O365 Planner - Project Management

(Rob Honma) #1

Just wonder if anyone has used O365’s Planner. Communications team is shopping around for a new PM tool, graduating from Basecamp. Thanks in advance!

(K Papalia) #2

We aren’t using it. I can’t get my users to be organized enough about any project to use project management software. I keep advertising but so far haven’t been able to get anyone to bite.

Our network consultants use it heavily and I attended a demo they hosted. For a control-freak, nerd like me, it looked very promising. I’ve also watched the Lynda.com Planner Essentials class and it looks easy to use. I liked how the calendar and everything tied into Outlook. It gave it a one-stop shopping kind of feel.

Yammer would be a great thing to add to your project management.

If you get it for free as part of your Office 365 subscription, why not use it for a small project and see if it makes them happy? Or, get a demo Lynda.com account so everyone can preview all of the features as detailed in the Planner Essentials course. It should also get them the skills they need to hit the ground running should they find it promising.

(Rob Honma) #3

Appreciate the response and background to your experience. Definitely makes sense to use since it is include in our subscription. The integration is very compelling. We’ll check out Lynda.comhttp://Lynda.com for details. Thanks again!

(K Papalia) #4

I follow this guy David Lozzi, who has insights in the various Microsoft apps. He spoke at a Boston o365 user group. His presentation detailed ways to get the most out of o365. In watching it today, he talked about how you could use Stream to record project meetings for reference later and Flow to archive things at project’s end and SharePoint for reporting. It made me think of you. You may find the content inspiring. It’s a bit slow going in the beginning because some of the content is group business but David’s content is interesting.

https://bostono365usergroup.com/sessions/office-365-more-sharepoint-108?utm_source=lozzi&utm_campaign=jan2019

He mentions a TODO and Planner integration at 1:07 and then he reviews Planner at 1:09

Incidentally, this user group has members from all around the globe, myself included, because they have some valuable webinars. Join if you want. They don’t seem to mind.

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(Norman Ho) #5

I do use it on a small scale currently but wish I can use it more. Quite a simple but efficient tool.

The key is to get a network effect (every additional user to the network makes it more valuable) going once you reach a certain percentage of users. You need more staff to update their own projects and regularly look at them to maintain the network effect.

If you use Teams with Planner and with OneNote that will be awesome for team projects. One of the biggest value would be that fact that your teams will be automatically building the KM (Knowledge Management) of the projects that will help your future projects and organisation to avoid the same mistakes. Imagine the ability for future project teams to look back on the previous finished projects for learning points and templates; one of the reasons I am not in favour of introducing Slack as the free version doesn’t allow you to build a long term KM.

(Rob Honma) #6

Those are some great points! We’re already leveraging both Teams and Notes. Appreciate the input!

(Steve Perky) #7

We have played around with it a bit of the past year. Up until recently I would have been hesitant to recommend it. However, Microsoft is actively improving it and listening to customer feedback.

With these recent updates combined with Microsoft’s continued enhancement of Planner, I can now comfortably recommend it.

  • It used to be that a Team (in Microsoft Teams) and a SharePoint site could only have one Plan associated with it. Now it is possible to have multiple Plans associated with them.
  • While there is not a true template yet, they now allow you to copy a Plan to new Plan. They also now allow the copying of tasks from one Plan to another. This helps in getting really close to having a full template experience if you need one.

We are starting to use if for our IT projects (we handle help desk tickets in another system), and it is working really well.

(Rob Honma) #8

Great stuff Steve. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. We’ll be looking into Planner and agree, Microsoft is continually improving their apps and integration. We’ll see what some of the key stakeholders build with it. Appreciate the insights around templates.

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(K Papalia) #9

Microsoft just announced this about Planner. I thought I’d keep you in the loop since you are considering Planner:

Note: This update mentions enabling the “New Tasks” module MC173377 which I’ve also included below

From Microsoft Message Center Major Change Update Notification MC 176992


We are excited to announce the To-Do & Planner Integration is a new Office 365 feature. We’ll begin rolling this feature out soon.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 48624

[How does this affect me?]

Users who opt-in to the Planner integration will be able to see and edit tasks they have been assigned to in Planner within To-Do. These tasks will surface in the “Assigned to me” list, but will also appear in To-Do search results, My Day suggestions, and the Planned smart list (all tasks with a due date). Users may turn off this integration at any time via the To-Do Settings menu.

In order to use this integration in the Outlook Web task module, you must have the New Tasks module enabled. We previously announced this feature in February via MC173377

We’ll be gradually rolling this out to customers in April, 2019, and the roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of May 2019.

From Microsoft Message Center Major Change Update Notification MC173377


We are excited to announce the new Tasks module in Outlook on the web as an updated Office 365 feature. We’ll begin rolling this feature out in mid-March. This enhancement is related to Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 34338.

How does this impact me?

Customers who opt-in to the early version of the new Outlook on the web will see a newly redesigned Tasks experience, powered by Microsoft To-Do. We’ll be gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release customers in March, and the rollout will follow the general release timeline of the new Outlook on the web. This rollout is excluded from Office 365 subscriptions in GCC.

What should I do to prepare for this change?

If you white-list or block domains that can be accessed by your users - Please note that the new Tasks experience powered by To-Do uses the “to-do.office.com” domain, so you might wish to whitelist domains accordingly for your users to be able to use the new Tasks experience. If you don’t white-list/block any domains, you don’t need to do anything, but may consider updating your user training, and notifying your helpdesk.

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