This week marked the start of Office 365 Planner being generally available, the official post can be see here: https://blogs.office.com/2016/06/06/microsoft-planner-ready-for-showtime/
In this post I will give a quick overview of Planner then in the second post I will cover using planner with creating new plans, tasks and assignments.
Firstly, what is Planner. Microsoft Office 365 Planner is Microsoft’s new task or work management tool for managing plans and tasks with task boards using drag and drop in an intuitive, modern interface. This tool is great for managing teams with tasks or buckets of work using a simple but effective interface. For this post we will look at Planner on my Microsoft Office Demo tenant as this contains some example plans already. When accessing Planner the users see the Planner Hub:
This view shows all of the plans available in Planner. The user has the ability to tag plans as favourites to move them to the favourites section. This is done by hovering over a plan and clicking the ellipsis then clicking “Add to favorites”:
That project will then move to the favourites section, to remove a project from favourites click “Remove from favorites”:
When plans are added to the favourites section the task status is visible in a doughnut chart and a legend with a count of tasks in each status.
Clicking anywhere on the Online Marketing plan card will take you to the plan’s board:
There are different views available on the board that group the tasks differently, this can be changed in the top right corner:
The different views or groupings display the tasks either by Buckets:
Buckets are away of tagging or grouping tasks that are related in some way for example an event or work package.
This view shows tasks grouped by assigned to, a useful view to see which tasks are not assigned to a team member.
The progress grouping is useful for seeing the status of the tasks.
Back on the Buckets view it is easy to create a new bucket by clicking “Add new bucket” and type a name:
Tasks can then be added to that bucket by drag and drop or clicking the task and opening the task details view then using the bucket dropdown menu in the top left corner:
Tasks can have labels set such as the red urgent label on the Media Outlets task, this is very useful for flagging / highlighting tasks:
As well as the board views there is a Chart view, click Charts next to Boards and the chart page will load for that plan:
Notice the Task pane on the right, by default there is No grouping set, clicking on the doughnut or legend on the Status card will update the Task pane view:
In this example I clicked the Late segment on the doughnut, the Tasks pane then set a group by of Due Date and scrolls to bring the late tasks in view.
Clicking a team member in the Members views will then add a filter to the Tasks pane to show only that team members tasks:
Each Plan that gets created creates a group in Office 365, this is used for the plans collaboration. The plan can have documents that can be attached to tasks, team members can comment on tasks, the plan can have a calendar and also a OneNote notebook, this is provided by the Office 365 Groups functionality and accessible using the ellipsis menu:
To navigate back to the planner hub use the left navigation pane. You will also see a useful view here called My tasks, that will show a view for all of your own tasks:
This defaults to a progress grouping but can be grouped by plan too:
Planner also provide full notifications via emails to the team members.
There are some great features in development on the roadmap for Planner:
That’s it for this post, in the next post we will look at creating a new plan with a team and tasks. Some additional links for Planner can be seen below:
Microsoft Planner for Admins: https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Microsoft-Planner-for-admins-9652e4c7-48e3-4dad-9e71-0c783ec3d0f8
Common Support Issues for Planner: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/brismith/2016/06/06/microsoft-plannera-few-common-support-answers/ & https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/brismith/2016/06/07/microsoft-planner-another-look-as-msolsettingsand-a-couple-more-answers/