Webinar recap: Agile Project Management with Microsoft Teams and Planner

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Dux Raymond Sy’s Agile Project Management with Microsoft Teams and Planner webinar being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the live recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Kyle: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s MPUG webinar. Agile Project Management with Microsoft Teams and Planner. My name is Kyle, and I’ll be the moderator today. Today’s session is eligible for 1 PMI PDU in the technical category. The MPUG activity code for claiming the sessions on the screen now. Like all MPUG webinars, a recording of the session will be posted to mpug.com shortly after the live presentation wraps up, and all MPUG members can watch these recordings at any time and still be eligible to earn the PDUs. All of the sessions you watch on demand can be submitted to your webinar history and the live sessions you attend are automatically submitted.

Kyle: Within your history, you can print or download your transcript, certificates of completion, including the one for today, and you can access that by logging onto mpug.com. Click the my account button, and then click on the webinar reports link. If you have any questions during today’s presentation, please send those over at any time using the chat question box on the Go-To-Webinar control panel. We do plan to answer those for you throughout the session today.

Kyle: All right. We’ll go ahead and get started. Now, we’re very happy to welcome back Dux Raymond Sy today. Dux is the CMO of AvePoint of Global Microsoft 365 partner that helps organizations migrate, govern, and protect their data in Microsoft 365. With over 20 years of business and technology experience, he has been a driving force behind digital transformations for commercial, educational and public sector organizations worldwide. He’s a published author of SharePoint for Project Management. He’s also recognized by Microsoft as regional director and MVP.

Kyle: He has written numerous white papers, articles and delivered, engaging interactive presentations to over 25,000 people at leading industry events around the world, and as well as for the MPUG community. With that said, welcome back, Dux. At this time, I’ll hand it over to you to introduce yourself a bit more and get us started with today’s presentation.

Dux Raymond Sy: Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be back to be a part of MPUG. I hope today, as we talk about Agile Project Management, Microsoft Teams and Planner, everybody would be gaining a lot out of it. As I start my presentation, I’m going to show my screen, but just to get a feel of everybody in this presentation, if you’re using Microsoft Teams, can you just drop in the chat so I can just get a good sampling of who’s already using Microsoft Teams. Awesome.

Kyle: Yeah, we’ve seen a flood of yeses coming in.

Dux Raymond Sy: Yes. Okay, perfect. Fantastic. Kyle, you see my screen, right?

Kyle: Yep. It looks great.

Dux Raymond Sy: Awesome. Now, this is good. I just want to make sure and take a pulse. One of the most fascinating things I came across recently, is there was a survey that PMI did a couple years ago, maybe two, three years now, as to what the most used project management tool is today. Anybody in this session want to take a guess? If you have a quick guess, just drop it in the chat. I’ll definitely tell you what the answer is. PMI did a global survey for all PMPs asking what’s the most used project management tool today. The answer was somewhat surprising, but not surprising to me. Do you see any answers coming in Kyle?

Kyle: Yeah, so we have Project, a lot of Excel. It looks like, yeah, Excel, Project. We have a couple Outlooks and Emails coming in as well.

Dux Raymond Sy: Got it. Actually, the most used project management tool today is Email or Outlook. Excel is number two and …

Kyle: Hey Dux. Did you drop off? I think I’m not hearing you currently.

Dux Raymond Sy: Can you hear me?

Kyle: Oh, yeah. I hear you now.

Dux Raymond Sy: Okay. Yeah, I think my internet just jumped there for a bit, but as I was saying, the most used project management tool today is Email. Excel is number two. Microsoft Project is, I think number five or six. That’s surprising, but not surprising because we’re, in this day and age, we think we use a lot of the most fancy and sophisticated technologies. Everybody has the latest iPhone and we have the latest iPads, but we still rely heavily on email to get our projects stuff. Well, the good news is, because there’s so many technologies, we can actually do better. I’m not saying email is going away, but we can use technologies like Teams and Planner to enhance our project management practices.

Dux Raymond Sy: What are we going to do today? Three key objectives. Number one, I want to talk about different project management scenarios. I’m going to talk about how Microsoft Teams and Planner can work together to meet your Agile Project Management needs. Also, in the periphery, talk about things like Microsoft Project and project on the web, and how all these interplays together. Microsoft To Do, like the new Microsoft lists as well. Then, third step I’ll show you examples, very practical improvement strategy and how you fast track project management success with Teams and Planners. If we get going here, if we look at the picture, there’s really, I would say three types of projects that we work on that we manage these days.

Dux Raymond Sy: Number one is, what I would call ad-hoc projects. All of us do this. These are very informal, has a lot of collaboration back and forth. We need to communicate. Maybe we work on documents. Then the second bucket is what I would call projects that are semi-formal, where we need to apply some methodology across season standards. Last but not the least, I would say there are large and more stringent projects where it requires a lot of methodologies, compliance, we track KPIs. I would say these are more of the formal type of projects. But in the end, regardless of what kind of project we’re working on, we want to hit that goal and be successful.

Dux Raymond Sy: Now, when we talk about Agile Project Management, I’m sure most of the folks here are quite familiar with it, but for those that are not, this is just a simple differentiation of what traditional project management looks like versus Agile Project Management. With the traditional approach, or some would say the more linear or waterfall approach, the features or the deliverables are typically fixed. What’s variable is the time, the cost, and the quality of the work. In a lot of cases where, hey, I want to get these five things done for this project. It could take a long time. We can spend a lot of this money, but we still need to get those five things done. Whereas with the agile approach, what’s variable are the features.

Dux Raymond Sy: We have a goal of where we want to get to, but what’s critical for us and what’s fixed for us are the time, the quality and the cost. Now, it doesn’t mean we stop because we can iterate and continue to deliver more features. But the cool thing with the Agile approach is, we can get stuff out sooner than usual. The Agile Project Management manifesto really has four key driving guidelines, is people interactions are more important than processes and tools. This going back and forth, and engagement and communication is critical. A working result is more important than documentation. Collaboration with a customer or the people you’re working with is more important than contracts, and responding to change is more important than sticking to a plan.

Dux Raymond Sy: Really, it’s quite different than how we think about projects traditionally, however due to the nature of how we need to get work done these days and the speed and the velocity of information, and how things change, Agile Project Management has been quite effective. Now, let’s talk about Microsoft’s world. How does Microsoft think about project management? As we all know, Microsoft is constantly innovating, and thanks to a lot of their new cloud-based technology, there’s so much more we can do. From a big picture, Microsoft knows it’s not a one size fits all. Depending on the type of project you’re working on and the level of complexity, there are different tools available.

Dux Raymond Sy: For example, if you’re just working on ad-hoc tasks, you’re tracking a certain action items, and things need to get done, then if it doesn’t involve a lot of people, and it’s very informal, you can use things like Planner and To Do. For projects that requires more discipline where you have start dates and due dates, you have dependencies, you have set of resources you need to work with, you may take advantage of Project Professional. For anything that’s quite formal and much complex and larger, you can use Project for the web. You can provide the right tool for each job, and the cool thing is you can grow into these tools as well because all of these technologies interact and work together.

Dux Raymond Sy: Now, if we think about a typical project environment, usually what’s fixed is the group of people working on it, be it the department or the project team. If we think about the job to be done on a day in day out basis, we as project managers, we communicate, but in addition to that, we use a lot of different tools to get the job done and to get the project done. We share files, maybe we use SharePoint, or we use emails and attachments. We use box or Dropbox, we use calendars to plan our meetings and daily standups. We track these tasks, like we said, using Excel perhaps, or Project. What’s fascinating about all of this, despite what even PMI recommends that we need to have a PMIS, Project Management Information system, where it holds all the communication and collaboration in one central spot for the project, in reality, we rarely have that.

Dux Raymond Sy: We just have these disparate set of tools that we were relying on to get the job done. Once the job is done, guess what? It’s only the people that holds all these key communication and information together, all these different technologies are separate. For example, the SharePoint site has no clue of what you all talked about during the meeting, or the chats and the conversation that happen is separate than the email. It’s quite disconnected. As you can see, it’s not the most efficient way to do it. This is where Microsoft Teams come in. Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork. The cool thing about Microsoft Teams, it serves four key purpose within the context of getting the job done. Let me clarify. The role of Microsoft Teams in organizations today, Microsoft Teams is intended for a group of people that works closely day in, day out to produce something.

Dux Raymond Sy: Let’s say you’re working on a project, your deliverable is a project, and obviously you have a bunch of other deliverables to get to that project, then Microsoft Teams is perfect. It’s true with, for example, departments as well. I lead our marketing organization. We use Microsoft Teams heavily because that’s where we get all communications, all our work done. Microsoft Teams can fulfill four key things in a typical project team requirements or departmental requirements. Number one, Microsoft Team provides all the chat and calling capabilities. We know collaboration is not just working on documents. There’s the communication, there’s the conversation. Microsoft Teams provides for that. Second is, it’s integrated into Office 365 apps, which allows efficient collaboration, which we’ll see in a second, especially using Planner with it.

Dux Raymond Sy: Third, Microsoft Teams is customizable and extensible. It enables you to rely on other technologies, even if you’re using or not using Microsoft based technology. For example, some of you may be using a Asana for project manager, or some of you may be storing documents in box or Dropbox. You can bring those in to Microsoft Teams as well. Last but not the least, since it sits in the Office 365 platform, it takes advantage of the security capabilities and compliance capabilities of the Office 365 platform, which alleviates IT’s challenge of having to manage a bunch of different tools and being concerned with security. How can we take advantage of all of this? I’m going to walk you through three steps to deliver Agile Project Management success with Microsoft Teams and Planner.

Dux Raymond Sy: First things first, with Microsoft Teams, it allows us to collaborate efficiently. It gets everybody on the same page, and it really provides us that PMIS or project management information system that we’ve learned about and when we take our PMP [inaudible 00:14:21]. The first step to collaborate efficiently and to get everybody on the same page is, we got to understand what our game plan is. At least, in this conversation, our game plan is, look, we use agile project management practices, and certainly there’s a lot of different methodologies from using Kanban or Scrum. It’s up to you, but everybody has to be on the same page, having the same processes and game plan. Then, off of those process, you can tweak or you can enable Microsoft Team and Planner and related technology to support you with that process. Let’s say you’ve got your process in place. You understand what to do. Here’s just an example of Kanban. We use a Kanban board in our organization. In fact, we use Planner for that.

Dux Raymond Sy: I’ll show you an example where, first we identify all of our backlog, all of the ideas and tasks that needs to get done. Then we have another section for our to do where we have defined deliverables with a due date and activity in details. We also track what we’re doing, and then all the completed tasks. In this whole section where the work needs to get done, notice that that’s where Planner comes in, and everything around that, communication, iteration, documents, related assets are all done through Microsoft Teams. Guess what? They both work together hand in hand, which I’ll show you in a sec.

Dux Raymond Sy: The key is, when we think about things that need to get done, at least, maximum two tasks at a time, one to four weeks, which minimizes disruption, allows focus time period, or focused on folks to get their tasks done. Now, this is how we work. Your world may be different, but the point I’m bringing up here is, you’ve got to get your game plan. You’ve got to get your process set, and then you can configure the technology to support that. What do we do first? Now that we’ve got our game plan, we can get started with Microsoft Teams. Like I said, Microsoft Teams enables communication, team collaboration and then provides you that one stop shop. Let me first start with Microsoft Teams. Everybody should see my Microsoft Teams environment. Kyle, I just want to make sure if you see my Microsoft Teams environment.

Kyle: Yep. I do see a Team’s here.

Dux Raymond Sy: Okay. Perfect. First things first, we need our one stop shop for the project. Let me go ahead and create my Microsoft Team for the project. We build it from scratch, and I’m going to call it the MPUG Project [inaudible 00:17:31] maybe. I’m going to hit create. So, very straightforward. I can create my project or my team, I should say. Then, within this team, I will add my colleagues who’s part of this project. Christie, Miriam, and then Johanna, Johnny. Okay? All right, they’re all part of the project. Again, I’m doing this as the lead for the project and this is our process. Whenever we have a project, we create a team for it. Within this team, there’s a couple of things you can see.

Dux Raymond Sy: First things first I noticed, on the left side, it shows me all the teams I’m a part of, and then we have the project, MPUG Project. What you see next beneath MPUG project is thing called general. That’s what we call a channel. Channel is a way to organize information and organize communication. It’s up to you how you want to organize these things. For example, for me, the way I organize it is I want to organize it based on, let me go back here, I want to organize a channel based on the different phases we’re in, backlogs, to do, doing. Done. You can do it that way. Let me add a channel for backlogs, add, and let me add another channel for, To Do. Let me add another channel for doing.

Dux Raymond Sy: Then, let me add another channel for Doug. Again, this goes back to your organization or what your processes are, or what works for your team. One thing you’ll notice, the way the channels are organized, it’s organized based its alphabetical order. Let me tweak this a bit here. Backlogs, if you want to lay it out nicely, I could do something like this. One dash, and you just put numbers because for now you can’t move it or bring it up. Actually, no, this is three. All right. Then this, this is a two. This should go up. There you go. Then this one, yeah, I just like it nice and organized. This is the easiest way for me to organize the channel according to how I want laid out. Okay. I’ve got channels. Like I said, what are channels? Channels are a way to organize information and communication. Now, what about this general channel, Dux?

Dux Raymond Sy: The general channel is a required channel. It doesn’t go away. Think of it as your water cooler. Within a channel, this is the important part friends. Within the channel, you’ve got what we call tabs. Tabs is a way to organize your assets within the channel. What are assets? Assets could be a conversation. Assets could be files. You can add a bunch of other tabs as well. Later I’ll show you, I’m going to add a Planner cap to this, but notice you can add a bunch of other stuff, even non-Microsoft technologies, right?

Dux Raymond Sy: The way a conversation works, a conversation is not a chat. Think of a conversation as like a conversation thread within like LinkedIn or Facebook’s you’re familiar with. I can greet my team here, welcome MPUG project colleagues. By posting it that way, everybody that’s part of the project, there’s five people, they’ll get notified. If they have an app opened, they’ll get notified on their phone, or if they didn’t disable it, they’ll get email notification as well that I at mentioned them. This is just a way to have a threaded conversation for this channel, and you could do it for all the other channels as well.

Dux Raymond Sy: For me, for example, I don’t really use this Wiki for my teams. I use OneNote. OneNote is a far better tool to collectively get information, especially if you want to capture meeting notes. I can use the OneNote notebook for my project. When I had that, the project notebook will be there. Right now, it’s empty. I can even open it in the browser or I can even open it in my OneNote app. If I open the browser, it’s just going to show up, it’s empty. I can create … let’s see here. I can create new sections. Again, I could open in the OneNote app as well. That is true with all the other channels too. You can add different tabs and whatnot. Keep in mind, everybody you add to the team will have access to all the different channels.

Dux Raymond Sy: If for some reason, you want to create a channel that’s private, you can certainly do that. We can say managers only channel. What’s going to happen is you’ll keep it private to specific people that’s already part of the team. Let’s say Johanna, Christie and myself. There you go. We have this little private place where we can, not only talk, but we can keep confidential information there. Now, what else? What’s next? Once I organize all the different channels for my project, next thing is, I can facilitate task management with Planner. Planner is an Office 365 technology.

Dux Raymond Sy: It allows me to, again quickly put together an effective way to manage tasks. It’s actually very perfect for Agile Project Management. Let me go ahead and show you how to do this. I’ll move along to the next step in a second. How do I add my Planner? What I’m going to do, in the general tab, I can add a Planner and Planner allows me to create a new plan or use existing plan. What do we mean by existing plans? I’ve used Planner a lot. Before I do anything here, if I go to Office 365 and I just click on Planner, Planner shows me all of the plans that I have. Notice I have different plans and this is one I did for PMI. I can reuse these or I can create a new one, so I can create a new one.

Dux Raymond Sy: I’m going to call my plan, the MPUG plan. Save. Once I have my plan, I’m going to organize these, what we call buckets, right? Let me first call this my backlog bucket, to do bucket, doing bucket, and then the done bucket. All right. Then, I can start dumping ideas. Let’s say review specs. I can assign Christie for that. I don’t really have dates yet. I’m just going to start putting stuff here. Negotiate, look for vendor. There you go. I don’t assign anyone. Then, let’s say, when it’s Christie who’s working on it, she can actually, as it’s being done, she can actually move it, there you go, to do. On a daily basis, we can look at what’s being work on, what’s still pending, etc. by the way, friends, if you have questions, feel free to drop in the chat.

Dux Raymond Sy: I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Really, this is how it works. Then, if you look at the different views, we can see chart view, where it shows me how many things are assigned, unassigned, who’s doing what, what’s a different work, etc. Then also, if I have dates, it gives me a calendar view as well of the work that’s getting done. That’s the first step. Allows you to collaborate efficiently. It gets everybody on the same page, having a one stop shop through these with Microsoft Teams to collaborate. Next, the second step for Agile Project Management success is the ability for us to manage our project. In this case, our task effectively. Allows us to work proactively, instead of reactively. We can map Agile methodology to Planner as I’ve shown you earlier.

Dux Raymond Sy: I can use Microsoft Planner and have different buckets to track all the work and mimicking what a Kanban board looks like. I can track all the team progress, and later I’ll show you in a second, but apart from being able to track the team progress, here’s something that I do in my organization. Notice that I created this Planner under the general channel. Well, guess what? What’s the point of all these other channels then? What I also do, at least with my team, is I surface that same Planner tab in other channels, because the idea is, for each of this bucket, backlogs, To Do, doing, etc, it has its own challenge because, if there’s anything that comes up in any of those task while it’s part of those buckets, people can have a conversation around it, or there may be files related to the backlog, or there may be files related to while we’re doing anything.

Dux Raymond Sy: It’s just a way to separate the different buckets and a way to organize information when people are doing those tasks with the corresponding buckets. The other thing too, is, apart from the ability to chat, you can easily drag and drop documents. I’m just trying to look for a word document here, give me a second, or here we go. Let’s say I have a meeting agenda document here. I can easily drag and drop it. As I drag and drop it, the cool thing is, it’s in this one stop shop. Everybody in the team can jump on it, click on it. They don’t even have to have Microsoft Word installed on their computer. It just brings up in teams. If you’re using mobile or your iPad, it’s there. Not only can they look at it, they can edit it, they can co-author. Everybody can work on it at the same time.

Dux Raymond Sy: We’ve got a couple of questions here, so let me answer this. First question. How does Planner differ from Projects Kanban board? Very good question. Projects has built in Kanban board templates and its much more feature rich, whereas with Planner, it’s not necessarily design or nor does it have templates for a Kanban boards. I’m just using it similar to a Kanban board. But certainly, if you have Project, if you’re using Project, it’s much more sophisticated and it’s richer with capabilities. The only difference here is Planner is accessible to everybody in the organization. As long as you have Office 365, people can use Planner, whereas project is different. You got to get a separate license for Project, but certainly it’s much more feature rich and you could do much more with project.

Dux Raymond Sy: Okay. Keith, how do the buckets in Planner integrate with the channels and teams? I think I addressed that question already. The way we use it, we just create channels. We surface the same Planner that I created in general to show up in each of the channels. Now, do you have to do it that way? No, but that’s how we do it. While we’re, again, in that bucket, we have a place to converse store information and figure out even ideation during that stage. Question three, my PMO is a team in Teams. Our channels refer to each project we manage. Do you recommend to create a plan on each channel? Absolutely. In your scenario, if you have a single team and every channel is a separate project, then create separate planners for those separate projects if you choose to use Planner to track those projects.

Dux Raymond Sy: If we’re already using Project and we’re seeing Planner and Meetings app. I’m not quite sure what Meetings app you’re describing, but can you sync Planner and Project? Yes. There’s a way where you can surface Planner task … Well, hold on. Let me rephrase here. If you’re using project and not project on the web, right now you cannot sync it natively. I think there are third party products where it lets you sync it. However, if you’re using project on the web, you can make Planner tasks show up on Planner on the web. Again, I’m not sure what Meetings app you’re referring to. Best way to do a status report from Planner, Gantt view.

Dux Raymond Sy: Planner does not have Gantt view. If you want a Gantt view, you got to use tools like Project or Project on the Web, but here for status report, it has views like charts. You can see the status, how many tasks left, what’s in progress. Who’s doing what? In fact, friends, let me jump into Planner directly. What we’re seeing here is the plan for the MPUG project, but if I just go to Planner, let me go to planner again so we can see other plans I have. I have this other plan for … I want shake pick up one that, and I have more … there you go. Maybe something like this, so I can look at the different charts so I can see how much we’ve done, how much there is in the backlog, what’s doing, all of that.

Dux Raymond Sy: Really, you have the charts and the schedule view here, but primarily, it’s a chart for your status reports. Ah, great question. Do you need to provide access to different channels? The answer is no. Every time you add people to the team, automatically everybody has access to all the channels, except if you create a private channel. If you create a private channel, you only have to put in specific people you want in there. But if you don’t create a private channel, as long as you have access to the team, you have access to all the channels. Okay. Good stuff. Good stuff. Tons of good questions here. Keep them coming. All right?

Dux Raymond Sy: You can use Planner to track team progress, and then there’s actually another technology that you can use to better organize all your tasks. You see, as you know, in the Microsoft world, you may get task assignments in Planner or even Outlook or Project or SharePoint. Sometimes it’s just a lot staying on top of it. How do you stay on top of all these tasks, especially assigned team? The good news is there’s a technology called Microsoft To Do, it comes with Office 365. You can even download the app for it. It aggregates all the tasks for you. If I go to Office 365, notice there’s an app called To Do. To Do pulls all your tasks That’s assigned to you, giving you that in a single spot. Right now, there’s nothing assigned to me.

Dux Raymond Sy: But if you have tasks in Outlook, task in Planner, even flagged email, it shows up here. If you use things like To Do List, or some of this To Do app, Microsoft has one as well. It’s called Microsoft To Do. I use it a lot because To Do just helps me better organize, and then I have it on my phone. The app is easy to use and certainly it’s worthwhile, especially it’s available to everybody in Office 365. Next, we talk about, number one, the ability to collaborate efficiently by having that one stop shop using Microsoft Teams. Second is, you’re able to manage your tasks and track it using Planner while integrating with Microsoft Teams. The third part is the ability for you to win consistently, because again, our needs are different. It’s not a one size fits all. Through time, the requirements may change, we may need to grow.

Dux Raymond Sy: What does winning look like? The key here is going back to the first point that I made, is really mapping your game plan or your business processes or project management processes to a reusable template. One of the cool things with Microsoft Teams is it’s so flexible that you can even templatize your team. What do we mean by that? For example, instead of having your project manager or having people in your organization create their team from scratch over and over again, you can actually make people choose the right template. In this case, if you’re working on a project, there can be a team template for the project where all the channels are pre-created already, all the tabs are pre-created.

Dux Raymond Sy: If you want the files to be pre-populated, you can certainly do it. The challenge today is it still relies on people to manually create every team, every tab, every channel. When I say you can templatize it, it’s not just templatizing the channels and the tabs and the configuration. You can actually templatize what I would refer to as policies. For example, you may have certain types of projects where you don’t want to allow external sharing. You can prevent that. You can templatize expiration and retention as well. You can say, okay, once the project is done six months later, if nobody touches it, go ahead and back it up and get rid of it.

Dux Raymond Sy: While Teams is great, I’m sure you’ve seeing this already, there’s going to be a lot of issues around sprawl. Teams will just pop like mushrooms left and right all over the place. While that may be okay for some organization, to others, it’s not okay. Because you may have to consider record retention or compliance requirements, or Sarbanes–Oxley compliance. A way to better manage this is, what if you can template, not only what the team channels and tabs have, but also the policies around it as well? What are some of your options to do this?

Dux Raymond Sy: Let me show you a quick example, and then I’ll answer more questions once it comes in. Here’s another example. By the way, you could do these two ways. You can create your templates and apply the policies and automate governance in a programmatic way. What that means is you got to have somebody in your organization or IT to be able to write code, to do all of this stuff, meaning to templatize it, to automated governance, etc. You can do it that way. Or you can also take advantage of third-party technologies. That’s a flexibility of Microsoft Teams. You can add apps within teams so that you can do other things with Teams. What I’ve just added here is an app called MyHub.

Dux Raymond Sy: MyHub, not only provides me that central one stop shop for everything I need in Microsoft Teams, but this is the place where templates can be surfaced for your organization. Let’s say IT creates a bunch of templates, and one of which is for Projects, so this is where as a user or somebody in the PMO can come here and create a new team with a ready-made template for my Project, that has planner and all the documents and whatnot. What do I do then? In MyHub, I can start a request. When I request, I can do a quick request and say, create a private team. As it’s loading, instead of creating from scratch, I can create a new team with a ready-made channels, and tabs, and Planner, all that good stuff. I can say the MPUG Summer project.

Dux Raymond Sy: Depending on who you are and the type of project you’re working on, and you can even include a policy that states that, hey, whenever somebody creates a new team, we can get approval from their manager or approval from the PMO. You can define all of that as well. I want to create it from a template. What are you trying to do here? Okay, I want to work on this project for retail construction. That’s their summer project. Again, the retail construction template has all the necessary documents and checklists and Planner already pre-configured. Then I can hit next. As soon as they hit next, it’s going to ask me who my secondary team contact base, which is great. Just in case I take vacation or I’m not available, there’s somebody else who can manage and update the team itself if needed.

Dux Raymond Sy: I can keep hitting next. I can define what’s the purpose, is for project management. If I’m a large organization, this is just a way to organize all of these things, as you can see, like I said, Teams will just mushroom a lower place, but this is just a way to better organize it, etc, what do I call it? MPUG summer project, or whatever your naming convention is, and hit submit. As soon as I it submit, my boss will get the requests and notice that it just shows me a list of all the different teams that I have, if I can use it. It’s not only Teams, I can also look at the SharePoint sites I have, if I requested for internal or external, all that good stuff.

Dux Raymond Sy: Once all this is organized, I can easily see all my workspaces. Then certainly, all my teams would show up, the teams I’m working on, the projects that I may have, and the colleagues I’m with. This is just another example on how you can extend Teams. This way, by using templates, you could just make it easier. Next, as you can see, through Microsoft Teams, as an entry point in using Planner to manage Teams, it’s already fully featured and feature rich, but what if you want to do more? That’s the beauty of the Microsoft platform. You can grow with Microsoft because let’s say you come to a point where, hey, I need to do portfolio management or program management, then you can bring in Project on the Web, or if you want to do more BI and you have some power BI templates you want to bring in, you can certainly bring it in that way.

Dux Raymond Sy: It’s quite flexible, it’s quite powerful. With that, let me pause here for a second. Let’s see if there’s any other questions that’s coming in. Okay. Let me look at a couple of questions. How do you integrate Project with Planner? Like I said, Microsoft Project itself, so let me distinguish this. There’s Microsoft Project, there is Project on the Web. With Project and Planner, there’s really no integration. If you want to roll up plan or task to Project on the web, you can, but not with the Microsoft project file itself. How do you handle documents created in one channel that need to be referencing another channel? Great question.

Dux Raymond Sy: Let me show you an example. The last thing you want is having multiple copies of the same thing. Where’s that project. In this channel, let’s say … where did I upload that document? Oh, there it is. I uploaded this document. This document meeting agenda template is in the backlog channel, and certainly it’s there, but what I could do is I could just get the link of that file. Then I want to reference in another [Chase 00:45:31] file. There you go. You can just copy the link and pop it there, because the last thing you want is to copy and have multiple copies of the same document.

Dux Raymond Sy: How could you manage a product backlog across multiple sprints? That’s a great question. There’s different ways of doing this. One way I’ve seen it is to have multiple Planners in … The cool thing with this is, while I may have a single a team here, it doesn’t mean that I’m stuck with one Planner, so I can create more plans. In this example, I just created a single plan called MPUG, but if you want to create more plan, you can certainly do it. You can have a plan for sprint one, another plan for sprint two, etc. You can definitely do that. The only challenge with that is you can’t roll everything up into a single aggregated view. All of those would be separate plans.

Dux Raymond Sy: What about tracking financial? Great question. Planner itself is lightly project management, task management, the financial aspect of it. You would need some other ways to track it. It could be as simple as Excel, drop an Excel file, or if you already have a separate financial tracking system for your project, you can certainly just roll it in. You can add a tab and you can bring it in. Let’s say your financial system or technology has an app already in Teams, you can bring it in. But if not, if it’s web based, you can just click the URL and you can put another tab in there. The other nice with Planner, or good Teams, I should say, is you can truly have the one stop shop. You can have all the tabs in here.

Dux Raymond Sy: You don’t have to worry about going to 10 different places. Everything is in this one place. Next question, does team access to a channel include the ability to delete assets items? Great question. The answer is yes by default. The question is, okay, let’s say my project team member, they have access to all the channels, does that mean if they’re a member, they can come here to the file’s tab, by files and decide to delete it? By default, yes. However, if you don’t want that, you can go to your channel settings, or not channel settings, I’m sorry, Team settings. In the Team settings, you can define permissions. You can say, allow them to create channel or delete channel. You can set up all the different settings for teams, and then for the file itself, this is one of those things that you have to be very familiar with Teams, is the file itself.

Dux Raymond Sy: You can change the permission of the files of how it’s being accessed within, what’s called SharePoint because this file library is actually powered by SharePoint. I can go in here and … Where’s my settings here. My settings. There you go. Library settings, and then I can change the permission. I can say, members can not delete. They can add, but cannot delete. You can tweak it, but by default, yes. If you’re a member, somebody can delete the file. The good news is, once it’s deleted, it’s not totally deleted. It’s in the recycle bin so you can restore it, especially if it’s accidental. Okay. Next question.

Dux Raymond Sy: The tasks are planned in project, in project online, and for a collaboration with a Team, we want to use Team to update their task. Is that possible? Absolutely. The question is, if you’re using project online or the web, I think that’s a new name, can you … you’ll want to use teams as the front end. You want to use themes as an entry point because this is where people collaborate and communicate. Absolutely. How do you do that? Just add a tab and select the … where’d that go? Website, and then pop in the URL of project online, especially on the the task page. Then when you do that, you’ll see a tab show up, it’ll render here. So all the tasks there, they can update their percent complete, how many hours they’ve done their actual versus the plan, etc. just add a tab to show project online.

Dux Raymond Sy: Ah, good question. Here. Project for the web, as a planner feature, is there a way to incorporate it into a Team site as a default primary Planner for? Yeah, absolutely. Let me think. Yeah, there’s two, three ways to do this. First and foremost, you have to create that plan in Project for the web. As soon as you create that plan, what’s going to happen is, it’s going to show up in Planner essentially. So you go to Project for the web, you create a plan, it’s going to show up here. Once it’s here, when you create your team, when you add for the new plan, where’d that go? Instead of creating a new one, you can pick the existing ones.

Dux Raymond Sy: That’s one way. Second is another … just another easy way is you can just add a tab. I do this all the time for a website and just pop in the URL of that plan. Let’s say this is the plan and grab the URL, and then pop it here, then it will show up. You can do that. In my opinion, I think Microsoft tools will also make a Project for the web app available for Team. As soon as that comes in, you can easily add that app directly into your Teams. Is there a prioritization feature in To Do? Yes. To Do has a way to prioritize, which is kind of cool, but you can definitely do it. How is security handled when importing using application in your agency?

Dux Raymond Sy: I’m not quite sure of what do you mean by security when importing, but the way security works for a Planner is it relies on the Office 365’s security. If you can log into Office 365 to check your email, use SharePoint, use OneDrive, it respects the same security. If your organization does not allow external sharing, then we cannot share this Team externally. It relies on the security that’s configured for Office 365. The security settings for a Planner or Teams is no different than the security settings for Office 365. Cool. Okay. Hopefully, this gives you an insight on how you can do Agile Project Management with Teams and Planner.

Dux Raymond Sy: What do you all think? I would love to hear a quick feedback, if this was helpful and beneficial, please pop it in the chat. The other thing I would also encourage everyone is, if you want to learn more how other companies are using Teams and Office 365 or managing projects, there’s an upcoming free event called The Shift Happens Conference, a few weeks from now. So sign up and you’ll learn from how organizations are taking advantage of these technologies, especially now we’re all doing remote work. It’s called shifthappens.com, Shift Happens Conference, take a screenshot, go to the website, sign up now. We have top notch speakers from around the world, Heathrow Airport, Deloitte, we have Microsoft coming.

Dux Raymond Sy: It’s free. Feel free to sign up. Then lastly, if you want to learn more about all the other Office 365 tools, we have this free ebook called When to Use and How to use Teams and Office 365 Groups. It’s a free download as well. Feel free to check that out. Then last but not the least, here’s my contact info. I know we only spent an hour today. I hope you found it beneficial. Feel free to check out this website by tomorrow. I’ll upload this PowerPoint, and I’ll put some other resources there as well, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out this website, and please, I would love to connect with everybody. Hit me up on LinkedIn, let’s connect.

Dux Raymond Sy: Put a message. Say, “Hey, Dux, we met at the MPUG webinar. Would love to connect with you.” If you have further questions, send it my way. I’ll be more than happy to answer it as best I can. Yeah? Awesome. Kyle, do we have any other questions I can address?

Kyle: Dux, I think you made it through all the questions. We appreciate that.

Dux Raymond Sy: Awesome. Awesome. Well, if we don’t have any other questions, so I think we have a few minutes left, but Kyle, truly I’m grateful for this opportunity. I always love to join the MPUG family, and let me know in the future if there’s anything I can support everybody with. I’m always here.

Kyle: Thanks, Dux. We really appreciate it. That was a great session. Thanks for answering all the questions that were submitted. That was really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the MPUG community today.

Dux Raymond Sy: Awesome. You’re welcome. Well, thanks again, everybody take care, wash your hands and be safe.

Kyle: Thanks, Dux. For those of you reclaiming the PDU credit for today’s session, I’ll get that info back on the screen for you in case you missed it at the beginning. Today’s session eligible for one technical PDU. If you missed any of today’s session, or like to go back and review anything that Dux shared with us, the recording will be posted to mpug.com a bit later today, and you’ll receive an email with a link to view that. MPUG pug members have full access to our PDU eligible library of on-demand webinars. We also have some great sessions on the calendar, and I just chatted over a link to see those and register for those on the MPUG website. In two weeks, Nenad Trajkovski will return for a session on how to run Scrum projects with Project for the web.

Kyle: That’s a 45 minute session on June 17th. Then, one of our most famous presenters, Sam Huffman, will return on June 24th for an hour and 15 minutes on Microsoft Project do’s, don’ts and cool customizations. That’s going to be a great session as well. Those are both open for registration at the link that I chatted over. That wraps up today’s session. Thanks again, Dux, for your time today. Thank you, to everyone out there that joined us live and to everyone that submitted questions. I also want to thank anyone that may be watching this recording on-demand. We hope you have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you soon for our next live session. Thanks again.


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Written by Dux Raymond Sy
Dux is the CMO of AvePoint. With over 20 years of business and technology experience, he’s been a driving force behind digital transformations for commercial, educational and public sector organizations worldwide. He’s a published author of “SharePoint for Project Management”. He’s also recognized by Microsoft as Regional Director (RD) and Most Valuable Professional (MVP). A sought after public speaker and mentor, he’s a tireless advocate of diversity, inclusion & technology for good who has written numerous whitepapers, articles, and delivered engaging interactive presentations to over 25,000 people at leading industry events around the world. When he’s not globetrotting, or invigorating audiences, Dux lives in Washington, DC with his amazing wife and two children. Feel free connect with him http://linktr.ee/meetdux
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