Updated: Aug 15, 2018
Microsoft Planner is a baby brother of Microsoft Project. It is for those team that want a simpler, more agile approach to project management. It does include the Microsoft price tag, but starting at $5/month, it could be much worse.
It is a collaboration, project management, and task planning solution for teams that allows users to create plans, add tasks to each plan, assign team members to tasks, and track individual and team progress for every plan. It has a drag-and-drop interface which, allows users to smoothly categorize tasks, update statuses, and assign tasks.
Tasks are organized into buckets, then the user flags them with color-coded labels to identify shared features between tasks, such as dependencies, requirements, time constraints, or locations. Users can attach files to tasks through integration with OneDrive, and work collaboratively on Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) with co-authoring. Comments can also be added to tasks, with a comment symbol appearing on tasks to alert team members to new comments.
Each plan created has its own board. The tasks appear as individual cards, with user-selected preview images. Task buckets, labels, progress symbols, dates, assigned team members, attachments, and comments are all shown on the board. There is an automatic email feature for when plans are created, or when plans are added, or tasks assigned. Other emails are available if one of their tasks is marked ‘Completed’, or if another user comments on one of their assigned tasks.
The chart view of all plans give users an overview of the progress across the plans as a whole. There is also a view breaking down individual team members’ task progress. There are four task statuses - Completed, In Progress, Late, and Not Started, which are color-coded across the charts. Users can select chart sections to see the number of tasks represented. Tasks can be reassigned from this view. If a team member is overloaded or has a number of late tasks, they can adjust this task through simple updates.
The integration with other Microsoft products is seamless. Did we expect anything else?
Microsoft Planner is included in the Office 365 package with the following pricing options for businesses:
Office 365 Business: $8.30/user/month
Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50/user/month
Office 365 Business Essentials: $5.00/user/month
Want to order for yourself? https://products.office.com/en-us/business/task-management-software
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