Microsoft introduced a new feature earlier this year to make planning much easier. The feature is called Office 365 Planner. This feature will allow for lightweight planning for teams and is tightly integrated in with Office 365 Groups. Office 365 Planner is in early release now to customers who have signed up for First Release software. Office 365 Planner will be generally available later this year. Office 365 Planner allows companies to organize and visualize their work.
This is accomplished through Boards. Each Board is populated with Cards. The Cards have due dates, attachments, categories, and conversations in them. As attachments are added, they can be edited right from the planner. Every card has the ability to have documents attached that will allow previews of the documents. Cards can be organized on the Board into Buckets. Buckets can be customized then prioritized and color coded with tabs. Office 365 Planner gives companies the ability to keep work and tasks on a schedule. The home view is called “The Hub”. The Hub is what allows overall viewing of each Bucket, Board, and Card. There is also a Chart view that allows for viewing of assigned groups or individuals’ tasks and what progress has been made on the assignment. The great thing about the Office 365 Planner is all content is dynamic and updated real time as notes, attachments, conversations, and other content is added to the card’s and buckets.
Let’s talk about how and what Office 365 Planner looks like. We will start with how to access planner and the hub, then move into Buckets and Card. When Office 365 Planner is added to the subscription, it will appear in the App switcher panel. The Icon will look like this:
When clicking on the above icon, the first screen that will appear is the hub. This screen example is below:
As you can see from this example the Hub is the central stopping place for all Buckets. From this screen each Bucket can be easily accessed through a simple click. Once a bucket is selected then the user can see all cards underneath the buckets. An example of a bucket is below:
As can be seen from the view inside an example of a bucket, this allows for overall administration of a particular tasks. When an administrator or user with permissions to access The Hub and Bucket, then can then add updates through conversations, attachments, cards, and other content. The process to add tasks Cards and assign users is very straightforward. An example is below:
Then the Card and task will take on a look like the example below:
Inside the tasks or Card conversations can be added real time. An example is below:
Then color codes can be added the buckets, cards, and tasks. See below for an example:
As can be seen from the examples above, Office 365 Planner is tightly integrated in the core Office 365 platform. This integration allows for a single management pain of glass. So without having to leave the portal administrators, project managers and users can manage Cards and assigned tasks. There is also integration in with Outlook and Office 365 Planner. See screen shot below:
Office 365 Planner is making project management much easier and convenient for all individuals associated with it. With Office 365 Planner, companies can now manage all projects from within Office 365.
You might be asking how do I get Office 365 Planner. There are a couple of ways to get the added feature. If the Office 365 Tenant is set up for First Release the Office 365 Planner is being made available today. This feature will be readily available later this year. The target release date is Fall 2016. The other way is to wait until Office 365 Planner is generally available. Office 365 Planner will be available for customers who subscribe to the following plans: Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E5, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education E3, Office 365 Business Essentials, and Office 365 Business Premium.
For more information, please contact your Account Executive or Microsoft@pcm.com.
Author: Mike Ward
Microsoft SSP-O365, Microsoft Business Unit
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