With over 100 million monthly active users, Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most popular web-based business applications. Office 365 is a cross-department and team collaboration tool and a program for communicating with external users. In addition to collaboration, Office 365 can help employees and teams manage their tasks and projects more efficiently.
We will examine several Office 365 project management tools in this article and advise you on how to utilise them for your benefit optimally. Leaning on our Office 365 consulting experience, we will explain how each tool addresses different project and task management problems and ultimately help your team succeed.
Must have Microsoft Office 365 Project Management Tools
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the three main components of the Microsoft 365 suite, and it’s safe to assume that you must be already familiar with them. All of these tools will help you finish your project, but none of them is genuinely appropriate for project management.
Emailing Word documents and Excel spreadsheets back and forth between team members is simple, but these apps won’t help you keep track of projects and which projects require attention. That’s where project management tools come in.
Here are 8 tools you may use for project management in Microsoft Office.
Microsoft To-Do is a cloud-based task management program that allows users to create lists, reminders, and notes. You can access the app for free on mobile or desktop platforms. To-Do can also connect with Outlook Tasks as part of the Office 365 suite so that your team members can synchronise their to-do lists with their inbox task management spaces.
The only chink in the To-Do’s armour is that collaboration is a bit limited because to share a list with other users, they need to have a Microsoft To-Do installed to view or edit it.
2. Outlook Tasks
Thanks to Outlook Tasks, Office 365 users can benefit from personalised task management and project management tools. Employees and groups that prefer to manage their activities within their email application will appreciate this tool.
With multiple attributes, Outlook offers a rich representation of tasks. Users can also follow their tasks on the calendar and share them with team members. Tasks and To Do sync with each other.
3. Microsoft Planner
Microsoft Planner is a vital Office 365 project management tool. Teams can manage task buckets and organise projects using Planner. Users can make, follow, and prioritise activities and plans and receive fast reporting via board and chart views.
Planner enables users to collaborate on different projects using the SharePoint library, leave feedback on projects using Outlook Groups, schedule events in Calendar and take notes using OneNote.
However, Planner doesn’t provide much reporting across projects, and all users must have a Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Business Essentials, or Enterprise account to view project plans.
Office 365 subscribers can use SharePoint Online’s SharePoint Task Lists for project management. Users can make lists of tasks and subtasks and view their status when distributed over a project timetable.
The users can also manage tasks, assign resources, and access a variety of task views in addition to these basic features (including Gantt charts, late tasks, my tasks, and upcoming tasks).
Multiple timelines are not available in a single task, so this tool is best for smaller projects. Reporting is also tricky without customisation, which makes this tool most suitable for projects with more minor requirements.
5. SharePoint Project Sites
You can manage your project from one location by setting up a project site. Tasks can record actions, todos, and deadlines; calendar functions can handle events, and document storage can help you keep track of everything.
Everyone can edit documents from your SharePoint site homepage. You can sync your team calendars and events with Outlook.
The only downside of this office 365 project management tool is its cost. Although some templates are free, getting them implemented into your site can be expensive if you have specific customisation requirements.
6. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a communications hub in Microsoft 365 that includes chat capabilities that function as message boards to keep your team working efficiently and effectively.
Additionally, Teams can record conference calls, and each team can have its channels. You can create a team for your employees and separate channels for each client if your organisation has, for example, a creative team that collaborates on all of your client projects
The first thing you can do to improve Microsoft Teams’ project management capabilities is to integrate the Planner tab. The Planner tab will enable you to have all of the Planner’s features enhanced by the team-based collaboration power in a single interface.
7. Microsoft Power Automate
Although Microsoft Power Automate isn’t truly a tool in and of itself, it is a helpful add-on if you want to utilise Microsoft 365 as a project management platform. Power Automate is a no-code/low-code automation tool that can help users tie various tools and features together effortlessly.
For instance, when you receive a project-related email from your boss, you can add it to your To-Do list. Additionally, you can automatically save email attachments to OneDrive or save Microsoft form responses to SharePoint.
It is an add-on that is free and has a large number of templates to assist you in creating the necessary links between applications that you frequently use.
8. Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft Power Automate won’t help you manage projects on its own. However, Power Automate can be a tremendous help if you work with several programmes. You can seamlessly automate small tasks and interactions across multiple Office 365 applications using Power Automate. For instance, you can add a task to your To-Do list when you get an important email, make a new event in Outlook for new tasks in Planner, or even send an email with a summary of all unfinished Planner tasks.
The advantages of utilising one or more of these office 365 project management tools extend beyond projects and are helpful in various contexts. The seamless integration of these tools can boost output, reduce the backlog, and improve project management efficiency on both the client and company sides.
Your specific task and project management requirements, team sizes, and collaboration preferences will determine the tools you should use. In this approach, you can use Microsoft Teams and Planner capabilities if you work in a small team and don’t require sophisticated project management features. However, custom SharePoint project sites and Project Online features will be necessary if project management is your primary activity.
Our team of experts at Neologix can help you choose the best toolset, explain how to integrate it into your collaborative environment, and customise it if you have any particular requirements. All you need to do is get in touch with us, and we will help your team and your organisation to leverage Microsoft Office 365 for project management.