Is Microsoft Planner a tool for you?

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Is Microsoft planner a good tool for those that do not have a PPM tool? It is not Project Server or a PPM tool replacement. But does seem to offer good support for collaboration in projects (and in regular operational functions).  Would your Project Management Office find this tool useful,?maybe project and team managers would get better engagement with this type of tool.

Microsoft Planner does seem to remove some of the difficulty that some organisations have with effective tracking using MS Project and other planning tools. As you can see in the Microsoft Planner example video below it is quick to learn and easy to use.

There are a range of things it does not do for project managers. But it does allow simple tracking through collaboration and active, dynamic involvement of the team in driving activities forward.

It is a tool worth trying in small to medium organisations with no PPM and Office 365 business subscription already in use.

For the individual team members it allows coordination of all their assigned tasks. With highlighting of important or late tasks. Team leaders and supervisors, can see a clean, clear interface. IT is easy for them to manage over allocation and effectively tune the team work load. For resource managers across wider functions it provides some useful information.

It is an interesting tool worth considering if you are already an Office 365 user.

What to Like

Planner is a lightweight easy to use tool that provides:

  • Simple tasks
  • A kanban board presentation
  • easily defined deadlines
  • ready integration with Office 365
  • Visual interface
  • Integrate with MS Project.

What to not to Like

Form some situations it is a little too simple and basic:

  • Cannot assign tasks to multiple groups
  • Too simple for meaningful project plans (although this can be achieve when used with MS Project)
  • Cannot use template from past projects
  • Access to a limited checklist of tasks
  • View of the board are limited and might benefit from more flexibility

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