Behind the scenes of Microsoft 365 Groups: how to properly start a new team in Teams or Outlook?

Behind the scenes of Microsoft 365 Groups: how to properly start a new team in Teams or Outlook | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia

Everyone can probably form a team in MS Teams, and if the organization allows it, it's no problem. But do you know what all is created in the background and what all your newly created team is connected to? After reading this article, you'll agree that your new knowledge will pay off.

Vojta Blejchar

First, let's see how what is it for four types of groupsthat can be set up in Azure Active Directory:

  • Distribution list - used to send email notifications
  • Security - we use when granting SharePoint access
  • Security with mail support - similar group including sending notifications
  • Microsoft 365 - used for collaboration in within the team

Distribution list

This type of groups are best suited in situations where you need send out information to a set group of people, for example. People in Building A or Everyone in the company.

You can add a distribution group to your team in Microsoft Teams or in SharePoint. It can also be upgraded to the so-called M365 group (see below).


Security groups are used to granting access in Microsoft 365like SharePoint. They make it easier to manage because you just manage the group and don't have to add users to each document or folder individually.

Security groups can include user or device and you can add them to your team.

Mail-enabled security

Mail-enabled security groups work just like regular security groups, except that they cannot be dynamically managed through Azure AD and cannot contain devices.

They include, among other things, the possibility of send mail to all group members.

Microsoft 365

Now we finally get to the heart of the matter. The team in MS Teams is based on the so-called Microsoft 365 Group. You can create it in a variety of ways, for example from Outlook, SharePoint Online, Planner or Teams. There are other applications tied to this group, and it's based on this, from where you create it or whatever you associate with it.

When you create a Microsoft 365 group, you must decide whether it will be a group private or public. It depends on whether you want users from your organisation to be able to join this group.

This is best understood from the following figure.

Microsoft 365 Groups | Cloud Encyclopedia | ORBIT

Source: Microsoft 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs

If you create a Microsoft 365 group from one of the applications marked in blue, this group is automatically created in the other "blue applications" as well. However, areas marked in white in the diagram will not be assigned to this group.

If you create a group from the application marked in white, the group is also created in all applications marked in blue. Other "white apps" can be associated later.

Two examples of creating a Microsoft 365 group

1. If you create a group from Outlook, do the following:

Create a Microsoft 365 Group in Outlook | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia

The group you created will appear in the left menu among all the M365 groups you are involved in. Within each group you can see all of its email communications. Just send an email to the selected group and will be sent to all members in this mailbox.

So, after you create a group from Outlook, the following will be created:

  • Shared mailbox and shared calendar
  • Planner
  • SharePoint web
  • OneNote
  • Stream

To manage and organize your M365 group, you don't just need to use MS Outlook, but any of the above applications.

2. At foundation groups from MS Teams will be created for you:

  • Teams with the main general channel
  • Shared mailbox and shared calendar
  • Planner
  • SharePoint web
  • OneNote
  • Stream

So the same thing as in Example 1 is created, except that a team with a communication channel is created.

So first, decide which apps you'll use and choose where to create the group from.

Different Microsoft 365 platforms

Shared mailbox and shared calendar

This email box is very useful for group communication as it stays closed in the group and is separated from other mail. Just send one email to a specific group and it is sent to all members. Of course, the same applies when scheduling meetings in the calendar.


Working and planning in a group is the best way to effectively plan time, people capacity and allocate tasks


Here you will find shared video portal for the whole group.

Power BI

It serves for display of various graphic visualizations with overviews. There's been a recent change here. You only create an M365 group in the classic work environment, in the new modern environment the link between the PowerBI space and the Group is not established. So the "blue color" doesn't quite apply here.


You can also connect individual M365 groups to this enterprise social network.

Project a Roadmap

At saving the project you decide whether to save it to an existing group or create a new group.

SharePoint web

After the group is booted, a specially customized SharePoint site is created that serves as main document and collaboration area with the team. If you delete the original group, this particular site will stop working. Specific to the SharePoint site is the ease of managing the group from the site home page.


Shared notepadto which all users in the group have access. In OneNote, you can keep meeting notes, product information or even process instructions. For example, you can find it on the SharePoint site of a particular group in the left menu.


A description of this platform is not the purpose of this article, so I will skip it. I will only mention modifications individual groups. For example, if you're using a Microsoft 365 group that Teams isn't connected to and you want to change that, no problem. Users with a role with higher permissions are able to join the M365 group.

SharePoint permission structure

If there is already an M365 group, there is also a dedicated SharePoint site where three main SharePoint groups have been created: Members, Owners and Visitors. You can join these Assign user or some permission group (security group or M365).

Just for the record, by default, you will find the group in M365 SharePoint groups under the name you created it under.

It works on the entire SharePoint site inheritance of authorisationswhich you can terminate and adjust to your liking in many places. For example, end inheritance on a specific folder, add new permissions, or change the permission level.

Groups can of course be Share this across the M365 world. This means that you can safely share SharePoint environments to multiple groups that already exist, without having to assign users individually. This is also true of nesting these groups.

To sum it all up, there are many groups in the Microsoft world, and each of them has its own use. Maybe when you're building a new team, you'll remember this article and think about all the different uses. With everything else associated with Microsoft 365 we will be happy to help you.

About the author
Vojta Blejchar
Vojta Blejchar

SharePoint Architect | LinkedIn

Vojta deals with building and migrating intranets built on SharePoint technology and also with developing applications for the Microsoft 365 world. His leading technologies include not only SharePoint, but also the entire Power platform.

Technical knowledge: SharePoint Online, Power Apps, Power Automate