Project Management with New Microsoft Planner

Project management is both a science and an art. When a project fails, it causes chaos across an organization costing time and money not something you can afford during these challenging times. The main reasons projects fail is due to a lack of planning, inadequate communication, poor leadership, inadequate documentation and tracking, competing priorities, and inexperienced project managers. Of course, there are other reasons for project failure, having to micromanage a project shouldn’t be one of them. Now there is a way to remove the chaos from project management with the new Microsoft Planner Visual Tool.

Removing the Chaos

Built into Microsoft 365, Planner can help you reduce the chaos at work and improve your project workflows. This easy to use tool makes it possible to plan complex tasks and handle projects without much effort. Similar to Trello and Asana, Planner enables teams or groups to create multiple task lists associated with different projects or daily to-do checklists. Each plan has its own “board” where the user can organize tasks into different buckets, enabling the user to filter Due Dates, Categories, or by Assigned User.

Improves Collaboration

Since a lack of communication is one of the main reasons projects fail, Planner is ideal as a communication tool that improves collaboration. With Planner, you can easily assign tasks, share files, and collaborate through chat to execute a project or plan. Microsoft Planner allows you to attach files to tasks, work together on those files, and even have conversations around tasks without switching between apps. With Planner, all your team’s discussions and deliverables stay with the plan and don’t get locked away across disparate applications. Microsoft Planner provides out-of-the-box functionality for creating charts for your team’s various assigned tasks. It keeps everyone informed about which tasks are in progress, have not yet started, are late or completed.

Organize Tasks by Topics

Microsoft Planner allows you to design and structure all tasks visually. They can be displayed in theme-related sections known as buckets (“buckets” = columns). Each bucket can be named individually. Each plan has its own board, where you organize tasks into buckets. From there you categorize tasks based on their status or who they are assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, you simply drag and drop tasks between columns.

Syncs Directly With Microsoft 365

The best part about Microsoft Planner is that it syncs directly with the associated Microsoft 365 group of software. This allows you to embed your team’s plans into your SharePoint Team Site and add value and understanding to what your specified team is working on. Microsoft Planner has many of the same filtering capabilities as SharePoint lists, so it is a niche replacement for tools that previously had to be built from scratch or customized from other list templates.

Microsoft Planner comes standard with each the following Office 365 Plans:

  • Office 365 Business Es365sentials
  • Office 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3
  • Office 365 Enterprise E5
  • Office 365 Education
  • Office 365 Education E5

Keeping Track With a Dashboard

Each plan in Microsoft Planner includes a dashboard. The dashboard allows you to analyze tasks according to their status or belonging to a plan. You keep an overview of all open or completed tasks. Different charts visualize project progress and show which tasks are overdue. There is a project plan integrated into Planner which can be used as a way to communicate project plans across your organization, without assigning Microsoft Project licenses to all relevant parties. The prototypes track most of the same information that your project managers track throughout a project’s life-cycle.

Mobile-Friendly and Flexible

Since this is a Microsoft 365 product, users can also access and update their plans on any mobile device with the Microsoft Planner App. You can launch Planner from the Microsoft 365 app launcher with a single click. From there you can easily create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update the status from your mobile device. You can use Planner to plan an event, track customer’s support issues, publish content such as a blog and track a process. To learn more about integrating Microsoft Planner or and other Office 365 tools into your business, contact the experts at Sydney Technology Solutions on 02-8212-4722 or email [email protected]. Our priority is helping you ramp up your business operations as Australia begins to open up from COVID-19.