The Indusa Blog

5 Ways to Improve Project Management with Office 365 Planner

Posted by Indusa Admin on July 28, 2017 11:52 am

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Is effective management of projects one of your biggest nightmares? Do your projects often falter on meeting scope, time, and budget expectations? One obvious reason for poor project outcomes is the lack of a sound project management tool. Managing a project without a robust project management software is like playing football without a play book! According to Gartner, only 40% of projects meet their goals when it comes to schedule, budget, and quality. Alarming, right?

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Planning Made Easy with Office 365 Planner

When organizations begin their projects, everything seems hunky dory when budgets are fairly allocated, resources are charged and motivated, and project teams seem to have all the time in the world to meet deadlines. However, the minute the scope of work broadens, budgets start fading, and important milestones are neglected, the need for a good project management tool arises. That’s when you should have a tool such as Office 365 Planner in place even more before you start with the project management process, and not as an afterthought.

Whether you’re looking to manage a marketing campaign, or brainstorm new product ideas, or prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively, Office 365 Planner is what you need. A perfect combination of Delve, SharePoint, and Project –all in a single tool – Office 365 Planner gives you a more visual approach to managing tasks and projects.

  • Launch Planner from the Office 365 app launcher with a single click and create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status—all in a matter of minutes.
  • Share files with project members, chat about what you’re working on, and offer updates on the overall progress of the project.
  • Easily see what tasks are assigned to which resources, and also see the status of each task visually.
  • Identify team members through their pictures, and interact with them through IM or call with a single click of a button.
  • Get interactive views of people’s progress against deadlines and reorganize work between the team.

5 Ways Office 365 Planner Helps Improve Project Management

1. Organize Work

Imagine if you could see all the tasks under your project visually? Using the Boards feature, you can segregate all of your projects and have individual Cards to describe due dates, attachments, categories, and conversations associated with it. Each plan has its own board, and you can organize tasks into buckets. Group tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to, and drag and drop tasks to update status or change assignments. Understand each Card at a glance with rich image previews, and prioritize and flag your tasks using colored labels.

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2. Stay on Track

Having trouble tracking project progress, team role, or individual involvement? Office 365 Planner makes sure every project member is always on the same page. Track overall progress across all plans using the Hub View, and filter down to see just what you need to do under the My Tasks section. Visualize people’s progress against deadlines using the interactive Charts view, click the histogram to quickly see which aspects of a plan are behind schedule, and use the Board to rebalance work across the team.

3. Collaborate Endlessly

Having trouble interacting with your project members across offices? With Office 365 Planner, say goodbye to team chaos and say hello to teamwork. Attach files to tasks, work together on those files using the co-authoring feature, schedule events with your team, organize meetings (and meeting notes), and have conversations around tasks using Skype for Business – all of this without switching between apps. Have all your team discussions and deliverables within your plan, and never get locked away across disparate applications. When working together on a plan, always be aware of who is working on what, and have insight into every team member’s deliverables.

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4. Meet all Deadlines

Struggling to view your project status from a remote location? Office 365 Planner works across all your devices (use Planner for iPhone and Planner for Android) – so even if you’re away at a customer place, don’t worry about missing out on important updates. A single glimpse of the Charts View is all it takes to be familiar with where the project stands, and see if your team is making adequate progress. See which tasks are running late, which team members are overloaded, and reassign tasks to balance load. Receive email notifications whenever you’re assigned a new task or added to a conversation, and never miss a deadline.

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5. Work Seamlessly Across Applications

Facing trouble exchanging data between apps? Integration with other Office 365 services (including Office 365 Groups) ensures all of your information in Planner is available in Outlook 2016, Outlook on the Web and the Outlook Groups Mobile Apps. Attach files, photos, and links directly to the tasks themselves, and make Office 365 Planner a central location for everyone to collaborate and get work done.

Stay Organized

No project is particularly hard, if planned well. And good planning requires you to have a good project management tool in place. Office 365 Planner is an ideal way to manage your projects: organize all of your tasks using Boards, and Cards, track individual, team and project progress using Views, collaborate on documents using co-authoring, meet all deadlines with the Planner mobile app, and work seamlessly across applications to get all of your work done. If you’re looking to efficiently and effortlessly manage your projects, and stay organized, Office 365 Planner is all you need.

Project management can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Find out how Office 365 Planner can help you and your organization improve project management.

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Emama Mistry
About the Author – Emama Mistry

Emama Mistry is the Senior Project Manager(Microsoft SharePoint) at INDUSA. She has key involvement in all aspects of SharePoint projects undertaken at Indusa, from Pre-Sales, to Architecture, to Deployment, to Development, to Operations.


Contributing Author: Malavika Nityanandam