In the same way Power BI has made analysing company data a lot easier to digest with its colourful, easy to assemble visual dashboards, Microsoft has added to its suite of Office 365 applications with Office 365 Planner to revolutionise task management.
What is it?
Currently available for first release tenants, this lightweight task management tool has evolved project and task planning, allowing for an agile approach. With its easy to read dashboards, Project Managers can get quick insights to the team’s progress, and assign (new) tasks to groups and individuals.
Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.
Office 365 Planner lives within Office 365 Groups – every plan needs a group and every group needs a plan.
How does it work?
Every new Plan has its own Board, and each new task is represented by a Card that can have deadlines, attachments, categories and conversations associated with it. Cards can be assigned to individual team members and those individuals are sent a notification via email to let them know when a new task has been assigned to them.
Cards can be organised on the Board into customisable columns also known as ‘buckets’, which can be prioritised and tagged with coloured labels (i.e. red for tasks classed as high priority). At a glance, each of the cards can be understood owing to the rich image previews.
Planner’s Best Features
Planner will show you your favourite plans (ones most used by you) and how the tasks are being completed. You also get links to all your other plans.
There’s a great “charts” view which gives you a roll up of your whole team and how they are managing their tasks. You can quickly see if someone is overloaded and if someone else has capacity to help.
With the whole group having access to the plan by default it’s easy for everyone to see what’s happening and when. The Group conversation feed is updated when tasks are added, assigned and completed. This is a great way to keep up to date with what’s happening.
Planner integrates with the rest of the Office 365 suite of applications.
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