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Can Planner be a contender to Microsoft Project?

ProjectOnline PlannerIcon


Microsoft is now releasing the new feature Planner for Office 365 users, I have had the feature for several months. We get the new features in advance as a part of the first release program. I recommend all companies to setup a test-tenant of Office 365, this tenant can be limited in the number of users. I will blog about this in July so stay tuned to this blog.

Planner is a product that Microsoft is putting a lot of hope in and attention in marketing the new feature. I hear some thoughts of what benefit Planner will have for companies. I have also heard that it may be a contender to the professional planning product Microsoft Project.

I simply don´t believe it will be a contender to Project or even Project Online. Project Online is the cloud version of Project server that comes in 3 license forms. I will blog about Project Online and server next week. Project is used by many as the tool to answer to the questions what,when and who will perform a task in a project. I know that Planner can do that as well, as Excel can do too. I know that to many companies use Excel as a planning worksheet. Both Excel and Planner are possible to use as tools to answer the above questions. However when the schedule changes, what is supposed to be done and who will do it changes are the tools not so flexible.

The good thing about the 2 new tools are that it will make more companies start to plan. To many companies are working ad-hoc planning, or like I sometimes say. They are performing acoustic planning, the ones who scream the most get highest attention.

What is Planner and what is it good for? If you have started to use Office 365 Groups, you will not be lost. For those who have not seen Groups you have some things to get used to. Planner is an extension to Office 365 Groups, in fact when you start a new Plan you create an Office 365 Group. The Planner feature is going to develop even further with apps for mobiles. It is a good easy planning tool for minor projects and for activities. It will be interesting to see how the users will adopt Planner.

I am confident that it is not a contender to Project Online/Server and the Project client software. I do hope that Planner will help the sales of Project Online. If Planner will be used by companies who don’t do planning by IT tools, the sales of Project Online will gain. Many will see that the limitations of Planner are solved in Project Online.