Office 365 Planner

Published: 20 April 2017


Office 365 Planner, great tool designed by Microsoft, it is a Simple visual way to organize team work. Comes with office 365. It designed for Work management in modern work play for the organizations. You can organize work quickly, allows to work together effortlessly and achieve more.

Create new plan

To create new Plan either go to Groups section in Mail (Click on Mail icon) and then select a group where do you want to create new plan or directly click Planner icon.

Ø  Here I selected Planner.

Ø  Click on New Plan tab enter details and click on Create Plan tab, it will create new plan.

Ø  Ensure you are creating private or public plan. By default its public. 

Ø  With new plan default new group (Plan name as group name) and team site Collection also creates. If you create group default it will create new plan (with same group name) and site Collection.

Navigation

Top navigation has following features to perform different operations.

Ø  Board, Charts, Notebook, Conversation, Calendar, Members, Files, Notebook, Plan, and Edit plan, Leave plan, Add to favorite and Unsubscribe from email updates.

Ø  Add members to Plan: Different ways we can add members.

    o   You can directly add from same planner page. Select group on left side, click on Members on right corner of the page, add members and enter.

    o   Add assignment on card, if you add new members (doesn’t exist in group, guests) from add assignment, default it will add to group. Simply remember, where ever the symbol  by clicking we can add members to card/task and then group default.

Ø  Its automatically adds members to associated group.

Ø  As usual, every Plan should contain no. of tasks, assignments, schedules etc. Let you know the terminology here.

    o   Cards: tasks are nothing but cards

    o   Buckets: Group of cards under a name

    o   Board: Home page to each group of buckets and cards

Board

It displays and allows to create new cards (Tasks) and Buckets. Can see data in different views, means Group By: Buckets, Assign to Progress. Default is Buckets

    o   To create new Card/Task

              ·         Click on + symbol,

              ·         Enter Task name,

              ·         Select Due date and

              ·         Click Add assignment to assign task to members. You can assign same card to multiple members. If that plan is public members can also be Guests (outside organization Gmail, Hotmail etc.).

              ·         Finally Click on Add Task button.

 This way we can add n no. of cards under a bucket.

Ø  Drag and Drop:

    o   Change the order of the cards simply by drag and drop.

    o   Microsoft designed this tool more flexible and quick way of Task management. We can easily change Cards from one bucket to another by simply drag drop. Same we can do with Assign to and Progress.

    o   For example, here I selected view Group by Progress, it shows as below. Initially Completed (status) have no cards. I simply dropped to Completed and then to In Progress and then put it back to Not started.

    o   Dropped to Completed

    o   Dropped to In progress

    o   And putting it back to Not Started

    o   Group By Assigned to

    o   Group By Buckets

    o   From the cards, directly you can change status to Completed and add members.

    o   Click on a card for detailed view and perform different operations.

    o   Here can do more things related to card. Can change Title, Add Members, Progress, Start and due dates.

    o   Right side color boxes are labels with colors. Enter label to color and select to add to card.

    o   Attached labels appear as below.

    o   You can add more than one label to a card.

Ø  Add a task preview, simply attach a file, photo, or link to the task, or add a checklist. 

    o   Checklist:

              ·         Add checklists and check the checkbox Show on card if you want to display on card. These check lists you can add to bucket, so that display with cards by selecting Promote checklist item to a task. These checklists status displays on      card, so select particular checkbox once completed.

        o   This card has 3 attachments.

        o    0/3 means this card has 3 checklist items and completed 0.

    o   Enter description of card and check the checkbox Show on card if you want to display on card.

    o   Next is Attachments, you can attach documents and links related to card. These attached documents saves to document library (Go to Files from top navigation, default site collection created with plan).

    o   Select check box Show on card if you want to display on card.

    o   You can’t display Checklist, Description and Attachments all together on card. Possible to display any one of those.

    o   Comments are directly connected to Group Conversations.

Charts

Visual form of data. Helps to understand plans progressing in better way.

Ø  Here it shows Status and Members wise charts and Task window (Right navigation window). Task window shows cards.

Ø  It effects depends on the Status and Member charts.

Ø  Status chart has description list.

Ø  Click on cards takes to detailed page.

    o   Status Chart: Pie chart by no. of tasks (Cards), Progress and Due date.

    o   Members Chart: Shows tasks, progress by members. Unassigned shows cards which doesn’t assigned to any member.

    o   Tasks window (Right navigation window): Shows all tasks. Default view is Group by: No Grouping. Late cards shows always top. Click on card for card details page. Add cards/tasks by clicking on + sign.

Status Chart:

Ø  Shows by no. of tasks (Cards), Progress and Due date. Mouse over on color for description. Data for Not Started, In Progress, Completed is taking from progress of cards and for Late, taking from Due date of the cards.

              ·         Yellow: Not Started,

              ·         Red: Late means, beyond scheduled due date,

              ·         Blue: In Progress,

              ·         Green: Completed

Ø  Tasks (Cards) window (Right navigation window) shows all cards. Default view is Group by: No grouping.

    o   Task window has different views, Group by: No grouping, Assigned to, Due Date, Progress, Buckets.

    o   click on color make changes to tasks window, changes are as follows:

              ·         View will be Group by Progress and order by Late cards and Progress. Late cards always will be top, and then followed by progress, Not started, In Progress, and Completed.

              ·         Tasks window navigates to up and down by mouse click on colors.

              ·         For example, mouse clicked on Completed or green color from status chart, it shows as below

    o   If mouse click on Red color or Late, changes to tasks window will be

             ·         Group and order by Due date

Members chart:

Ø  Middle window is the member’s bar chart.

    o   Chart by members, assigned tasks and progress.

    o   Indicates progress in colors as status chart.

    o   Members includes guests.

    o   Unassigned group is simply unassigned cards/tasks.

    o   Mouse over to color bar shows details 

    o   click on color bar effects Tasks window

Favorite Plans

Ø  You can add Groups to favorites. Click on Add to favorite as below as below.

Ø  It will add to Favorite plans list and Planner hub (Left navigation). Planner hub displays as charts. Below is the Planner hub page.

Planner hub

It lists all plans as Favorite plans and All plans. Favorite plans displays as charts. How Charts displays see below. Click on charts takes to plans home page.

My Tasks

Ø  It shows all your personal cards. Different views are Group by Progress and Plan. Default is Progress.

Ø  From here you can navigate to card details by clicking on card.

Ø  Below is group by Plan

Notebook

Each Project or Group or Plan associated with default Notebook online. It contains all related documents. In a centralized location members can easily edit and perform operations easily.

Note: Notebook, Conversations, Calendar, Files explained here

Members

Ø  Click on Members navigation takes to group people or members page.

Ø  Below is the member’s page. It has 3 different views of displaying members. All, Owners and Guests.

Ø  Click on New link (Left top Corner), it is to Create contacts and groups

Edit Plan

Ø  Click on edit plan takes to edit page. Plan details can be changed and also can be deleted.

Leave Plan: Members can leave from plan

Add to favorite: Add group to Favorite plans list

Unsubscribe or subscribe from email updates: Members can change their email notification option. Subscribe allows to receive plan or group changes and unsubscribe stops.

1.      Plan is a complete OOB feature, we can’t manage with PowerShell.

2.      Documents attaching to Tasks are automatically saving to document library. These documents are accessible offline through OneDrive for business. Work offline and sync.

3.      No templates support right now, but there is a future plan.

4.      If someone leave group you will have to assign the tasks belonging to that person to someone else manually.

5.      Planner works across all your devices.

6.      Planner is enabled by default, to restrict users:

      a.    Because of any reasons if you want to restrict, you need to temporarily remove access to some or all of your users, you can assign or remove licenses either through the Office 365 admin center or though Office 365 PowerShell

      NOTE: When running the scripts in Office 365 PowerShell, the DisabledPlans value for   Microsoft Planner is PROJECTWORKMANAGEMENT. 

      b.      Another way is by controlling who can create Office 365 Groups: While removing a license from an Office 365 user will no longer display the Microsoft Planner tile to that user, they can still access Microsoft Planner through the URL (tasks.office.com).  

           Admins are able to control this through the use of Azure Active Directory (AD)    PowerShell. These cmdlets allow you to:

                                                              i.      Disable Group creation for all users in your tenant

                                                            ii.      Then allow specific users to create Groups (for example, all Planner    users) when Group creation is disabled

IMPORTANT: Disabling Group creation across your tenant will affect users of other Office 365 services that need Group creation, such as Exchange Online. Make sure to account for all users that need the ability to create Groups when configuring this setting. 

For more information, see Manage Office 365 Group creation for Microsoft Planner

Conclusion:

In this post you have learned about how to start working with Office 365 Planner tool.

Hope you find this post helpful.

About Author

Manju worked with Office 365, PHP, Asp.net, C#, SharePoint 2007, 2010, HTML, Javascript, Webservices, SQL Server, MySQL.

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