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Microsoft Teams + Planner Makes for Product Management Light

Not every organization needs a full-blown product management solution. Microsoft Teams and Planner integrate seamlessly as a lightweight product management and development work management system all in one.

I often joke that Microsoft Office was the number one tool for application delivery. The extended Microsoft Office suite including Teams and Planner has me saying that completely seriously. My team, Application Development and Management, has been experimenting with Microsoft Planner off and on since I started at Info-Tech.

We recently got Teams as well. The combination was the integrated product and work management tool we needed to track our blueprints from idea to backlog, roadmap, delivery, production, and retirement. Add in Forms and Flow for intake and SharePoint as a repository and we have a one-stop shop for all of our team content. No more midnight strolls through the SharePoint graveyard looking for the files lost there.

The combination is robust enough to meet our immediate needs, as you can see from our backlog and roadmap above. Microsoft has also shared its product backlog and progress for Teams and Planner in User Voice.

There are valuable new features such as Plan Templates, Outlook Task Integration, and Planner Hub, with roll-up reporting across plans with ready access to the team’s work. Two more features that would make the combo a threat to other light solutions are custom fields and drag and drop between Planner and Teams. You can add your vote for these features by clicking through as well!

Our Take

With the rise of DevOps in partnership with Agile, tools have become a critical part of a team’s work management practices. Physical boards are great if you’re all in one place, but teams who are distributed or on the road frequently need more. Development teams with a tight budget can also use the combination of Teams and Planner for Scrum or other Agile methods.

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