Intranet site development

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Our team is working on setting up our intranet using O365 SharePoint Sites for each business unit.  IT wants to tie its Team site to the intranet, making it a locked down site, and creating a SharePoint subsite as a public site.  Does anyone see an issue with this if we turn off inheriting permissions?

Kara Hunt, CIP
Information Governance Project Manager
NMPP Energy

Hi Kara,

Well, first thing is that aligning the first level of how SP instantiates it’s information architecture practically, namely the site relationships to each other by virtue of their naming/navigation/inheritance, to each business unit has proven time and again to be a good way to suffocate SP use over the mid to long term.  Whether you’re using it in an intranet or “collaboration” (hate that catch-all term!) manner, but especially for an intranet scenario.  Also, really solid way to drive whoever is responsible for security and access permissioning ’round the bend (as they say).


Because, 80+% of all content created and consumed within an organization is cross business unit/department (for core operational processes it is often close to, or over, 95%).  Very few processes occur and/or affect 1 business unit/department/team in isolation.  Therefore, people invariably need access to data, and sometimes functionality, outside of their site that was aligned to their business unit.  So, now you either have to start crossing over permissions across O365 Groups, SharePoint Groups, AD Groups and all the other constantly reproducing group structures MS insists on creating.  So, you very, very quickly create, or, as is usually the case, further exacerbate the rats nest mess that is the AD environment which has to connect to, and ultimately secure and manage, all those other group structures.  Or, you have to write War & Peace in terms of governance for how users can/can’t share things that, by the definition of their purpose and use need to be shared (good job security for you, based on your title, but it’s not going to be read, ever, let alone actually adhered to)

Next, as far as tie (tie how? Just adding tabs pointing to SP sites/libraries?) the IT Teams team (an MS marketing short-sightedness in terms of naming if ever there was one!) to the intranet and then making it ‘locked down’ (in what ways??), I have to admit I don’t see what they are trying to gain from that. The point of Teams is to be an open, collaborative (that word again!) environment to reduce barriers to communications and information sharing/access to slipstream work and make things more ‘agile’.  When I read that, I conjured up an image of a greyhound given a beautiful 3000 yard long running track and then installing a locked gate 6 inches from it’s nose!

Then, on top of that, they want to circumvent the OOTB permissions model for the SP site that gets created for the O365 Group that goes with the Teams channels and make THAT site open/public.  Assumedly because they don’t want the extra effort of needing to cross-publish stuff that is for consumption outside the IT dep’t to a site directly part of the rest of the intranet (but then, since they co-opted the Teams SP site that way, where do they put the stuff they do NOT want public??).

Beyond those things, there is just a logical disconnect between the common purpose of an intranet instance, which is generally a “push” communication platform, often combined with ‘portal’ type aspects to be able to access data/content and systems/functionality from a single starting point without even having to know the URL associated, and the general purpose of MS Teams which is that slipstreamed/agile type enablement.

Obviously just my opinions, but based on the small amount of info you provided in your question, it sounds like there may be opportunities for improvement in your intranet project overall.



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