One of my main responsibilities at my job is managing our Group Policy. It works best with a well thought out structure in Active Directory but you should have that anyways for organization purposes.
I’ll often hear discussions or see comment threads of new IT Professionals wanting to move to centralized management. They might have just gotten the hang of AD structure but Group Policy sounds too good to be true. I have taught some crash courses on Group Policy before but it can be a difficult subject for people to grasp and intimidating to get started with. There are a few key concepts and if you have an understanding of your environment, it should all click nicely. But first, you have to get started some where.
If you are looking to improve your understanding and utilization of Group Policy, a great place to start is going back to the source: Microsoft. They have an excellent article, Group Policy Planning and Deployment Guide. If you read through the page, it provides a great summarization of the things Group Policy can do and those key concepts that I mentioned earlier. It will take you through an Organizational Unit (OU) design of your structure that can support Group Policy, understanding the Group Policy Management Console, inheritance, implementation, testing, and more.
Off to the left-side of the article, the navigation tree also links to other great related articles like a Group Policy Preferences Getting Started Guide.
Check out the Group Policy Planning and Deployment Guide to get an understanding of what Windows’ native centralized management can do for you. It also helps refresh your thoughts on some best practices when it comes to organizing an AD structure to utilize group policy.