In our recent post about the up and coming Office 2016, we offhandedly mentioned something called Office 365 planner. Here, we’ll dive into what this new Microsoft functionality is and how it truly measures up to its alternatives.


There are quite a number of platforms in the market today that can be used to handle project planning and completion meant for team collaboration inside a business, like SharePoint, Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and the list goes on. Microsoft planned this software to grab a specific niche out of the market and gain a loyal following, so it is a little different.


Here is the released screen shot Microsoft shared:


Office 365 Planner

As you can see, it is almost a purely visual platform. In each labeled column you can create a “card” with automatically attached image previews, and then just manually fill out additional info like due dates and categories. Outlined in red, you can see that conversations are created and move along with the card as it progresses, along with the image of the last person who commented. There are also priority tags as you can see on the right of the cards.


So, this seems like a great platform to really get a feel of what is being worked on, its stages of development, and how much people have been talking about it. So far, so good.


How does uploading and groups work in Planner?


Another thing that Microsoft clearly considered is that they wanted this whole program to run as smoothly as possible. When you attach an office document to Office 365 Planner, the image is instantly formed for easy visualization of the project with a quick edit section, and then the file is made available in a SharePoint library for anyone to access, search for, and reference.


Microsoft is finally moving full force into the “Groups” part of Office 365 that was announced in our last blog. We can see this in the conversation that follows the card around in Office as it evolves. The best part is, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of opening and closing a thousand emails and looking for the last time you talked to someone, because it’s all right there on the project itself. And of course, you’ll receive a quick notification once someone responds to you in a card’s conversation.


Because every card that is created automatically gains an OneNote notebook archive, finding, following, and commenting on project threads is incredibly easy. In many instances we can envision this architecture being used in innovative ways like a designer being able to share a drawing he just made on his tablet into a conversation about a project.


What else can you do in planner?


Here are the three views Microsoft has stated are available:


• The “Hub” view is an overview across plans used to quickly track project’s completion
• The “My Tasks” lets you see what needs to be done on each project
• The “Charts” view presents charts for visualizing current progress against future deadlines, and identifying the bottlenecks in each project


Below is the “Charts” view:

 Office 365 view

You can quickly see the project’s completion and even mouse over the chart to see what’s late, and what has been completed. This reduces confusion on where everyone is in a project, so you don’t have to set up seventeen meetings or perhaps even skip the whole talking thing altogether.


Who should want to use Planner?


Because this is fully integrated with Office 365, anyone with a subscription is a likely candidate and should seriously consider it. Next, companies that have a lot of small projects going on at the same time will find this service unbelievably useful. For companies that have few projects with many team members involved in each one, this service may prove to be a tad too lightweight. With the potential overflow of conversations on cards and a highly complex “charts” view, large projects should be handled with care on this platform. However, this is likely the minority of companies, so most with Office 365 subs will find this a safe bet to place their trust in.


Be on the lookout for this software to be announced as available to the public, as it will be free to start using in the coming months if you have an Office 365 subscription.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twelve − ten =

Schedule A Call

ISHIR is a globally diversified leading offshore software development company with experience and expertise in a broad range of services and solutions. With 15 years of experience in the IT industry, ISHIR enables cost-effective and dependable software outsourcing solutions. We have over 900 satisfied clients across the globe and matured to become an extension of their internal teams.

We are experts in the field of software development, web design and development, managed cloud services, software testing, application development services and customer software development. India is a sought after market for addressing software development outsourcing requirements for enterprises across the world. ISHIR offers the value add of in-depth knowledge of all the key industries combined with the commitment to innovate and offer next-generation technological advantage. As a renowned custom software development company in India, one of the key differentiators that we offer is to understand our clients’ business objectives and challenges and align the right technology to provide customized solutions.

Headquartered in Dallas, with global delivery center in Noida, India, we are one of the preferred software development companies with a unique combination of skilled people, world-class processes and robust technology. ISHIR has a successful track record of delivering hundreds of projects using various tools and technologies. We have delivered on-time and on-budget custom software development services and application development services. Using our flexible delivery models, we have ensured success in all our offshore outsourcing projects. We have added substantial value and savings for our clients, often exceeding up to 85%, making us a dependable offshore Software Development Company. As a front runner software development company, India, we ensure that we go the extra mile to maximize ROI for our clients and act always as a trusted advisor of our clients.