Using Microsoft Planner


Collaborate with your team using Microsoft Planner Beyond getting a plan in place for who's doing what when, Microsoft Planner can also help you actually do some of the things you have planned. Co-authoring with Office Online. Store Office files in the SharePoint document library associated with your plan and click the preview to get to work! Microsoft Planner video training. Ideas for your board. Collaborate with your team. Attach files, photos, or links.

Planner is a project management app that is part of Office 365. That means it is integrated in other Office 365 like Outlook and Microsoft Teams.

Welcome to Day 71 of365 Ideas for Office 365- Using Planner with students.

Last time we explored ways that staff can utilize Planner for projects that require collaboration and assigning tasks.

Students can use Planner in an entirely different way, as more of a to-do list with lots of extra features. To start using Planer with students first show them where to find it.

Finding Planner

As with all Office365 apps, they can start in OneDrive and click on the app launcher(waffle).

Most likely Plannerwill not show up in the initial list of the most commonly used apps, so theywill need to click on “all apps” then scroll down to Planner in thealphabetical list.

Creating a New Plan

The simplest way touse Planner with students is to just have them create one Plan for all theirassignments.


They will click on New plan, name it “Assignments”, or “Math Assignments”, etc.) and select Private.

Creating New Tasks in Planner with Students

Whether it is for a single class or all of their classes, each time they have a new assignment they will click on the plus sign, add the details by giving the assignment a name and selecting the due date. You might think there is no reason to assign the task since they are the only person in this plan, but if they assign it to themselves it will connect to their Outlook account. This means they will immediately get an email notifying them of the task, but more importantly, it will add the due date to their Outlook calendar.

Best practice tip:If an assignment does not have a due date, students should add a date forwhenever they think they should work on it. Otherwise when they assign it to themselves it will appear on theirOutlook calendar at the time they assigned it. (Which they can then move.)

Name, Add Due Date, Assign a Task

Organizing Your Plan

The next step in using Planner with students is having them decide what other columns (“buckets”) they want to set up. This can be something you standardize or you can give them some flexibility. Since this use case for using Planner with students does not involve group work, the list of buckets can be simpler, something like “New”, “Started”, “Finished” and maybe “Turned in”.

As they begin orfinish assignments, they can simply drag a task from one column to the next.

Moving Tasks between Buckets

You may show students how to do this just for your class, but if they want to use Planner for all of their classes, it may be better for them to have one Plan instead of a separate Plan for each class. If they choose to use the Planner app on their iPhone or Android device, they can set up what they do or do not get notifications for, like new tasks or due dates coming up soon.

Next time we willconsider using Planner with students collaboratively.

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Using microsoft planner in teams

One of the most exciting news that came out during the last year was the release of Microsoft Planner. The tool provides a web-based interface and allows users to manage tasks right in the browser, completely independent of other tools like SharePoint or MS Project. Having spent a great share of my career in project management and being an avid follower of Agile methodology (I utilize Agile principles when I configure SharePoint sites for my clients), I believe that Microsoft Planner is a game changer for Agile projects. With his post, I would like to explain how you can use Microsoft Planner for Agile and specifically SCRUM projects, with a very little upfront setup.

What is Microsoft Planner?

Up until recently, for those of us working in the SharePoint environment, the tools of choice for task management were Task Web Part or Project Online/Project Server (Microsoft’s PPM solution). Unlike the two choices above, Microsoft Planner provides an unorthodox way to manage projects. No task dependencies or complicated project schedules and no upfront setup or configuration. Instead – a very simple and intuitive interface. I have published a very detailed post on Planner and its features just recently. You can access it here.

Using Planner for Agile and SCRUM

Historically, SharePoint had a Tasks web part available for task management. Despite some pretty robust features, it made the most sense just for Waterfall (phased/sequential) projects and was not compatible with the Agile ones. By the way, you can read a comparison of Planner vs. Tasks Web part here.

The newly released Microsoft Planner is a total game changer and in my opinion is a perfect fit for Agile/Scrum projects. Below I would like to highlight the different areas of Planner as they relate to SCRUM artifacts and explain to you how you can configure Planner to accommodate Scrum Projects.


The sprint backlog is essentially a list of tasks from the product backlog which will be completed in the particular sprint. Sprint backlog can be captured via Buckets in Planner. Essentially, you would name your Planner buckets as Sprint 1, Sprint 2, Sprint 3, etc. and add tasks to each of the Sprints (buckets) accordingly.

Product Backlog

The product backlog is the complete list of requirements/tasks to be completed for the project. Product backlog can be set up as yet another bucket. As you design your sprints and proceed from one sprint to the next, you can move tasks from product backlog bucket to sprint bucket and vice versa by easy drag and drop (Planner feature).

User Stories

User stories in Scrum are short descriptions of a feature from the business user perspective. Since this is often expressed as text, an ideal place for this is OneNote notebook, that is part of every plan in Microsoft Planner/Office 365 Group.

Daily Scrum Meetings

Meeting Logistics

In case the team is not co-located, Skype (that is part of your Office 365 subscription) is a great way to handle those 15-30 minute daily stand-ups.

Meeting Notes

Microsoft Tasks My Planner And To Do

OneNote is a perfect tool to capture meeting notes from daily stand-ups (or Skype) meetings. By the way, reference this post to learn more how to use OneNote effectively for meeting notes. When it comes to SCRUM Daily meetings themselves, the only three questions need to be addressed during the meeting are:

1. What did I do yesterday that helped the development team meet the sprint goal?
2. What will I do today to help the development team meet the sprint goal?
3. Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the development team from meeting the Sprint goal?

Using Microsoft Planner Part 2 Of 2 Youtube

Sprint Burndown Chart

The Sprint burndown chart is a chart showing remaining work in the Sprint Backlog. While Planner does have task summary charts available, they are not in the format of the typical Sprint burndown chart.

However, such chart can manually be maintained using the statistics from the Planner itself. Each task can include the estimated/remaining effort info which can assist the Scrum Master in the preparation of the Sprint Burndown Chart.

From that point on, the Scrum Master can use Excel to pull the information together and display info via a chart.

Using microsoft planner kanban

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Release Burndown Chart

Release Burndown Chart shows the amount of work (tasks or user stories) left vs. the number of sprints. As with the previous chart, the statistics for this diagram can easily be obtained from the Planner buckets and charts and can manually be maintained/built in Excel.