Microsoft Planner for business task management & simple project management

What is Microsoft Planner?

Microsoft Planner, included with Microsoft 365 business subscriptions, is a versatile task planning app that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams and Outlook. It simplifies task management and project planning.  The purpose of Microsoft Planner is to further enhance collaboration and communication across any business, from Senior Management team through to shop floor and field based operatives.

Microsoft Planner Kanban view

Primarily, Microsoft uses a Kanban-like board layout where tasks are organized into columns or “buckets.” The user interface is therefore, ‘familiar’ for many users and is largely intuitive.

New Planner Experience

With the new Planner experience, organizations can enhance task management in several ways:

  1. Assign Training and Policy Tasks: Frontline employees can receive task lists tailored to their roles, ensuring they complete essential training or policy acknowledgment tasks. Each team member gets a personalized task list, promoting accountability and compliance.
  2. Automate Repeat Tasks: Organizations can automate the distribution of repeat tasks to frontline locations, such as regular site inspections or compliance walks. Task list recurrence allows for scheduling tasks at daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly intervals, streamlining task distribution and management.
  3. Require Form Completion: Tasks can be configured to require completion of a designated form or survey before marking them complete. Integration with Microsoft Forms enables organizations to collect specific information or feedback from frontline teams, ensuring thoroughness and compliance.
  4. Require Approval for Completion: Organizations can enforce an approval process before tasks can be marked complete. Integration with Microsoft Approvals allows designated approvers to review and approve tasks, enhancing accountability and oversight.

Is Microsoft Planner an additional cost?

Microsoft Planner is included in all Microsoft 365 Business subscription but will carry the same use limitations as the licence.

For example, Microsoft Office 365 Premium offers advanced access control and management features, along with enterprise-grade security measures. Organizations can implement stricter security policies, manage devices, and remove business data from devices as needed, ensuring data protection and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Why use Microsoft Planner?

By leveraging Microsoft Planner and Office 365 Premium, organizations can streamline task management, enhance collaboration, and ensure compliance with organizational policies and regulations. These tools empower frontline employees to stay organized, focused, and productive while providing central teams with visibility and control over task execution and completion.

How do I get help and support with Microsoft Planner?

If you have Microsoft 365 support with a Business Partner (like Qi) they will offer you support in line with their SLA. Support is also available directly from Microsoft, but this always carries a wait time. Qi works with its customers to implement Microsoft Planner to best advantage to suit the required purpose: daily tasks or tasks assigned to a project.  Qi will also advise on the optimum licensing for your staff based on their location and job roles (Frontline F1 & F3 for example)

Thought for the Day

Why wouldn’t your business deploy a tool already included in the licensing already on subscription?

Contact Qi for a demonstration and discussion or view the Microsoft overview video here