Keep Tasks & Projects Moving Forward Smoothly with Microsoft Planner
Trying to keep track of tasks and projects can be difficult if you’re using things like email and messaging apps to piece together task flows. Projects can end up easily going over budget, exceeding timelines, and basically failing due to poor organisation.
77% of successful high-performing projects use a project management software to stay organised.
There are plenty of cloud apps out there for task and project management, so many in fact that it can be difficult to know which to choose. Not all may integrate well with other productivity software you’re already using.
One project management tool that has fluid integration with Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other MS apps is included with several Microsoft 365 subscriptions, but many companies are unaware that they even have it available.
Microsoft Planner is a task and project management app designed to help take the chaos out of teamwork and project coordination. It’s not one of those tools advertised quite as much as Microsoft 365 apps like OneDrive or Teams, so it often ends up unused.
This tool can solve many issues surrounding keeping people on task and ensuring projects stay organised and moving forward. And best of all, it’s fully integrated with the Microsoft 365 world.
Advantages of Using Microsoft Planner for Your Business
You may be wondering the difference between Microsoft Project and Microsoft Planner. Both do project management, but you can think of Planner as a more lightweight version of the two. It’s perfect for small businesses that are looking for simple and easy-to-use task and project management.
Plus, it’s included with the following plans, so there is no additional cost if you use one of these:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Office 365 E1
- Office 365 E3
- Office 365 E5
- Microsoft 365 A1
Here are some of the benefits of using Microsoft Planner to keep your tasks and projects on track.
User Friendly Interface
One of the problems with complex task management tools is that they have a steep learning curve. So, they end up not being used properly because they’re too difficult to learn.
Microsoft Planner is designed to be easy for users to understand. Tasks are arranged visually and can be organised under a project board.
Statuses are used on tasks to help arrange them by “in progress, done,” etc. and updates to task progress can be made using a drag-and-drop from one column to another on the board.
Team Members Have Full Visibility
You can save tons of follow up time keeping track of who is doing what by using Planner. The entire team has visibility in the tasks assigned in a project board and at a glance can see who is working on which task and what the status is.
Connect Files & Conversions to Projects
A great part of using Microsoft 365 is that movement between apps is fluid. For example, you can easily collaborate on Word or Excel files and attach them to a Planner project.
Teams conversations can also be brought into the appropriate task or project, so you ensure all communications are organised and easy to find.
Works Across All Devices
Just like everything else in Microsoft 365, Planner is cloud based and can be used across all devices (desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet). This makes it simple for team members to get new alerts on a project task and keep everyone updated.
Planner Can be Used for Multiple Processes
You might think, “Well, we don’t have that many projects going on, so why would we need a project planning app?” But, it’s not just project tracking that Microsoft Planner can be used for.
Here are a few other creative ways to use the app that Microsoft suggests:
- Tracking Customer Support Issues: Keep track of customer requests and how they’re being handled by your support staff using Planner.
- Plan an Event: Any type of event like a product launch or awards dinner can be facilitated by assigning and tracking tasks with the app.
- Publish Marketing Content: Does your organisation regularly post blogs, videos, or social media content? Take your publishing schedule out of a cumbersome spreadsheet and use Microsoft Planner for a more visually guided process.
- Track Progress for a Process: What happens once an order hits your warehouse? You can track a process from packaging to shipment to delivery using Planner and reduce overhead by using a tool that’s not more complex than you need.
Use Planner in Teams
If your business uses Microsoft Teams for communication and workflow, you can make Planner even easier to use by adding one or more Planner tabs to a Teams channel.
This gives your staff the ability to work with Planner from within Teams as well as in Planner for web.
Do You Have the Microsoft 365 Support You Need to Optimise?
When you fully utlise the tools in Microsoft 365, you can lower cloud subscription costs, eliminate cumbersome processes, and get more out of the tools you already pay for. GKM2 can show you how!
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.