You and your team complete dozens of tasks every day. There are many apps out there to help you structure your to-do lists and track your progress. At SalesTim we love Planner, as do thousands of other users around the world. And today we’ll talk about how to improve our efficiency by using Microsoft Planner Templates for Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Planner is a service that expands the capabilities of Office 365 and helps organize your work with others thanks to its capability to create plans, manage tasks, set deadlines, and more. With Planner, you will forget about overdue tasks or notes that always get lost.
Here, your tasks are displayed in the form of cards, which you can structure according to the stages of the process, goals, or another hierarchy that suits you. One of the great features is the ability to add any content directly to the task card. Deadlines, assigned person, files, notes, and more.
Let’s look at the Planner functionality with a specific example.
Let’s say you are a project manager. Your primary responsibilities include tracking project dynamics and meeting deadlines. For these functions, the Planner is your indispensable assistant.
You open the web-version of the app right in your Office 365 space. (You can also download the app on any of your devices) Since Planner is one of the Office 365 products, you can interact here with any member of your team or across the entire organization.
Okay, you’ve created a new plan, what’s next? Then you start adding cards with tasks, structuring them, and quickly transferring them from one board to another.
Open any card and you will see many additional functions. Here you can set a deadline for the task.
In addition, assign any person from your team for this task. Your team member (or members, if you choose several people) will receive a notification every time a new task is assigned.
But how to make sure that the person understands exactly the essence of the task and will complete it correctly? To do this, you can easily add any content that will be displayed directly on the card.
What do the colored icons on the card mean? They help you categorize tasks and make them easier for your team members to find. For example, at SalesTim, our marketing team uses labels to represent a content type. For me personally, this is very convenient – I quickly understand what this is about: an article for our blog, a new video, or a social post.
Oftentimes, a single task involves several stages. To be sure that the project member doesn’t lose sight of anything, you can add a checklist with additional subtasks. Thus, you will improve the efficiency of execution
Here, you can share content. You or another project participant can attach a document using SharePoint, upload a file from a device, or add a link. So, you can work together on documents and edit them online.
In the process of completing a task edits, comments, and discussions may occur. You can easily discuss the whole process with colleagues right on the task card.
We figured out the functionality of the task compilation. What else? For effective work, you can choose different views of your Planner.
Board view – a standard Planner board, where it is convenient to view all your team’s tasks and drag and drop cards
Schedule view – will allow you to navigate depending on the deadline and will help your team draw up a work plan for the coming days. Overdue tasks will be highlighted in red and completed tasks in green.
Charts view – allows you, as a project manager, to analyze the dynamics of project development. You will be able to visually assess the number of overdue tasks, completed, in progress, and those that have not yet begun
What’s great about Office 365 products is the ability to collaborate. You can read more about the Planner’s integration options with other Office 365 products here. Today we’ll talk about Planner with Microsoft Teams.
Let’s say you’ve created a team for a new project. You add many channels depending on your goals and the essence of the project. Next, you need to add Tabs with content to simplify and structure your work. As you may know, here you can add any application available in the Microsoft store as a tab, including Planner. Let’s look at what opportunities open when Microsoft Teams and Planner collaborate.
After adding an existing plan or building a new one, you will have access to all Planner functionality right in Teams. You can manage Planner without losing functionality – manage boards, track deadlines, work on files without leaving Teams. You can even start a new conversation or a video meeting right from the Planner tab. This improves the work of the project team and the interaction of colleagues with each other.
Each time, the employee will receive a notification directly in the Activity Feed if there have been changes in his tasks card. New tasks, attachments, new comments, etc. Easily stay informed and don’t miss out on project news.
Alright, we figured out the functionality of Planner and how to connect it to the Microsoft Teams environment. But you still spend a lot of time creating a new Planner. You manually drive in each new task, re-attach files, and structure the process. In large organizations, doing many projects at the same time can be maddening. And instead of increasing your productivity, you waste time on repetitive work. Is there a way out? Of course, for this, we suggest using the Microsoft Planner Templates.
Execution time is a key indicator of project success. This is especially important when you need to quickly launch a new project. With the Planner Template, you can easily reduce the time spent creating a board for upcoming tasks. That way, you stay focused on the really important KPIs, and at the same time, you don’t lose the quality of work.
Streamline your workflows quickly and efficiently. With the Planner Template, you can work more efficiently at the start of a new project. This is especially useful for processes of the same type with the same structure. In a few seconds, you will create a working environment for your team with ready-made boards and cards
Oftentimes, in multitasking mode, unstructured boards with tasks can wreak havoc. Your colleagues create tasks without special rules or guidelines, and instead of improving productivity, you end up with clutter and missing out on important steps. With Planner Templates, your project team will receive the pre-built workspace, where everything is clear and standard.
Copy Existing Planner
One use case for templates is to simply copy an existing plan. How does it work?
For example, you create your Planner for a new project once. The next time a new project comes up, you need to re-create the team. And instead of manually adding a new Planner to the required Tab, you can choose the “add an existing Plan” function. Just select the required Planner Template from the list and add it to the new command in one click.
Thus, you can create many Planner Templates for different purposes, copy them into new commands, and optimize your work very easily.
We suggest another more efficient option – copying Planner with Microsoft Teams templates. This technology can help you to improve collaborative processes across your organization. Let us tell you more about this.
With Microsoft Teams Templates, you can easily create dozens of team templates for your organization. Thus, without losing end-users experience, you can structure your workspace in Teams, save time, avoid duplication, and mess of teams. And what about the Planner? Let’s see how it works
Let’s analyze the steps, based on the example of the project manager’s functionality.
First, you create an Original Team for project management. You already know the structure of working with projects in your organization, so you can easily create the channels that will be required in the work on the project.
You can use our example where there are different channels, such as:
You can create not only standard but also private channels for collaboration on important and high-secured files.
Next, you need to add content. Here, you add the Planner as a new Tab as usual. Using all its features listed above, you can create a clear structure with to-do tasks and boards.
And that is not all! Your projects can have various documentation, guidelines, checklists, contract templates, and much more. These documents are used on any project in your organization! Upload them to your team and organize them into folders. Thus, the project team will have easy access to important files on any project.
Okay, the team is ready, what’s next? Next, add this Original Team as a template.
At this stage, you will be able to manage a lot of settings as well as Microsoft Governance:
Static or Dynamic Naming Convention with suffix and prefix. Based on Azure AD Data, this will help you to create the automated rules for your teams’ name, avoid duplication and mess
Approval Workflows allows you to define if a particular user can create the teams from your template or don’t
With Targeting Audience, you can define who can see your templates in the template catalog. Based on Azure AD Data, users can see different Templates depending on their level of access.
Using Permanent Membership when a new team is created from your template, someone in your organization will be added automatically as an owner or member
Enforce Security Setup to manage team privacy and membership policies
After saving, the Project Management Template will be added to your own Templates Catalog. There are dozens of Teams templates stored here to help your organization according to your needs. Project Management, Sales Deal Room, Crisis Management, Departments Collaboration, and much more.
Alright, everything is ready to use! The next time a new project comes up, you, as a manager, will not need to create teams from scratch. You just select the required template, and the fully provisioned team will appear in a matter of seconds.
What will be copied? Standard and private channels, tabs with apps, files and folders, settings, and members. And look at this! The tab with the Planner is also here.
So, in just a few steps, you can scale it across your entire organization. A clear and structured workspace, Strong Governance rules without burdening the IT Department, saving time and improving the productivity of your colleagues
Sounds interesting? Talk to our colleagues to learn more about the SalesTim App and start to use it for free.
By the way, are you worried about protecting your data? Our application has been M365 App certified!
Microsoft Teams is making our work much easier, enabling us to be more productive, collaborate efficiently and always stay up to date with our teams.
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