I have been thinking about why administrators sometimes report "issues" with their
Group Policy system. As I thought about it, I decided to jot down some notes to share
with you and your team and managers. The result was five reasons people fail with
Group Policy, and I’m going to share them with you:

Reason #5: Not understanding how Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista,
and Windows Server 2008 are all different.
You started out with Windows 2000, but do you know all of the ways that Group Policy
applies differently to Windows XP? And, what about Windows Vista and 2008? Can you
be confident in explaining to the boss why settings don’t work exactly the same across these
operating systems?

Reason #4: Not using Group Policy Power to its fullest.
Did you know there are 18 categories of settings and options you can perform in the box for
Windows XP (and even more for Vista)? But what happens when you introduce the new
Group Policy Preferences? You get another 21 new CATEGORIES. If you’re not up to speed
here, you’re spinning your wheels; driving changes into your images, when you should be
doing it dynamically using Group Policy. Oh, and losing money each day you don’t implement these free new goodies.

Reason #3: Not knowing WHEN Group Policy applies.
This is a huge one. People throw their hands up in the air when it seems like Group Policy
isn’t working. But I bet it’s working fine; you just need to understand WHEN Group Policy
applies across different conditions and operating systems.

Reason #2: Not knowing how to find settings that do what you want.
How many policy settings are there? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Depends
on who you ask and how you classify them. There are 2400 policy settings for Vista in one
category (the Administrative Templates section), but what about the others? What process
are you using to figure out which settings you should use for your environment?

And the number 1 Reason: Not everyone is speaking the same "language."
This is my favorite one, because it’s not even a technical one. It’s just human nature. We’re
all too busy to figure out what our common "language" is going to be. If you’ve ever had a
co-worker say to you "Do me a favor and modify that Group Policy for me." You need to stop
and ask yourself: "What is he talking about? The GPO itself? The settings contained within
the GPO? Something else?" Having you AND your team be on the same page is simply

It’s that "Human Broadband Connection" you only get when everyone on your team
is speaking a common language.

Thanks go to Jeremy from GPAnswers for this one!

What problems do you and your organization have with Group Policy? Who is using 2008 Policies? Let us know in the comments kiddies!