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Microsoft Planner – Your New Project Management Tool

Expert Insight

Microsoft Planner for Task Management

Utilising a task management tool like Microsoft Planner, to manage your projects is a good idea for any business – remote or otherwise. However, maintaining visibility and regulation over your project teams has undoubtedly become more challenging as organisations have found themselves in a long-term period of remote working, subsequently increasing the demand for a comprehensive project management tool.

Not only does operating a task manager preserve team visibility and collaboration whilst working remotely, it additionally drives forward business projects of any size, with features that promote impeccable organisation throughout the team, allowing you to track project contributions, performance, and even your work-life balance.

Our project management software of choice is undoubtedly Microsoft Planner – the additional features and functionalities it provides make it the stand out project and people planner for empowering remote collaboration, with instant implementation of the tool available for existing Office 365 users.


How to use Microsoft Planner

The centralised task management tool is comprised using Kanban boards to easily visualise your tasks and responsibilities. Planner includes three main areas of each board –

  • Plan (the defined project)
  • Tasks (the to-do list for project members)
  • Buckets (the columns to organise and differentiate between tasks)

Once you have created a plan with your chosen members, you can fill the plan with tasks – each task can have a name, due date and who it’s assigned to. You can additionally choose to add status, priority, checklists, files, notes and more for each task. You can then organise and differentiate between your tasks by adding them to the various buckets within your plan.

Not only can project leaders utilise Planner to stay on top of the project’s progress, but the team will additionally receive email notifications and task triggers if they have an assignment approaching its due date – ensuring all team members are up-to-date and on top of their personal workload.

Group members can choose to view Microsoft Planner in board view – showing the stage and detail of each task – or chart view. Chart view is perhaps preferable for those who want a visual insight into project via pie charts, bar charts and visual cues – essentially a great way to quickly see a snapshot of your project status.


Key Benefits of Microsoft Planner

  • Unrivalled Project Management

The agility of Kanban boards underpinned with content rich task lists creates an easy method of tracking work and progress throughout your team with checklists, labels, status updates and more. Your project management methodology can now incorporate the ability to assign and accept tasks, making it clear which team members are responsible for which tasks, increasing efficiency and avoiding any overlap or confusion.

Essentially, Planner provides a centralised hub for projects, allowing you to work with optimal efficiency through prioritising and organising both yourself and your employees. Through breaking a project down into individual tasks, employees can view the project roadmap in manageable bite-sized pieces, transforming even large-scale projects into achievable tasks.

  • Cost Effective

An additional benefit of choosing Planner as your virtual to do list is cost. As it’s included in all Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions, it’s likely you’ll have access to the free project management solution if you are an existing Microsoft 365 user. This then ensures user adoption is a streamlined experience as employees will already be familiar with using existing Microsoft 365 applications.

  • Flexibility

An important aspect of working remotely is flexibility, and this is provided with Planner. The agile project manager is available on desktop, mobile and as an app on Teams, so your workforce can have the power to work on any device, in any location. This ideal for remote collaboration, and results in one of the best to do list apps available on the market.

  • Integration

Last, but by no means least, Planner’s consolidation with various Office 365 Groups is what makes it the best project management solution of choice for our technology specialists. As part of Microsoft 365, Planner natively integrates with all apps, including Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and To Do – meaning you can access and update your task list through whichever app you’re choosing to use, in addition to a new Office 365 Group being created every time a new Plan is made.

The Tasks app within Microsoft Teams combines Microsoft To Do, Planner and Outlook to unite your weekly planner, team tasks and personal to do lists – ideal for being able to easily discuss the project in hand and have a unified view of all shared responsibilities and individual tasks. The syncing capabilities with Outlook mean that users can add or flag emails as tasks, whilst the links with SharePoint Groups gives the ability to attach specific files to specific tasks – providing instant document access and real-time collaboration for your project team.

In essence, ensuring your business is utilising the right task management tool is essential for keeping yourself and your employees on track. For those who plan to continue working remotely, a project management solution such as Microsoft Planner empowers productivity wherever you work, as everyone has complete visibility over what needs to be done and when. Whilst third-party solutions such as Wrikes or the Trello app additionally provides suitable project planner abilities, it is the ability to integrate with supplementary collaboration tools that makes Microsoft Planner the most robust offering – in addition to the cost savings that existing Microsoft 365 users will benefit from.

How Stripe OLT can help

As a Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in cloud solutions, our qualified experts are best placed to assist with the implementation and user adoption of innovative Microsoft solutions.

If you would like more information on how our cloud specialists can support your business, get in touch here.

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