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3 min read

How can Microsoft Planner help boost efficiency and collaboration

Effective project management is vital for organisations of all sizes aiming to maximise productivity and achieve their goals. Microsoft Planner is a powerful tool within the Microsoft 365 Suite that is included withal Business Premium subscriptions, offering a comprehensive solution to streamline project planning and collaboration using Kanban boards. This blog post will explore what Microsoft Planner is, how it seamlessly integrates with other M365 applications, and how organisations, including small businesses, can benefit from its features. To illustrate its practical applications, we will delve into a hypothetical scenario where we use Microsoft Planner to plan and execute a migration of a customer’s server into the cloud.

What is Microsoft Planner?

Microsoft Planner is a user-friendly project management application designed to assist individuals, teams, and organisations in organising, tracking, and collaborating on projects. With Planner, users can create project plans, assign tasks to team members, set due dates, and monitor progress—all in one centralised location. This cloud-based platform allows for real-time updates and seamless integration with other M365 applications, creating a cohesive ecosystem for efficient project management.

Integration with Microsoft 365 suite

One of the key strengths of Microsoft Planner is its seamless integration with other M365 Suite applications. By leveraging this integration, users can enhance their project management capabilities and streamline their workflow. Planner seamlessly integrates with tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and OneNote and To Do, enabling users to collaborate effectively across multiple platforms.

For example by integrating Planner:

  • Teams – users can create a dedicated team channel for their project, facilitating instant communication and file sharing.
  • SharePoint – allows for easy document management and version control, ensuring that the project team always has access to the latest files.
  • Outlook – enables users to sync their Planner tasks with their Outlook calendar, ensuring that deadlines and reminders are never missed.
  • OneNote – provides a central repository for project notes, brainstorming sessions, and other relevant information, keeping everyone on the same page.
  • To-Do – users can have a consolidated view of their personal tasks and project-related tasks in one place.

Benefits for Organisations

Enhanced Collaboration

Microsoft Planner fosters collaboration by providing a centralised hub where team members can view, update, and discuss project details in real time. This transparent approach promotes effective communication, reduces duplicated efforts, and enhances teamwork.

Streamlined Task Management

Planner simplifies task management by allowing users to create, assign, and track tasks with ease. Users can set due dates, add descriptions, attach files, and assign tasks to specific team members, ensuring everyone knows their responsibilities. The intuitive interface provides a visual representation of tasks, enabling team members to understand the project’s progress at a glance.

Improved Visibility and Accountability

With Planner, organisations gain a holistic view of their projects. Managers can easily track the status of tasks, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions to keep projects on track. This transparency promotes accountability among team members, as everyone’s contributions are visible and measurable.

Flexibility and Scalability

Microsoft Planner caters to the needs of organisations of all sizes. Whether it’s a small business launching a new product or a large corporation managing multiple projects, Planner offers flexibility and scalability. Teams can create multiple plans within Planner, each dedicated to a different project or department, ensuring that all projects can be efficiently managed.

Time and Cost Savings

By providing a comprehensive project management solution, Planner reduces the need for separate tools and systems. This consolidation saves both time and costs associated with training, maintenance, and licensing fees. Additionally, the increased efficiency and collaboration facilitated by Planner result in faster project delivery and reduced downtime.

Utilising Microsoft Planner for a Small Business Project

Planner is so flexible that it can be used for almost any type of business. To give you an example from our own area of expertise, we could use it to help manage a customer’s transition from an on-premise server to a cloud-hosted one.

In Planner, we’d create a project plan that outlines all the necessary tasks involved in the migration process, such as assessing the customer’s infrastructure, designing the cloud environment, migrating data, and testing. Each task can be assigned to specific team members responsible for completing them, along with due dates. Planner’s visual interface allows us to track the progress of each task, ensuring that everything stays on schedule. We can also attach relevant documents, such as migration guides or customer requirements, to the tasks for easy access.

By integrating Planner with Microsoft Teams, team members can collaborate seamlessly, discuss ideas, share files, and ensure effective communication throughout the project. The integration with SharePoint allows for easy access to important documents and resources. As the project progresses, we can adjust the plan, add new tasks, and update deadlines accordingly, ensuring a smooth and successful migration. With every task appearing in staff’s To Do and Outlook, nothing gets missed!

Microsoft Planner serves as a valuable project management tool included at no extra cost with Business Premium subscriptions that seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft 365 applications, empowering organisations to enhance collaboration, streamline task management, and improve project visibility. Small businesses, in particular, can benefit greatly from Planner’s features by efficiently planning and delivering projects. By leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Planner, businesses can achieve greater productivity, collaboration, and success in their projects, ultimately driving growth and innovation in today’s competitive market.

Get in touch with us today to find out how you can use the suite of applications included in Microsoft Business Premium to enhance your business.

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