Planner Task Notifications not working as expected

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When a user first creates a Planner task, the assignee is notified and this works well. However, if a user later adds a comment to a task, such as a follow-up question or comment on status, only the user adding the comment and anyone who has previously commented on the task are notified of this comment. If the assignee has never commented on the task, they will not be notified of any follow-up question or comments. This is not expected and is creating confusion for our users: we expect that the assignee (and ideally the creator) of a task would always be notified.

The ideal solution would be that when a task is created, the assignee(s) and the creator would be added to the "watch list" that is today handling the sending of notifications to users who have commented.

 

This was documented in 2019 at this link https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/planner/not-receiving-planner-comments-in-outlook-inbox/m-p/1.... Even better would be if users could also choose to join or leave this watchlist, but even if this were not possible, at least notifying assignees and the creator on every comment would be a more logical option than the current set-up.
 
This issue was raised in April 2019. We could not find any sign of actions by Microsoft on this issue since then.
 
Question: What are Microsoft's specific plans to correct the notification behavior in Planner? If there are no plans to correct this behavior, is this because Planner will be phased out in the near future?
 
Thank you.
 
3 Replies
Hi - we hear this concern from our users and agree the existing behavior isn't ideal. We're working to make comment notifications better, and our plans include the behavior you're talking about, where the assignees are notified and there's a way to "follow a specific task" to get notifications on it.

We definitely have plans to address this space though, even though we don't have a timeline to share yet. When we get further along in the process of delivering this capability to customers, I will share an update across our customer facing channels!

Thanks for your question and feedback!

@Charlie Tran I get that you don't have a timeline .. but can't you give us a ballpark of whether one will come in weeks, months or years ? 

 

Our single biggest frustration with Office 365 and ALL of it's products is Planner .. and the "radio silence" or .. complete lack of transparency or urgency in addressing long-standing requests.

 

I honestly don't think you appreciate how frustrating this is for customers.  It's not the lack of a feature improvement that's annoying .. it's the lack of communication.

I'm offering this as honest feedback: when the planner team says "we will let you know", I don't believe you.    Why ?  Because that's what was posted in UserVoice years ago, and then nothing has happened since.  Your team loses credibility when you say the equivalent of "we'll get back to you" with no specific commitments.

Microsoft Verified Best Answer
Thanks for the feedback - I hear your frustrations with the lack of communication, and I agree we can do a better job. One thing we're trying to improve is updating the Microsoft 365 Roadmap more often to provide more transparency.

Sometimes we don't provide specific dates or timeframes because even as we investigate how to solve the issues, the complexities and dependencies involved to make it happen means estimating a timeframe is difficult. We don't want to tell you we're fixing a problem by "x" and then miss that timeframe, which would cause more frustration.

Even problems that sound easy on the surface can turn out to be more challenging to address as we investigate further. We're always making difficult tradeoff decisions about what we can address in our product - unfortunately that means it can take longer for us to address an issue than we'd like.

I want to thank you for your engagement, we appreciate your usage of Planner and the effort to continually provide feedback. These AMAs, Planner Intercepts, and other events are efforts by our team to be more transparent and communicate with our customers regularly.