Exploring the New Microsoft Planner: Unified Work Management

This article is adapted from this Microsoft Community post.

In today’s fast-paced work environment, seamless collaboration and efficient task management are essential. Microsoft recognizes this need and has unveiled an innovative solution, the new Microsoft Planner, designed to revolutionize work management.

The Vision Behind the New Planner

Microsoft’s latest endeavor aims to unify task management tools under one roof, combining the simplicity of Microsoft To Do, the collaborative strength of Microsoft Planner, the power of Microsoft Project for the web, and the intelligence of Microsoft Copilot. This integration intends to create a cohesive and intuitive user experience across individual tasks, team initiatives, and enterprise-scale projects.

Features Tailored to Your Workflow

1. Scalability: From basic task organization to overseeing intricate projects, the new Planner offers a diverse range of features. Users can expect templates, multiple views (lists, boards, timelines, sprints), agile sprint planning, workload management, goal alignment, custom fields, and task history—features akin to those found in Project for the web.

2. Integration and Automation: Leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform, the new Planner allows customization, reporting through Power BI, configurable workflows via Power Automate, and integration with Microsoft Viva Goals and Microsoft Loop.

3. AI Integration: With the forthcoming Copilot feature (expected in Spring 2024), AI-driven assistance will enable users to generate plans, set goals, track progress, and adapt to changes using natural-language prompts.

Seamless Integration with Microsoft 365

The new Planner seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft 365 experiences, including Loop, Outlook, Viva Goals, and Teams. This integration provides visibility and interaction across these platforms, allowing users to manage tasks and projects efficiently within familiar environments.

Catering to Frontline Task Management

Continuing support for frontline organizations, the new Planner offers features such as task publishing, empowering leaders to define and monitor tasks across different locations.

Roadmap and Rollout Timeline

The rollout of the new Planner is set to commence in early 2024 within Microsoft Teams, replacing existing Task by Planner and To Do apps. A web-based experience is slated for later in 2024, incorporating features from Microsoft Project for the web to further enrich the Planner experience.

Enhanced Enterprise Work Management (EWM) Capabilities

Existing Project for the web functionalities, including sprints, people view, goals, and advanced scheduling, will seamlessly transition into the new Planner. Additionally, the new Planner will introduce advanced capabilities like baselines, portfolios, and lead-lag capabilities to enhance enterprise project management.

Continued Support and Assurance

Microsoft reaffirms its commitment to support existing Project users, ensuring the continuation of familiar functionalities under the new Planner name. Users can also leverage customized reporting and workflows through integrating Planner with power apps.

Embracing a New Era of Work Management

The new Microsoft Planner stands as a testament to Microsoft’s dedication to innovation and simplifying work management. By amalgamating diverse task management tools into one comprehensive solution, Microsoft aims to empower individuals, teams, and enterprises to work smarter and more collaboratively.

This unified approach promises to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and adapt to the evolving needs of modern work environments. Stay tuned for the launch of the new Planner in early 2024 and experience a seamless, intelligent, and unified work management solution from Microsoft.

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Written by The MPUG Community
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