Should I Use Planner or Project?

Should I Use Planner or Project?

Should I Use Planner or Project?

Does your work involve detailed and intricate projects and collaboration with a team? If yes, then you can benefit from using project management tools, but the question is which one to use?

You may have heard of Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project both of which are used for task list scheduling and used together, these apps can provide tools for many of the key elements of project management. MS Project is more robust than Excel and MS Teams works with MS Project to add a collaboration element to shared work documents, sheets, and projects.

As expected, despite the similarity in function, they both vary in their board format and way of usage. A true project management software is a centralized system for project planning, execution, timeline and budget tracking, and analysis of project goals and accomplishments. A good example of a dedicated project management system is Primavera, and Asana and Basecamp are also widely used for all types of business projects as well. In systems like these, you can manage project according to your chosen project methodology and also create professional Gantt charts and other visuals to track projects.

While Planner is a free tool for simple task management, featuring a board for Kanban methodology allowing team members to work together on the board and have a chart view of the updated list of tasks, Project is a more powerful and dedicated project planner with complex integration allowing the project manager to track the project development and the performance of the development team.

In this article, we will review in detail how the two work and how they differ in terms of planning options, user experience, and what additional lists and additional features are offered by both. 

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Does MS Project Integrate with Planner?

Fortunately, for project development teams MS Project can be integrated with MS Planner allowing teams to connect Project tasks to plans in Planner and track those tasks in Planner. With this integration, project managers can make use of the lightweight Planner to track the minute details of complex projects and retain control over the breakdown structure of the overall work.

This enables the teams to enjoy less complexity of project plans in Project, the task owners to further deconsolidate their tasks in Planner, and the project manager to control lesser number of tasks. Also, project development teams can now create agile projects and track them using board methodologies of Kanban and Scrum, leading to better productivity and experience an improved occupational average growth rate.

Does Microsoft Planner have a Gantt Chart?

No, Microsoft Planner lacks a Gantt Chart. A Gantt Chart is a must-have for projects therefore this is a major downside to Planner. Also, it doesn’t seem to be on the roadmap for Planner either. However, the MS Project which is a paid project management tool has this feature.

Is Microsoft Phasing Out Planner?

Microsoft is rebranding its Planner app as "Tasks." As the rolling out begins, the app name will continue to show as Planner to the users, for some time. From there on, it will temporarily be changed to ‘Tasks by Planner and To Do and will eventually be completely rebranded as Tasks.

It is available in Teams desktop, web, as well as mobile clients and it will allow users to organize and monitor their individual tasks and team tasks in a single app.

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Is Microsoft Planner a Project Management Tool?

Precisely put, yes, Microsoft Planner is a project management tool. It is available free of cost with a subscription to both the Office 365 bundle as well as Microsoft 365 bundle.

The Planner allows users to create and manage plans, assign, organize and monitor tasks, collaborate with their team members files, share files, set deadlines, and stay updated about the progress of tasks and performance of their colleagues. Updates regarding task developments are received via emails as well as monitored through a visual dashboard.  

Is Microsoft Planner Worth Using?

Although mostly task scheduling and project management tools are targeted particularly towards team leads and project managers, but anybody who is part of a taskforce can benefit from them.

Microsoft Planner is an easy-to-use, free of cost task scheduling and management app, which is included with the paid subscription to the Office 365 bundle. It can be conveniently accessed from your computer and even your mobile phone. The Planner offers its users a virtual hub to curate and organize plans, collaborate with their work teams, assign duties, and track the progress of team members using the Office dashboards.  

Users can utilize the calendar feature to track the progress made on assigned tasks and monitor if the milestones are being met timely. Moreover, using the Planner, team leaders can ensure that budget limits are met and do not exceed the estimate, as many project management professionals will admit that almost half of the projects exceed the planned budget.

That said, any status updates made regarding any milestone by any team member are share with the whole team, making information sharing and collaboration easy and hence Planner a worthy choice.

Should I Use Planner or Project?

To know which project management tool is the right choice for you, you will need to evaluate the various constraints of each and see which better suits your work and team requirements. Compare usage, costs, and formats. For instance, Planner is free of cost while Project is a paid tool, however you can use a free trial version of Project before committing to the paid version.

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What's the Difference Between Microsoft Planner and Project?

While MS Planner is a free project planner, Microsoft Project is a paid tool with the basic version costing around $10 per user per month and the Office 365 Enterprise costing approximately $55 per user per month. The difference in costs is suggestive of the difference in functionalities, so read on to learn more about the two. 

The Planner serves as a virtual, highly visual centralized hub enabling the successful collaboration and work-communication of teams. It is specifically fashioned for ad-hoc teams. Planner offers considerable competition to its rivals like Asana, Trello, and Smartsheet.

Meanwhile, Project focuses on bigger projects requiring precise estimates and higher collaboration. It allows you to send notifications from the entire Office 365 Group: MS Outlook, Teams, Planner, etc. There is a lot of similarity in the features of both, such as the tracking ability and the board view.

However, unlike Office 365 Planner which is a part of Office 365, MS Project is a part of the Project Online and Project for Desktop family and it lies somewhere between an easy, laid-back planner and a heavy-duty planner. Moreover, Project offers a Timeline View for all the projects and the option to submit the actual time taken for the project completion. MS Project is designed to have a higher capability of planning, maintaining, and tracking the project timeline.

Comparing project tools is a great way to determine exactly that your company needs to streamline projects and work more effectively, and many companies looking at MS tools also consider those offered by Google Workspace. Some of the apps from Google are quite comparable to those from Microsoft. While Google does not have a dedicated project management app, it does offer apps in their Workspace suite that many companies used for managing projects. Google Sheets is a sharable version of Excel, making it a good tools for teams collaborating on projects. Google Sheets is often compared to MS Planner, but Planner is more akin to Google Tasks in functionality.

Therefore, it’s safe to give the final verdict of Microsoft Planner being a user-friendly and easy planner with sufficient capabilities and MS Project being the perfect balance of technical capabilities provided with easier interface, enabling less tech-savvy teams to manage work in tech-oriented environments.

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