If your work or school is using Office 365, then you’ve probably seen Office 365 Groups or “Groups” dotted around your digital workplace. Groups here, Groups there. In Outlook and Outlook on the Web. In OneDrive for Business. In your calendar and all sorts of other places.
I put together the following explanation of Office 365 Groups, trying to look at it from a people centred view and 3 main workgroup activities – Communication, Collaboration and Coordination. I don’t think there is a perfect explanation. But I have found most people understand Office 365 Groups when you begin by explaining it from their point of view.
At any workplace, people come together to work on things together. Information Technology is meant to assist that work. But in many workplaces, the tools are complex and difficult to learn to use. They also take a while for the IT department or IT person to provision. The tools promise that they integrate and work together, helping you work together. But using them and changing between them still feels like a jarring and rugged experience.
Office 365 Groups are a solution to these problems. An Office 365 Group makes the people the priority and not the tools. If you’re looking for an easy way to explain what Office 365 Groups are to your workplace or school, get this point across first and foremost – Office 365 Groups start with people. People who work together to get a job done. If you don’t have a real group of people, an Office 365 Group will fail. People are what make the Group. Without people, their interactions, their content and activities, Groups would just be a set of tools sitting idly on a quiet work site.
As groups of people work together, the activities they are involved in usually fall into three main categories. This is where “The 3 Cs” come in. Communication, Collaboration and Coordination. Watch the following video to hear more of my 3 Cs explanation.