Microsoft is rapidly adding new features and updates to Office 365 to further improve its offerings but they have also been adding completely new products and applications. One of those products is Microsoft Planner. Within our article we will run through the features and benefits of Microsoft Planner to give you ideas on how you could use it within your organisation.
What is Microsoft Planner?
Put simply, Microsoft Planner is a method of organising teamwork and tasks – similar to other popular task and project management tools such as Trello and Asana. Office 365 Planner is a nucleus for team members to create plans, organise and assign tasks to different users with the ability to check updates on progress through dashboards. There is also centralised a centralised storage location where files can be shared which gives visibility to the whole team.
Who can get Microsoft Planner?
Planner is included with most Office 365 Plans including: All enterprise plans (E1, E3, & E5), which includes government and not-for-profit plans, Education plans, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium.
Why use Planner?
There are many great features within Planner, but for us the two key reasons to use Planner are the Microsoft ‘Ecosystem’ and Value.
Microsoft Planner natively integrates with your popular Office 365 applications such as Outlook and Teams and using a tool within the Microsoft ‘ecosystem’ is very efficient. Microsoft have created a suite of applications that all integrate and work beautifully together.
Using Planner means that you can easily integrate your tasks into Outlook, attach and view task documentation by linking to SharePoint groups, discuss a project within Teams while having your Plan open, hop onto a video call (with Teams, formerly Skype for Business) and much more!
Using a third-party tool requires switching in and out of applications and reduces productivity and can cause annoyance when trying to integrate or link to another well used application.
With a separate tool adoption can be more challenging from a training perspective and due to the switching between applications as well as an integration that might not work as well with your everyday applications such as Microsoft Office.
Cost is clearly a consideration when using Microsoft Planner, because it is nearly always free. It is already included with the business Office 365 subscriptions. Naturally you will have deployment and training costs but the online training by Microsoft is easy and you can get up and running quickly with the Microsoft familiarity of the product.
If you are looking to change or introduce a Task Management tool then Microsoft Planner is worth trialling and testing. The introduction of Microsoft Teams as a central place for teamwork and the ability to integrate Planner 'plans' into Teams has made this combination, like many other integrations, a much more tempting offer that could compete well with Trello or Asana. Microsoft continually invests in its product roadmap so we can only see that Planner will continue to thrive in functionality and user base.
If you are eager to get started with Microsoft Planner and already have a Microsoft Office 365 business subscription, then click on your Apps button once logged in on the top left to access Planner. For any help, advice or Office 365 subscriptions then please don’t hesitate to contact the OryxAlign team on 020 7605 7890.