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Microsoft Planner ready for showtime

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Today marks the general availability of Microsoft Planner. Over the next several weeks, Planner will roll out to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide. This includes Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Premium and Education subscription plans.

All users with eligible subscription plans will automatically see the Planner tile appear in the Office 365 app launcher when it is available for them to use. No specific action by Office 365 admins is needed.

The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done. With Planner, teams can create new plans; organize, assign and collaborate on tasks; set due dates; update statuses and share files, while visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on progress.

Planner general availability 1

Charts in Microsoft Planner.

Planner general availability 2

Board in Microsoft Planner.

Since we rolled out the Planner Preview, we have been working closely with a variety of Office 365 customers from around the world. Many of them have already experienced quantifiable benefits from increased collaboration and expedited time to value.

Câmara Municipal de Cascais has governed the town of Cascais, Portugal, for 650 years. This long history of service just got a boost after it transitioned to Office 365. More than 1,000 employees have quickly adopted Planner to better organize their teamwork and expedite the completion times for various government initiatives.

“With Planner, we improved collaboration by about 20 percent. We’re completing group initiatives approximately seven percent faster, and everyone stays aligned easily due to the added level of transparency.”
—Miguel Pinto Luz, deputy mayor of Câmara Municipal de Cascais

Read the Câmara Municipal de Cascais customer story to learn more about their innovative use of Office 365.

Hancock Askew & Co. is a public accounting firm that serves national and international clients. The firm recently adopted Planner to help team members in multiple offices manage client engagements in a more organized and collaborative manner resulting in reduced need for status meetings, greater visibility into progress of assigned tasks and more accurate client communication.

“We have consistently received the Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility, and Office 365 has been a great resource for us in maintaining that award even through rapid growth. By using Planner, we add to that flexibility, giving team members transparency into what’s getting done, no matter where or what time of the day it is.”
—Greg B. Ameden, director of IT Assurance Services at Hancock Askew & Co.

Let us know what you think!

We are committed to reading every piece of feedback we receive and turning that into action, so that we can continue to improve Planner. Some of the new features we plan to introduce over the next few months include the ability to assign a task to multiple users, external user access, plan templates, customizable boards and apps for iOS, Android and Windows.

Drop us a line on our Planner UserVoice to let us know what you think of Planner and what improvements you would like to see.

—Planner team

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will Planner be available in my Office 365 tenant?

A. Beginning today, Planner will start rolling out to all eligible tenants. We expect the rollout to be complete in the next several weeks.

Q. Does Planner integrate with Office 365 Groups?

A. Office 365 Groups is a foundational service that allows individuals to easily create public or private groups. Each new plan created in Planner automatically creates a new Office 365 group.

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95 comments
  1. Can we assume this roll-out includes government customers in the GCC?

    • Of course not, us GCC users always wait 6 months for the new features. 🙂

  2. Great stuff! However, we need the ability to control Office Groups creation before we can roll this one out. Any estimate on the timeline for this feature (from the O365 roadmap)?

    Office 365 Groups: creation policy in Azure Active Directory

    We’ve implemented policy in Azure Active Directory that allows administrators to restrict group creation to certain users. This ensures that creation of Office 365 Groups through all endpoints can be given to selected users. The existing Exchange Mailbox policy only applies to creation in Exchange, Outlook, or the Outlook Groups mobile app.

  3. For the past few weeks I’ve been looking at third party alternatives – Basecamp and Asana etc. So I am very excited, about to start on a small group project but feeling daunted by SharePoint. This seems perfect!

    Any way of obtaining a Beta for evaluation, like the Sway programme did?

  4. Andy chance this will make its way to SharePoint 2016 on-premises by Q3 2017? We’ve been looking for a project management solution that integrates with our current services, but my organization isn’t ready to make to move to O365 and SharePoint Online yet.

    • I am looking for same
      Planner implementation in on-premise sharepoint 2016 env

  5. will home office 365 subscriptions get this?

    • According to the first paragraph, no.

      “Planner will roll out to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide. This includes Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Premium and Education subscription plans.”

      This sucks because I have several home and hobby-related projects that would be well-suited to this.

      • That’s bad. I also have templates on Trello that I would like to translate to Planner and access via my Windows Phone.

        I hope they’ll make it available for Home users someday. 🙁

        • As with all new features, we will be the last to gain access to it. Microsoft even “updated” my subscription to “365 Pro Plus” from a home account, but they seem to have just changed the name. We still don’t (as far as I know) have access to SharePoint, or any other goodies that really make Office useful.

          I have a fledgeling home business, and I miss out on a LOT of useful functionality, but I can’t budget the “bigger” plans, since I already have to pay for Adobe Creative Cloud.

          The length of these roll-outs drives customers to 3rd party software, but I would rather wait a little while than have a dodgy product eat my data (which happened to Adobe with Creative Cloud).

          *shrug*

  6. will home office 365 subscriptions get this ?

  7. Do assigned tasks show up in Outlook 2016’s To-Do and Tasks lists?? Are they accessible from smartphones? I know Windows 10 Mobile no longer has Exchange server task lists (which is awful).

  8. Will it have the ability to manage Agile projects? Following scrum or kanban?

    • The screenshots and video indicate this product is based on Visual Studio Online’s (VSO) workflow. At least VSO supports scrum/Kanban.

      • Office Planner is not based on Visual Studio Team Services (fka Visual Studio Online)
        You could possibly run a Scrum or Kanban team using Office Planner, but Office Planner is more targeted at ad-hoc work collaboration.

        Visual Studio Team Services does have Agile Tools which support both Scrum and Kanban.
        You can find more information here:
        https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/explore/agiletools-vs

  9. Can this Planner integrate with Visual Studio online work items? I’d /love/ to manage my team that is completing VSO workitems alongside other tasks in this Planner UI

  10. Love the app! Been using it for a few months now.

    Please add Outlook/Exchange Tasks as another feature for Office 365 Groups. This would be a nice feature, because through exchange Tasks can be used with Outlook, iOS Reminders, and other email services.

    Thanks! And keep up the good work!

  11. Is there anyway to create multiple plans within a group?

    There are several projects that I would like my department to track through this app or something similar like trello or smartsheet, but I don’t want to kick off a group every time that we to start a new project. I could use different buckets, but then I lose the kanban feel.

  12. This is great! We are looking to move to 365 in our office and looking to streamline processes. Once there is external user visibility and plan templates, this becomes a realistic option.

    The potential to save time and increase communication within projects appears at first glance to be phenomenal.

    Looking forward to the features we need and take take it for a spin. Any ETA on external User visibility and templates other than the next few months?

  13. Would you be able to push/import tasks into planner from an .xml or similar? Microsoft is starting to dominate collaboration and information management. Great work!

    • I would like to know this too. I would very much like to import a current schedule from project to start to get to know the capability of this software…

  14. Could you please clarify the subscriptions this will be included in? You are stating “Business Essentials” and “Business Premium” subscription, but what about the plain “Business” subscription (which is higher value than Essentials)?

    • Confirmed Planner is not available for the “Business” plan because of lack of Exchange Online mail services. Apparently there are features that can’t be accommodated by self-hosted Exchange accounts which is preventing them from rolling it out to the “Business” users.

  15. Will Planner be available to the non-profit tenants (i.e free E2 plans)?

  16. Nice App. Maybe I can give it a try. Some day. My problem is that about 80% of our employees are on mobile devices. Nearly ONLY on mobile devices. 75% Android and the rest is using Ios.

    I still have no way to work with Office Groups Calendar from mobile. And now the Planner tool also lacks any mobile support. Who was this guy saying ‘Mobile first’? So the feature is – for now – pretty useless for all of our 87 people paying for Office 365 E3. Yes. I saw the ‘in near future’ signs. But what is near future? In one month? In one year?

    Honestly, I am very disappointed.

    • You can expect mobile apps for Planner very soon as MSFT has started working on this.

      Regards,
      Santhosh
      JiJi Technologies.

  17. Will you be able to collaborate on projects with non-office365 users who are outside of the corporation I work in? Clients? research collaborators etc?

  18. Like the concept of a Microsoft based Slack alternative except for one thing… We house most of our data and other items on-prem due to specific security standards. My question based on this is will this ever be available for an on-prem solution?

  19. Will there be a downloadable version, for those of us who can’t use Office 365?

    • It’s a cloud-based app, so no, it won’t be downloadable.

  20. What is the thought process in having this turned on by default for all users when you first roll it out?
    This is a huge inconvenience for Help Desks that start getting an influx of calls by staff asking how to use the new product that showed up in their app launcher. Our IT department is currently working on a huge project and we can’t stop working on it long enough to learn how to use Planner (and Forms) to be able to properly support our staff.
    I’m having to take extra time to create a powershell script to turn this off for everyone until we are ready to evaluate it and decide if it’s something we plan to enable for everyone.
    The default should be in a disabled state, and allow us to enable it either system-wide or an individual basis.

    • We have not been granted access yet, but I expect it to be as self explanatory to use as comparable services.
      My staff who are capable of using this service will use it…

      I hope you don’t need (or get) any further response than this.

  21. Do you need to assign a planner license like powerBI etc…. or is it included in another SKU.

    • I would very much like to import a current schedule from project to start to get to know the capability of this software…Nice App. I still have no way to work with Office Groups Calendar from mobile. And now the Planner tool also lacks any mobile support. Who was this guy saying ‘Mobile first’? So the feature is – for now – pretty useless
      Thanks
      http://qwikfix.co.uk/sky-customer-services/

  22. Is this product going to be made available to Office365 ProPlus customers? That plan is certainly in the price point of the qualifying products mentioned above, but it is not specifically mentioned. I’m looking at taking the Office365 plunge for my small business, but this looks promising and is shaping my choice. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  23. I have a Office 365 ProPlus for Students Account of my University. Will the planner will be avilable for me?

  24. Will Planner also have a calendar viel – or even an Outlook integration?

  25. Lets hope the planner is very well. For one of the best ideas look to workplanner.be (integrate workload of events, meetings and tasks in one agenda)….

  26. Just to clarify – Planner will be automatically added and appear in list of apps is that correct? Enterprise E3 plan?

    • Yes, you are. But some reported that Planner licenses were assigned to users but it is not available in their app launcher. It can able to accessable from tasks.office.com.

    • Yes, you are correct. It will be automatically enabled to your tenant. But few has reported that the planner tile was not available on App launcher, but that can able to access it from tasks,office.com

      Regards,
      Santhosh
      JiJi Technologies.

      • Update: To get the Planner tile listed on App launcher, you need to unassign and assign Planner license for users. This is a workaround for now and MSFT is working on this to get this resolved.

  27. How do I configure the layout/fields for a task in the planner?
    I would like to add an owner field, a reference number field, an estimate etc.

  28. What about collaboration with external clients etc. Does planner facilitate this?

    Also, does it allow you to choose who can see what information, conversations etc.?

    • External sharing for Office 365 groups is coming. Hope planner will follow that. As Planner is bulit on top of groups, the members present in the group has the full control on the plan.

      Regards,
      Santhosh,
      JiJi Technologies.

  29. Are there any import export possibilities with Planner? It looks fancy and would be great to share in status reports or create a list of tasks in Excel and import them into Planner.

  30. My company is on a Office365 Small Business premium plan, will this get Planner?

  31. Will Planner become available on a country basis or? (am based in the UK)

  32. I guess I won’t pay another month of office 365 home.

  33. We have a Office 365 Small Business Premium subscription, will we get Planner? If, as I hope, yes when we should gain access to it?
    TIA

  34. Hi, I like the new planner, but it would even be greater if integration with Project Server/Project Professional would be established. Any plans? Roadmap?

  35. I am an office 365 professional and wondering when we will see planner enabled. We are using rockspace

  36. I am an office 365 professional and wondering when we will see planner enabled. We are using rackspace

  37. I am not able to see the Planner icon in our Live Tenant . Please let me know how to enable the same.

  38. Please provide a way to print or sync the tasks to Outlook so they can be printed there. There are people in our office who will only commit to this program, if there is a way to print the tasks in a numbered, delineated list.

  39. I’m starting with Planner and I don’t see how can I export a flow as a template to reuse with other people? is this possible?

  40. You guys are great. But in Ukraine – you have a big problem. I am a big fan of MS, I am a big fan of Service. And still, for the last 3 days, I just cant get Microsoft Planner. Why? Because there is some rules for Microsoft in Ukraine. Like - "You must get PRINTED and SIGNED letter delivered to .... Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited Atrium Building Block B Carmenhall Road Sandyford Industrial Estate Dublin 18, Ireland ...... R U Kiddin?
    Printed? Signed?

    By the way – I have to do this for 3 weeks. Or I`ll be kicked out from Microsoft business accounts….
    Is there any @service@ in MS Ukraine?

  41. Been a month and nothing!?!? When is this actually going to show up? Is there a rollout map that shows areas or something that can give us an idea when we will ACTUALLY get it?

Comments are closed.