Microsoft’s work management apps, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project, help your hybrid team coordinate and manage tasks and projects. Both share a similar look and feel by design to make it easy for you to shift as your needs evolve. Planner helps you manage and monitor team tasks in a shared plan while Project takes managing your tasks and projects to the next level with more flexibility and power. Over the next year, our plan is to simplify and bring the experiences of these two apps closer together so that moving from one to the other is effortless.
Cathy Harley, Senior Program Manager for Planner and Project, shows tips for using Planner and Project inside of Teams and discusses the roadmap for both products.
Here’s the rundown of newly released features for both apps as well as a look at what’s coming during the next few months.
New for Microsoft Planner
Planner is perfect for visually managing task-based efforts across a team. Everything your team needs to organize a marketing campaign, internal budget review, or small event is set out on a traditional Kanban board. Each task on that board contains all the necessary details—due dates, comments, attachments, color-coded labels, and more—in one place, while prebuilt charts graphically summarize the status of your entire plan. With Planner, your team has an intuitive, visual, and collaborative app for getting work done or managing workflows. If you’re a current Microsoft 365 subscriber, you can log into Planner at tasks.office.com.
During the past six months, we’ve launched a number of new Planner features to save you time, improve coordination, and, ultimately, streamline your task management. Some of these releases include:
In the year ahead, we’ll continue to integrate and connect Planner with other Microsoft 365 apps and release some of the features you’ve been asking for, such as recurring tasks. While we can’t share everything we’re working on just yet, here’s a look at some of the new items on our public roadmap:
New for Microsoft Project
As a powerful work and project management tool, Microsoft Project enables you and your team to take on projects big and small that require dynamic scheduling, sub-tasks, dependent tasks, and reporting. You can create and manage your plans in whatever way best fits your workstyle with Grid (list), Kanban-style Board, or Timeline (modern Gantt) views. If you’re a current Project subscriber, you can log into the app at project.microsoft.com.
With the continual roll out of features and improvements for Project this year, you can manage your work confidently and successfully. Here are some of the new capabilities we released during the past six months:
Successful project management requires robust collaboration, flexibility, and attention to detail. These releases hit on each of those attributes and extend our commitment to make Project a simple but powerful project management app. But we’re just getting started: in the coming months, we’re adding Project capabilities to make it even easier to manage your collaborative work. Here’s a look at some of the upcoming features on our public roadmap:
Exciting changes are on the horizon for Planner and Project—including a more seamless experience between the two. We’d love to know what you want to see in Planner and Project. To send us your ideas for Planner, select the “Help” icon in the lower-left corner of Teams; for Project, select the smiley face icon in the upper-right corner of the app. If you’re new to the apps, you can learn more about Planner at aka.ms/planner and Project at aka.ms/microsoftproject. There are additional details about each app in above video too.
If the basic difference between Project and Planner is that Project has a timeline view, can you explain the strategy of maintain 2 apps and trying to sync the features between the two, instead of killing one product and integrate all the features in one?
There is also a scheduling engine behind Project @Licantrop0 and many other features either now or coming that differentiate the two - not just a timeline. There is a reason some people have felt comfortable in the past using tools like Excel to manage projects rather than dive deep into Microsoft Project if they haven't needed the advanced features - Planner and Project both have their audience, satisfying both the occasional and professional project managers, but the similarities will help our customers step up from one to the other if and when the need arises. Also to your point of "the strategy of maintaining 2 apps" - these come from the same team and share much in common behind the scenes.
Good to know that you are working on sinergies and new features for those two apps!
Can you share something more about Planner very much needed basic functionalities / their release roadmap?
thank you in advance
Add mentions to tasks. it's very necessary
Still no news of mentions in Planner.
Trello says thank you.
What about a "My Tasks" view that spans all projects? It has been on the roadmap for two years....
When having people working in multiple projects, it is a must to have an aggregate view of all tasks, just like Planner has.... and what Project Online has.
This should preferably also be embedded into "Tasks in Teams"
@Alessio take a look at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/planner/block-non-owner-task-deletion which gives a PowerShell option for blocking users from deleting tasks they didn't create. For recovery of plans then please open a support ticket as we are wanting to understand the scenarios where plans get deleted.
There is some activity tracked in comments if you set this at the plan level - to see assignments and task completion.
Is this something other M365 Graph endpoints support? What exactly are you expecting here that the 3rd party can't write on their own?
@TonyStark - its coming...
500 tasks in P4W is too limiting. Are there are any plans to increase that any time soon?
Thanks @Brian Smith!
the powershell helps a lot!
Next step would be to enable granular control in terms of who can do what on the planner (just read, move/complete/comment, create blocks, buckets, …)
The audit/activity log is very much needed, both to understand who did what when (as we can with the majority of the other 365 apps) and manually revert the plan to a previous state in case someone did something wrong on the plan.
Of course versioning would be much better, but this could be a good ad interim solution in such regards and anyhow needed for audit reasons.
the graph API is needed for 3rd party backup software like Veeam 365 (which does not backup planner as there’s no API available yet). You may find that discussion on the web, they are waiting for it.
any info on when/if such features will be released?
Both the Planner and Projects + Roadmaps are underpowered, each with its own set of limitations. As for the Project, we have tried many times, but each time we just gave up.
We've decided to go with Planner and created a PBI relation, where we sample each data for changes. We've also developed a Flow parser, which scans checklist item for the date, so we know deltas for checklist items and can create gant ourselves:
- Kick-off of the project (10.11.2021)
So, instead of stuff like suggested files noone imo really asked for and is just taking valueable space in the interface and the section can't be even collapsed, what about the following?
- Why GraphAPI can't provide taks priority? It's just insane you can't get that to the PowerBI
- When are we going to be able to use mentions in terms of the comments?
- We don't want the checklist, attachement and project description displayed on the card being a mutually exclusive!
- I have read something about planned Comments rich-text improvements, including image. The plan to automatically add the images to the Attachements section, is a fatal mistake. That section should contain only a project acknowledget attachements, not a random screenshots etc. someone posts in terms of the Comments!
- We would like to have an ability to have a "referenced" tasks. Simply put - we would like some tasks to appear in multiple boards, without them being a copy, but just a reference.
- It would be nice if the Checklist items could have its own due date. We need those for the more granular notifications. We mostly use checklist as the project timeline. Eventually assigning a responsible person from the list of the Task memebers, would be also welcomed.
- When can we expect a timeline view for the Planner? Recent plan calendar view is mostly of no use.
I’m begging you, please provide a Planner connector for Power BI.
It would be great if you add the date of task creation as information to the task card. If this comes with a filter function, that would be very useful.
@Brian_SmithCan you speak to this?
Task scheduling enhancements show October general availability yet it's now November and we don't see anything listed for October on the Project for the web release details page.
Task scheduling enhancements from Project for the web (October GA)
“For details on scheduling enhancements that will be made in Project for the web, please review the Project for the web release details here:”
@Paul_Diamond with recurring tasks will be able to change existing tasks into a recurring task? :folded_hands:
While I like the idea of Project, I don't like the how each Project is it's own file. Our team pretty much uses the same concept in Excel with multiple tabs to quickly move from project to project within the same workbook.
Due dates for Checklist Items would be a huge help. Any idea on whether or not this will be introduced at some point? It is a critical feature for our team and really impedes our ability to effectively utilize Planner.
@TonyStark Thanks! Quick question though and please forgive my ignorance, but is there additional documentation on the specific feature in the 'Rolling Out' phase? What I'm seeing just refers to checklist functionality... I'm guessing you are seeing more info that suggests that checklist due dates are coming.
Sorry, my post was too quick and I read wrong :(
There are no plans for due dates on Planner checklist items....what I linked to was checklist items on Project tasks
@TonyStark No worries at all! Appreciate the responses! I'll just keep checking back and figuring out work-arounds in the meantime.
For those who commented on getting a single view of tasks - the feedback portal is now up. I've submitted the same request that was that was top previously.
MS didn't even import the feedback from Uservoice and expects us to do it all again?
In my humble opinion, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project should be combined into the same product for a better and more robust user experience. Also, there needs to be an easy way to get a consolidated view of all the tasks assigned to all the users across all the plans within a single view for Microsoft Planner. This feature is very much needed and frequently mentioned in message boards going back a number of years. This is one of those "common sense" features you would think would be there by default if the objective is to promote "teamwork", hence the name Teams. This feature is missing. PLEASE ADD A CONSIDATED VIEW FOR ALL TASKS AND PLANS FOR PLANNER!
@Licantrop0 and @MTexas123 are you suggesting we make Planner users pay for Project licenses when they only need some of the basic functions? Or that we give Project away "for free" (included with the core M365 subscription) even though for some users the feature set will be more than they need (and will be getting bigger) so that they then find it too cumbersome? There are reasons why some users have managed their projects in Excel even though they could have purchased Project - and that is the same reason why there is a good user base for both Project and Planner. The thing we need to do is ensure parity so that users who make the step up to Project don't lose anything, and also (to the point MTexas123 makes above) that users who may be assigned tasks in both applications don't have to think about those tasks any differently - or go to different places to update their progress. As I mentioned elsewhere, Cathy says exactly that in the video above - "Soon, Project tasks will flow into the Assigned to You list in the Task in the Teams tasks app".
Please also don't forget to mention to @CathyHarley that the Project for the Web customizable options for big firms cost double for the teams as well as have other hidden (high) IT costs such as the building of the solution/migration/customizations.
We desperately need the ability to share "Read-Only" versions of our Planners. It's WAY too easy for occasional users to move or accidentally complete tasks.
@Brian Smith I don't think anyone was saying to give away Project, or force payment for Planner. It becomes a licensing issue. Planner would be the 'free' tier of functionality, Project is the professional tier of functionality, but they're the same system behind the scenes. Pretty much all of MS's licensing works in this way, after all. MS365 Business (Basic vs. Standard vs. Premium) is mostly differentiated by what you can access and edit, not entirely different but related products. Heck, even Project has Online Essentials, and then Plans 1, 3, and 5 offering differing capabilities.
Keep the same integrated back end that flows the data seamlessly between Planner and Project such that our teams can continue to use Planner for their day to day but management can use Project to coordinate and set roadmaps. We're *this close* to that as it is... the final gap is what is maddening, because it is so bleeding obviously needed.
Senior management uses Project to create large scale projects with complex dependencies and cross-team coordination. Project leads use their view of the same data within Project Plan 1 or Planner to coordinate their teams. Team leads use Planner (same data) to direct collaboration among individuals. Individuals see their actions on their Tasks (SAME DATA) for day to day checklists. If the master Project is updated, the data flows down the entire chain. If an employee checks off an item, that status flows *up* the entire chain and is reflected on the status of the master project as needed. The UI becomes a matter of expression of the data, and editing capabilities based on the access rights provided by the tool license and/or role in the organization.
I really do hope you're moving towards this model, because right now Project is a hard sell within our org, but this would make it a clear path.
@MTexas123, @Brett O'Hanlon I highly recommend downloading and using the Microsoft To Do App (Microsoft Store) which consolidates all Tasks "Assigned to me" in a single list. Another option is to add/pin the "Tasks by Planner and To Do" app to the far left column (Activity, Chat, Teams, etc) in Microsoft Teams (click the "..." and search for "Tasks"). In the "Tasks by Planner and To Do" app, there is a default list in the top left named "Assigned to me". Updates to tasks in these locations update everywhere.
@POWEREH I already use the To Do App. It doesn't have the tasks from Project for the web. That's the problem.
It was the most requested feature for a few years now I say. It's been recreated in the new feedback portal and is top again. Outside of @Brian Smith saying it's mentioned in the video I can't see it written down anywhere that it's coming. I didn't see it on the roadmap in the video. It's not on the teams roadmap and the feedback from the suggestion from microsoft is "we are considering this"...
This completely misses how me, my company, and several other companies use Planner, and Projects is actually a giant step away from that system.
Your development is stepping AWAY from how it is most commonly used outside of a software and SCRUM system, and I honestly have to question if you know the difference between the Agile methods as you are referring to a SCRUM as a Kanban.
You are developing away from your most common use case.
@Costas Constantinou this is because they, as programmers, are developing a solution to their problem as programmers and not for the general workplace. The 500 limit is because they are running a SCRUM for programmers, not a Kanban (yes, she incorrectly referred to it as a Kanban, and mispronounced it.)
A Kanban is like a job board and every "Task" is a "Project/Plan". The actual terminology they use is antithetical to how a Kanban works and entirely in the SCRUM Agile method.
"Tasks" in a Kanban board ARE the projects, and the check lists on the "Tasks" are the tasks for the individual project. The "bucket" for the "Tasks" (Re: Projects) are the stage in the workflow from start to end. "Tasks" (Again, RE: projects) don't typically last more than a few hours to two weeks in a Kanban.
The project board in an SCRUM is the project, and the "tasks" are the checklist for the project. The bucket for the tasks are the stages of development the tasks are in for the project. Most tasks within a project in a SCRUM don't typically get finished sooner than a week, and can take up to a month. Watch the video again. Her Gantt charts span weeks for projects, whith each having their own board.
This is a fundamental difference in use case for Planner vs Project. Planner is more Kanban based (but they keep trying to make it SCRUM), while Project is SCRUM oriented.
@Brett O'Hanlon Ohhh, I see what you're saying now. I can't believe that's not a feature, especially with Project being a paid app. I hope they add that soon! One more reason for me to stop looking into Project as a task management solution.
I wholeheartedly agree with the comment made by Licantrop0 and I certainly upvoted that one. I'll take it a step further though...here is additional feedback I submitted on the new feedback portal....please upvote that one as well!
I'd like to know when the information kept on a card in planner is going to be customisable. We want to add our own fields and display them on the front of the card. And to display more than one item on the card is a must as well. Those new fields should be filters.
I think many of the comments about Project are confusing due to the video not distinguishing THREE different products:
These are non-interoperable tools and there is not a way to get a consolidated view across all or use them in harmony.
MSFT should expand the capability of #1 to include the features from #2 (Timeline view, PowerBI integration). Having two similar products makes no sense.
@Rob O'Keefe except Tasks by Planner (Which has suffered since its integration with Tasks IMO) fills the role of Kanban and project board, while Project for the Web and Project do not.
@Brian_Smith Re: Pricing… I’d lean heavy towards including the online version of Project with the SharePoint/Teams experience. Having the one-off conversations within the kludgy hierarchy that is corporate America is an insane effort because most of the people you need approval from spend weeks asking you, “Why can’t you just use Excel.” Then, when you finally battle through that, they’ll approve a minuscule number of licenses.
Then there’s the battle with the IT department. If they use Jira, they’ll push back and say everyone should use that, even though that tool has massive limitations, especially with reporting and it’s lack of compatibility with the overall Teams experience.
Because of that, Microsoft chases pennies on the dollar with corporations they already have multi-million dollar contracts with, and the net result is that Project never becomes a ubiquitous shared tool. That will eventually lead to its minimized usage and likely eventual demise. In a collaborative space like Teams, Project becomes useless if a non-technical user can never work with the tool.
Like with anything new, don’t chase the dollars too fast. Rather, get people using it.
Really waiting for the integration update. And so when will this happen?
@John_Fitch - for Power BI integration into Planner please see https://youtu.be/-U1Nnj95VMo and https://github.com/ben-howard/Planner-PowerBI-with-PowerAutomate
@ben_project - Found it! Looks interesting & we’re trying it out. Nevertheless, it would seem that MS would want their stuff to connect more easily.
@John_Fitch - Agreed, it would be lovely to have a better soln where you could directly connect from Power BI. Alas Planner was built with ZERO enterprise reporting capability, and it would appear that Microsoft don't consider this to be any sort of priority. Go figure....
@AlessioThe article re list being much superior to planner contains lots of incorrect comparisons, sorry. And first and foremost - unless I get a mobile app for Lists also for Android, it is completly useless. I don't think MS is going to cease Planner anytime soon.
We've recently found an absolutely stupid functionality, which kills Planner usability - copying a task. If you would like to use some task as a template, including the files containing e.g. forms, you simply can't. Instead of creating a copy of the files, it just references / shares them across the copied tasks. The only way of how to do it is to push users to attach files from their local computer. The more we dig into Planner internals, the more we think the project is run by some students and team completly missing a competent architect.
Well Petr, Lists looks to be maintained and evolve in the good direction. All the opposite of Planner.
I will test Lists "board/kanban view" as soon as it is available.
Curious of what you think is incorrect in the comparison table above, I even participated in adding some points to the article.
I know that Lists are getting lots of attention in last cca 2 years.
As for us, we are sampling Planner to PowerBI on a daily basis. So we know, if some item was modified or not. We have also added the due date to the checklist, and parsing it out using Flow, when put into the PBI report: Checklist item 1 (14.2.2022)
By having it sampled on a daily basis, we can track the changes. So in our PBI report, we've introduced the Delta field of the following format: 3x, 3 months - so you know, the task was shifted 3 times already and the delay is 3 months.
So, that's why I don't agree with the table statements, like the lack of PBI support. It is quite easy to achieve anyway, while maybe not out of the box.
Planner has a list support, though only in terms of the Teams component. I agree, that the situation is a bit messy.
Our users are also used to comment on tasks (projects), using a smart phone. This is so essential to us, that missing List app on an Android is a show stopper in itself to us ...
It is a pity that Planner is heavily under-developed and the team introducing things like background, confetti and similar nonsense, has to be felt like an insult to us.
Android app looks to be coming this month.
The lack of @mentions in Planner is what prevents us to use it. And they do work in Lists.
PBI is not used in my company so I can't elaborate :(
Mentions is the most frequently asked feature. I think, that the reason, why it was not done a long time ago already, is the group dependency. I think that only recently you can add external users to the Planner, which are not part of the Group. So that feature might be close too, unless the MS is lazy and ignorant here to add it finally. But - we are ok even without the mentions - comments go all the ppl assigned to the tasks. Works quite well for us.
As for me, I have never tried to compare Planner to the Lists, but rather to the Project. Project latelly added chat too, attachments, custom fields (though those can't be transferred to PBI IIRC), but Project lacks the mobile apps. Lists are indeed a good candidate to replace planner, as they allow kind of card / kanban view.
But we really can't work without a check-lists, which are e.g. silently ignored in your comparison table you have mentioned.
Checklists could be a deal breaker for us, you are right.
I still need to test myself, the comparison table makes Lists looks good if you don't include the weak points indeed ;)
My understanding is SharePoint Lists is actually old technology that had some problems in the past. Now that they wrapped an app/special UI around it and gave it some lipstick, is it better than it used to be? That's the question I still have. I struggle with Kanban boards in both Lists and Planner. What a confusing mess...at least for task management use cases! Lists allows you to use custom fields but Planner is incorporated into the Teams Task app. Users want both...so it's unclear as to what Microsoft's goal is for each tool. I think "Offering many tools so that users have many options to be flexible and work where they want and how they want." is becoming quite a cliché in the industry. Whatever happened to the value of simplicity?
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