On July 26, 2018, Microsoft announced updates to self-service site creation in SharePoint Online. This is exciting news for organizations that have been blocked from easily upgrading to the new modern team site experiences for one of several reasons, including:

  • Legacy team sites built using a subsite infrastructure. Until the changes announced in this update, organizations were only permitted to create modern sites as top-level site collections. With this announcement, Microsoft has introduced the possibility to have a modern subsite.
  • The inability to create a modern team site without also creating an Office 365 Group. Some organizations have restricted the ability to create Office 365 Groups as part of their governance plan. Previously, if Office 365 Groups creation was disabled for a set of users, those users could only create “classic” SharePoint team sites. With this update, organizations can allow users to create modern team sites from the new site creation link on SharePoint home even if they are not able to create an Office 365 Group. The site that is created is a special new type of SharePoint team site that is basically similar to a classic team site (no shared inbox or group calendar) but with a modern home page, pages, and web parts. Since I can’t think of a better term, I’m going to call this a Non-Group backed team site.

Here are a few things to note about the implications of these updates and what it might mean for your information architecture and governance plan.

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