extending it life beyond agreed lifecycle rules.

A single owner represents a risk because people can leave organisations; they can be sick, on vacation or change their role. Multiple owners reduce that risk, increase continuity and help ensure owners are replaced if for whatever reason they no longer manage a particular group.

Managing group ownership

I am also glad that Microsoft was honest during their presentation, explaining there was no way natively to ensure that an Office 365 Group has two owners. In their case, Microsoft had developed a custom solution to ensure two owners were allocated to each group. My only disappointment was that they were not using ProvisionPoint 365, because requiring multiple owners is something which can be configured for Sites, Groups and Teams.