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As the world generally is in a point of a digital limbo, digital transformation rapidly took place across all the segments of the world industrial sectors in just 3-4 months.


The Pandemic opened us to various new ways to work, live and exist, and this was across all segments; government, private sector, public sector, enterprises and small businesses.


The sense of collaboration become very essential and needed in the digital space and the injection of Microsoft Teams to this unplanned wave and its ability to meet expectations was laudable.


However, there is still need for increased ease in collaboration, especially for these times. One of the Microsoft apps that can play this vital role is Microsoft Planner. Now, how do we take advantage of this tool to ease our collaboration in Teams.


One major setback to teamwork is the inability to get work done on time and with an organized approach but Microsoft Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize it properly, assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.

 


What is plan and why do we need to Plan?
A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. Why do we need to plan then? According to McKinsey & Company, in their published article on the Strategic Principles for Competing in the Digital Age, “digital capabilities increasingly will determine which companies create or lose value.” Every team needs to have a plan to execute their task in a timely, coordinated and productive manner. This bring us to introduce Microsoft Planner, which is not project management solution but a feel of it to enhance productivity within a collaborative environment.


Microsoft Planner enable users and teams to create plans, assemble and assign tasks, share files, communicate and collaborate with other users, and receive progress updates via various means on the Office 365 platform. Each new plan created in Planner automatically creates a new Office 365 group.

1.jpg

 

 

Microsoft Planner Advantage for Collaboration
One of the advantages of Microsoft planner is that it is easy to use and makes organization of work or task to be quick.


The planner can be launched from the Microsoft 365 app launcher with a single click. You can then create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status—in a few easy steps.

Fig. 1.1 Stay organized by creating tasksFig. 1.1 Stay organized by creating tasks

 

 

Planner plans has its own board, where you can organize tasks into buckets. This can also categorized tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.


Let us define some terms that we will be using as we go on:

  • Tasks: a piece of work to be done or undertaken at a given time.
  • Buckets: heelps in sorting your tasks; after adding tasks, you can sort them into buckets to help break things up into phases, types of work, departments, or whatever makes the most sense for your plan.
  • Status: the position of affairs at a time, in Microsoft planner we have 3 different status; not started, in progress and completed
  • Assigned to: when you're ready to decide who's doing what, you select people to a task.
  • Board: where you can organize tasks into buckets. You can categorize tasks based on their status
  • Schedule: view to see tasks on a calendar
  • Charts: Graphical view to see how your work is progressing.

Fig 1.2 Overview of a PlannerFig 1.2 Overview of a Planner

 

 

How to Access Microsoft Planner
How do we access Microsoft Planner? We can access planner through the M365 app launcher on Office 365 or via the Microsoft Teams’ apps on the navigation bar.

Fig 1.3 Planner Launcher from M365Fig 1.3 Planner Launcher from M365

 

Fig 1.4 Planner on the WebFig 1.4 Planner on the Web

 

Fig 1.5 Planner on Microsoft TeamFig 1.5 Planner on Microsoft Team

 

 

TEAMWORK - A Factor For Collaboration

One of the major features for every teamwork or collaboration essential is to be able to work. A digital workplace is usually sprout up by the efforts of team members.


Microsoft Planner is a task view that provides a comprehensive list of all your tasks and their status across all your plans. When working together on a plan, team members always know who is working on what and they can easily track and follow up on various activities. This makes work very visible and transparent with the team build up.


Sometimes collaboration needs to be streamlined to segments of a specific task. Planner is built on M365 apps and for M365, so it lets you attach files to specific tasks, work together on those files, and even have conversations around tasks without switching between apps.

Fig 1.6 Planner Bucket view on the Web and on Microsoft TeamsFig 1.6 Planner Bucket view on the Web and on Microsoft Teams

 

 

Seamlessly across all your devices
The value of any application in the digital age is to be able to work across various devices out there. Planner works across all your devices and can get everyone on the same page. A glance at Charts is all it takes to know where things stand and to see if the team is making enough progress towards its goal.


Because it runs on M365 apps , you will receive email notifications whenever you’re assigned a new task or added to a conversation.

Fig 1.7 Planner on Mobile devicesFig 1.7 Planner on Mobile devices

 

 

Microsoft Planner Plus Microsoft Team
The best way to maximize and give Planner visibility within the team is to add it to Microsoft Teams.


Planner integrates collaboration experiences across Office 365. In addition to Planner web and mobile clients, users can view and update Planner plans and tasks from within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Planner itself is also powered by the Microsoft Graph and the Office 365 group service

 

In summary, Microsoft Planner is a task management solution for teams. It is an online subscription service offered as part of Office 365. Planner can create tasks as cards, assign them to team members, and organize them into buckets or columns. It is an easy way to get organized, and to collaborate across platforms.

 

References for Further Reading
Video: Schedule view in Microsoft Planner 
Video + Doc: Planner Calendar in Outlook

YouTube Video: Create a plan with Planner in Teams
Blog: Microsoft Planner hands-on demonstration
Ignite Session: Microsoft Planner in M365
Video + Doc: Use Planner in Microsoft Teams

 

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About Me
Name: Oluwaseyi Oluwawumiju
Email:  soluwawumiju@covenanttechs.com
Twitter: @soluwawumiju
Linkedin: https://ng.linkedin.com/pub/seyi-oluwawumiju-mct-fiimafrica-itil/27/36a/129
Website: http://www.covenanttechs.com
Blog: https://seyioluwawumiju.wordpress.com/


About the Writer
Oluwawumiju Oluwaseyi is a Technical consultant with Convenant Technologies and he also an MCT, MVP and the MCT Regional Lead for Nigeria. Convenant Technologies is a Certified Partner with Microsoft in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also a senior consulting partner for Convenant Technologies on Microsoft infrastructure with over 19 years’ experience and also a fellow of the institute of information Management, Africa; one of the highest honors for management of data. Prior to joining Convenant Technologies, Seyi was a senior technical consultant and support manager for 1st Intellit solution, where he led outsourcing team development and new client systems. It is in view of the evolving market for IT in Africa, that he deemed it highly necessary honing his traditional product knowledge expertise to meet this current trend. Suffice it to say, that championing campaign for SharePoint, Window server, Yammer, Cloud technologies (Azure), office 365 and Microsoft Teams is Seyi's focus and the mainstay of his business interest in WECA.

 

 

 

 

9 Comments
Occasional Visitor

So usefull. But why the hell Planner doesnt work offline and why do one need an o365-group. Why cant there be personal but shareable plans, just like how OneNote works. I don't get it.

Regular Visitor

Using Teams and Planner to run a global project to rollout and develop salesforce.

 

Teams is brilliant

Planner is OK

But they don't have much benefit together from what I have seen.

 

One of the biggest problems with planner is that it doesn't properly use Teams Chat.  It is a fact and delayed conversation system that doesn't even allow you to mention people.

 

If they could integrate better chat into Planner that would be a big win.

 

One area I would also like to see improvement is linking/serializing tasks to sub tasks when  you promote a task.

Occasional Visitor

Hey @seyi Oluwawumiju 

MS-Teams does not yet offer the possibility to ad screen shots to planner-cards. You can attach documents, but I would like to see that you can copy past print screens. Any chance Microsoft is working on such a functionality?

Cheers

adrian

@AdrianW2020  the feature you specifically asked,  is not yet to be added but you attach a file or link.  We can raise a User voice on the specific feature and i know Microsoft is working on a lot of product innovation and this might be part of the changes that can be included.

Occasional Contributor

Have to agree with previous posters here. Key features are definitely missing:

  • Ability to @ mention people- getting their attention when needed.
  • Missing formatting / html / tables or links in comments and notes.
  • Not able to paste images directly to tickets
  • Missing feature to create ticket from email for support-flow
  • Missing proper integration to teams in regards to status changes etc
Occasional Visitor

Excelente apoyo para todos los usuarios

Microsoft

I would definitely encourage one of you to open a Uservoice suggestion at https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/.  Others can vote on the suggestions and track its progress within the engineering team. 

@Frankjonassen  your comment is noted and the reality is that the features are shipped as people like you will raise a User voice vote for these features to be added which helps in enhancing its collaboration advantage. 

Kindly raise your suggestion here:https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/ 

 Once we have it there and we will see others voting for this change. :lol:

@gabriel2010  yes, we can add that to it, But currently do have any issue that you want Microsoft to look into?