Trying to keep teams organized and everyone on the same page is not easy. Every office has multiple priorities happening at the same time, and if you’re trying to coordinate everything by email or phone, things can easily fall through the cracks.

The importance of completing projects successfully is realized by just about everyone.

97% of organizations say project management is critical to their business performance and company success.

One of the key causes of project failure is lack of proper communication. It’s easy for task deadlines to get missed or budgets to balloon, if there’s no central communication hub for everyone to connect.

So how do companies keep their project communications streamlined and ensure no one is left out of the loop? Though the use of project and team management apps like Microsoft Planner.

Often, a company’s success is tied directly to their technology success. Use the right tools to streamline your workflows and improve productivity, and your business can thrive.

87% of high-performing companies use a project management software.

If you subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 Premium, Business, or Educational plans, you already have access to Microsoft Planner. Read on to find out how you can take full advantage of this tool for successful project management.

Microsoft Planner Overview

Need to assign tasks and know their status without having to do constant follow up? That’s one of the ways that Microsoft Planner is designed to streamline your team management.

It acts as a central task hub where everyone can go to plan projects, assign or update tasks, share files, and communicate in real-time with their teammates. Instead of having to scribble down tasks given by phone, or search for task comments through multiple emails, everything is kept in one interface that’s accessible by desktop or mobile device.

The interface uses a Kanban-style board, which is project management method that allows teams to visualize project progress as each task moves through work stages.

The key components include:

  • Project plans (the main board where tasks are organized)
  • Work stage columns (i.e. “In-progress,” “Awaiting approval,” “Completed”)
  • Task cards (these contain the assignee, due date, comments, and more)

Tasks are easily dragged and dropped into each column as it progresses through the workflow, which allows everyone to see at a glance what the status of each task is, where bottlenecks are occurring, and where attention needs to be focused.

Benefit of Using Microsoft Planner for Task Management

If you think that using emails and sticky notes are working just fine for task management, not streamlining your collaboration might be costing you more than you know.

Poor communication costs small businesses an average $420,000 per year.

Here are some of the efficiency-boosting benefits you can realize by transferring your task management to Microsoft Planner.

Transparency and Visibility

Wondering who was assigned to do the proof of that last sales brochure? Want to know if that client job is going to come in on deadline? Instead of having to chase down colleagues to find your answers, you can just open up the Microsoft Planning app and everything is there.

Employees don’t have to wonder what’s expected, it’s there in their task list with comments and files attached. Managers can easily see their entire planning timeline at a glance, saving time and giving them the information that they need to make adjustments that keep projects on track.

Keep Everyone Connected

Task notes can tend to get lost when they’re sent by email or written down on scraps of paper or just kept in your head. When someone is out sick and there’s no central area to keep track of tasks, no one may know what that person has finished and what they haven’t.

Microsoft Planner keeps everyone connected by keeping all plans, tasks, and tasks files and comments in a single platform. This makes it easy for everyone to know what everyone else is doing and also offers the security of keeping all your project communications saved for easy access. Microsoft Planner uses SharePoint for data storage and easy searching.

Real-Time Notifications

Get instantly notified whenever you’re assigned a new task, added to a conversation, or have an item that needs attention. Notifications allow you to keep your mind on what you’re doing, knowing that Planner will alert you when needed to check in with your team.

Keep Tasks Organized and Prioritized

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with tasks coming from different areas of the company. One manager needs something done by 5pm and another one comes in to your office at 4pm, with another “high priority” thing for you to do.

Microsoft Planner helps keep all team tasks organized by use of workflow columns, labels, statuses, and priorities. Not only does this help employees more easily handle multiple tasks, but it also lets managers know when someone’s workload is getting heavy so they can adjust their assignments accordingly.

Take advantage of your Office 365 Subscription

Are you fully utilizing your Office 365 subscription? NetCare specialists can work closely with your business leadership team to help you create a technology strategy that takes advantage of all your IT assets.

Set up your consultation today and take a step towards technology success.
Call (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online.