Projects – Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Planner
Keeping everyone focused and engaged on the process during Projects is notoriously complex and difficult. Especially when the pressure to perform is stressing everyone out. This is exactly when your collaboration tools should be supporting the team and not complicating matters.
Careful planning and understanding how to collaborate and use the tools is important. This is our advice on using Microsoft Teams and Micosoft Planner as your project management tool.
Microsoft Planner was launched about a year before Microsoft Teams, at a time the concept of groups being created by users was still pretty new to most of us. A daunting prospect for IT teams, who saw the nightmare of managing an uncontainable creation of data and sites/teams/plans. Chaos, anarchy and disorder!
Now, with Teams in Office 365 being around for just over a year. Some IT departments can still be heard complaining about the lack of control. Users, on the other hand, are loving it. In fact, we see Microsoft Teams quickly becoming the place to be for collaboration. Easy to understand, intuitive to use and Teams really has it all… except for the lack of functionality for managing tasks. Bring in Microsoft Planner – literally. Add Planner to any team in Microsoft Teams and you have the perfect tool for managing projects.
Microsoft Planner can be added to Microsoft Teams in a number of ways:
• If you are already using a Plan for your project team collaboration, you can add it as a new tab to and existing Team channel.
• If you are using Planner in Office 365 and missing some of the functionality you have in Microsoft Teams. Simply create a new Team (or channel to an existing Team) that has the same group as for the Plan and then add the existing Plan as a new tab in the Team.
• Or, if you find you have a team collaborating in both Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Planner apps. With different group names, then with a little bit of thought and migration of documents you can bring the two groups together. If the teams are not identical this may be more complex than expected as (at this stage) you cannot simply migrate conversations across different groups. Good advice for planning carefully before creating groups. (And now you understand why IT were tearing out their hair at the thought of handing control over to the users.)
Sound like Greek to you? Follow these steps for (1) creating a Plan, (2) creating a Team and then (3) adding the Plan to Teams. In reality (1) and (2) can occur in either order.
1. Creating a Plan
1. Open Planner in your browser
2. Click on + New plan, give it a name and description
3. Add new members or an existing group. (We recommend using an existing group if it exists.)
2. Creating a Team and Channel
1. Bottom left of your Teams Page is a link to creating a new Team (if you don’t see this you don’t have permissions to create a new Team, you need to ask IT to assist with this.)
2. Give your Team a recognisable name and a description that will help the team members to understand what the objectives of the Team are and set to Private or Public.
3. Find your new Team and add a channel by clicking on the ellipses to the right of the Team name and add a channel. (I recommend keeping the General channel open for general topics relating to the team and not specific to a project or work you are doing.)
3. Adding a Plan to Teams
1. In the Channel at the end of the list of tabs is a plus sign. Click on this to add a new tab, select Planner and create your new Plan or add an existing plan.
You are now set to use the amazing chat functionality of Microsoft Teams, while managing tasks, timelines and keeping to deadlines. Complete Project Management in a single app.