Office 365 Begins Force-Feeding Groups to Tenants

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Beginning March 2017, Microsoft will begin creating Office 365 Groups for certain managers unless you opt out.

According to the support article, "Manage automatic creation of direct reports group - Admin help":
"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."
The article goes on to explain how to opt-out and how to identify Groups that have already been automatically created. Not to be a Luddite or anything, but I prefer that I make my own changes in my environment, thankyouverymuch.

It's important to note that these new auto-created groups are not dynamic. That means that if a manager's direct reports change for any reason (hires, fires, promotions, etc.) the direct reports group membership will not change automatically. Clearly, this new "feature" was only added to hit some metric Microsoft is measuring for Groups "adoption".

To opt-out of automatic Group creation you'll need to run some remote PowerShell. Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell and run the following cmdlet:
Set-OrganizationConfig -DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled $false
All automatically created groups have a property called Groupsona populated. To find the Groups that have been automatically created, run the following cmdlet in remote PowerShell:
Get-UnifiedGroup -ResultSize Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.GroupPersonification -eq 'Groupsona:AutoDirectReports'}
Microsoft is all about consumption these days, which is why you can expect an opt-out model as opposed to opt-in for new features. I'm interested to know how you feel about that. Use the comments section below.