15.11.2023

Microsoft: task management and PM tools merged with AI integration

Seamless integration of all of the complexity levels of project planning in a single tool – from individual task planning to multiple project and portfolio management.

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Good news for all project managers and teams looking to optimize and streamline their working processes: As announced at Ignite 2023, Microsoft is planning to merge three popular tools to create a holistic solution for task and project management. This tool, the new Planner, promises seamless integration of various aspects of project management in a single user-friendly tool.
 

Three tools merged into new Planner

The three tools that will be merged into the new Planner are To Do, Planner, and Project for the Web.

  • To Do is the Microsoft solution for individual task management at the operational level. It is integrated into Teams. It enables employees to organize their tasks, set deadlines for themselves, and get reminders.
  • Planner offers smaller project teams options for structuring and assigning upcoming tasks and work packages on a Kanban board in a visually appealing format.
  • The most extensive of the three tools is Project for the Web, an advanced project management tool that supports organization of complex projects with functions such as dependencies, expense allocation, and various visualization options such as the Gantt chart or Kanban board.
     
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Now, the new Planner is introducing a solution that sets these three areas in relation to each other: Based on the complexity of the project and the number of people involved, the suitable base structure can be selected from various project templates with different functional scopes. Both the familiar planner board and the Gannt charts from Project for the Web remain, in a standardized and intuitive user interface.

 

 

Task automatically added to personal list

When a task is assigned to a team member, that task is automatically added to the personal My Tasks list. This means your employees have a full overview of all upcoming tasks from all current activities and projects at all times. There is no longer any need to synchronize various mailboxes, lists, and boards manually, and fewer tasks are overlooked, which enhances efficiency while reducing stress.

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The merger of the three tools to form the new Planner creates the possibility of combining the By merging the three tools into the new Planner, it is possible to combine the perspectives of high-level program and portfolio management, project (and multi-project) management, and individual task management in a single tool. This eliminates the need to switch between tools, and all the information from the operational task management level can be easily consolidated and made available for purposes such as reporting.

Microsoft Copilot integrated

The other far-reaching change accompanying the new Planner is the integration of Microsoft’s proprietary AI assistant Copilot into the new solution. Copilot promises to make project management simpler and more efficient. With simple instructions in natural language, Copilot can do things like creating project plans and work breakdown structures on its own and fully defining tasks, including subtasks. Beyond that, it is can automatically write and send out status emails, saving project managers valuable time and effort. Further interactions with the co-pilot are expected in the future.
 

Copilot in Microsoft Planner

Conclusion: a holistic PM tool for project teams

With the merging of To Do, Planner, and Project for the Web into the new Planner and the accompanying integration of AI-supported project management through Copilot, project teams now have a single holistic solution for all levels of project management, from individual task management to individual and multiple project management and beyond to overarching program and portfolio management. Team members and project managers can look forward to a more efficient and user-friendly working environment where tasks and projects are easier to manage. The new Planner promises to be a seamless and efficient solution for the challenges of modern project management. It will bring lasting change in how teams work together and implement projects.

Additional links

Microsoft Technologies
CS Webinar: Microsoft 365 Copilot

Contacts

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Lukas Graf

Consultant - Project & Performance Management Solutions

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Dominik Wolgast

Consultant - Project & Performance Management Solutions