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Microsoft has stepped up its project management focus with the announcement of the new Microsoft Planner at their recent Ignite event. Bringing together Microsoft Project for the web, Planner and To Do under the one banner, the new Planner is a more comprehensive solution designed to elevate task management collaboration and streamline project workflows. Scheduled for release in early 2024, the new Planner aims to enhance the way teams collaborate across their work and project management.

Key features:

  1. Intuitive user interface: The user-friendly interface of the new Microsoft Planner provides a familiar and intuitive workspace for teams. Navigating tasks and projects is easy and efficient, allowing users to focus on work delivery in a single interface.
  2. Integration with Microsoft 365: The new Planner goes beyond standalone functionality by integrating seamlessly with Microsoft 365. This integration ensures a cohesive work experience, allowing users to link tasks directly to other Microsoft 365 applications like Outlook, Teams, and Loop.
  3. Collaborative task management: Taking task management to the next level, Microsoft Planner allows users to create, assign, and track tasks collaboratively. With the integration of Microsoft Project for the web (a.k.a. Teams Premium), teams can seamlessly transition from planning to execution, ensuring a smooth flow throughout a project’s lifecycle. Visibility and intuitive update on tasks will ensure that everyone always know if the project is on track.
  4. Cross-application synergy with Microsoft Project for the web: The merging in of Planner and Microsoft Project for the web enables teams to create and manage project plans with greater precision, including things like task dependencies, timelines, and resource allocation to give a more comprehensive project management experience; And yes, baseline is coming 😊
  5. Enhanced personal productivity with To Do integration: To further enhance individual productivity, Microsoft Planner integrates seamlessly with Microsoft To Do. Tasks assigned in Planner automatically sync with To Do, providing users with a unified view of their responsibilities across different projects.
  6. Smart notifications and reminders: Team members can stay on top of deadlines with intelligent notifications and reminders. The new Planner utilises smart algorithms to send timely updates, ensuring that tasks are completed on schedule. The incorporation of To Do extends these reminders to the individual level, aiding users in managing their daily workload effectively.
  7. Customisable boards and views: Tailor your workspace with customisable boards, accommodating different project management styles. Whether your team prefers a Kanban board or a traditional task list, the flexibility of the new Planner ensures a more personalised experience to support optimal workflow.
  8. AI Integration with Microsoft Copilot: The new Planner is set to leverage cutting-edge AI capabilities through the integration of Microsoft Copilot. This AI-powered assistant is expected to enhance collaboration, automate repetitive tasks, and provide intelligent suggestions, further streamlining task and project management processes.

Two levels of capability

The new Planner will offer a Basic version to assist with task and work management including things like to do lists, personal plans or simple projects. The Premium version will have capabilities for more detailed project management, like goal setting, Gantt chart and critical path views, planning for Agile sprints and people management. The Premium version also provides AI capabilities by accessing Microsoft Copilot to assist with setting up standard project templates and tasks.

Release information

The new Microsoft Planner is scheduled to be released from early 2024. As the release date approaches, more details are expected to be unveiled, including how to access the two levels of Planner and the associated licencing requirements. The impact on current Microsoft Project for the web users is not yet known, but further details are anticipated to provide clarity on how existing workflows may be enhanced or adapted.

Stay informed with Sensei

To find out more about the new Planner, what it will support and how it fits in with more complex enterprise PPM requirements you are welcome to attend our upcoming webinar Discover the Future of Work Management with the new Microsoft Planner – Sensei Project Solutions.

You can also visit here for the Microsoft Ignite Planner release information The new Microsoft Planner: A unified experience bringing together to-dos, tasks, plans and projects – Microsoft Community Hub

Sensei will bring you further information as it becomes available over the next few months, and you can follow us here to see the latest updates.