In the modern workplace, answering the question of how to manage project or product delivery tasks is no longer clear-cut. With increased flexibility over location and practices, many teams find that dogmatically following an approach prescribed for them by Prince 2 or Scrum doesn't give them what they need.
As the practices surrounding delivery change, so do the demands on the tools used by teams. The choices are genuinely endless. Selecting the right planning or visualisation tool ends up being more about convenience and core capabilities than additional features that will never be used.
For example, teams who may not need fully featured pipeline integrations, MI Dashboards and Product backlogs offered within the likes of Azure DevOps or Jira may look to tools like Trello instead. They might experiment with something like Clickup or Monday.com.
A winning tool is the one that does enough to support a team's product, project or team planning demands but often it's used because it's the easiest to onboard and at the lowest cost. If you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription this is the space where Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Lists come into their own.
Each of these tools is straightforward. They offer much the same capabilities as options such as Trello and yet they are easily available, secure and so long as your licence supports it, instantly useable across your Microsoft 365 estate.
The biggest advantage however comes when you want to extend your planning capabilities. Perhaps you'd like to record and track time spent dynamically on a shop floor. Maybe you'd want to democratise work and enable remote team members to select tasks from a plan at a point that suits their working pattern or time zone. With MS lists and Planner, you have a wealth of extensibility options at your disposal - already bundled into the Power Platform. We'll explore some of these towards the end of this playbook.
To help you choose the right option for your situation, this playbook will focus on:
- How to set up a Kanban Board in MS Planner and use its features to support and visualise the flow of work through your system
- How to manage Projects and create tasks using MS Lists
- Ideas to help you start extending your solution
We hope you'll get some great insight into the options on offer within Microsoft 365 and look forward to hearing about your own use cases.