How can we improve Planner?

Provide the ability to create Plan templates with existing tasks that can then be used to create a new plan

Rather than having to create every plan from scratch it would be good if the system allowed for the creation of Templates with pre-existing tasks (like in Word/Excel). This would allow a new plan and its tasks to be created from a template saving a lot of time.

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    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Matthew Kirk shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Scheduled  ·  AdminPlanner Team (Admin, Planner) responded  · 

    Thank you so much for your examples and ideas!

    To give an update, we’ve completed our first step of this deliverable, which is the ability to copy a task within a board. We have now planned and scheduled work to deliver copy plan functionality! We have a few more work items to complete before the end of this year, but hope to begin work on copy plan soon after. Your feedback has been very helpful in understanding how we can best deliver this feature.

    As we work on copy plan, we will be exploring how a template experience can further help Planner users get things done. What are the ways in which you would like to use a template in Planner?

    -The Planner Team

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I work in an environment where tasks are clearly defined from one project to another for 80-90% of the project's lifecycle. That ability to create a standardized plan would assist our programming and statistics teams in delivering a consistant product and perform similar work in a consistent manner.

      • Jon Rubow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even an import from Excel would be nice. it would probably even make things easier from our end. We use the App4Pro bolt-on right now to import template projects since it allows us to assign users to tasks in the file before we import. Copy & Paste makes it nice and quick for many of the tasks.

      • Jon Rubow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For us, we have projects that we do for customers that have the same main X number of tasks that need to be tracked and completed. Having a template will allow us to quickly create projects each time that follow those same X number to tasks without having to enter them all each time. Right now there are about 30 or so steps. We would just then need to make the individual adjustments, but having the core steps entered would be great.

      • Steven Adeff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As an example, we have a project type that we perform for many customers that has distinct repeatable steps regardless of customer. The ability to create a template plan with these steps as tasks and use that to create a new plan for the latest customer would save us a lot of time and headache.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        here is another example, when our company hires new employee, there are rutine tasks in the Onboarding procedure that we have to go through (IT access, registration, accès card, welcome tour, training, etc.). Those tasks are always the same but might be performed by different employees.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have an example! I work for the University of Pittsburgh school of social work, and we host an annual Older Youth Retreat each year. This is a relatively big process so we use an excel spreadsheet of a timeline assigning tasks to folks. This is horrible, and we have started using Planner. However, this report is crazy long and would be AWESOME if I could just upload this as a template and it auto-recognized the tasks maybe tagged by email address or something based on who is assigned to it. I have provided a link to the document as an example. I look forward to your ideas! Very exciting stuff!

        https://pitt-my.sharepoint.com/personal/mcm141_pitt_edu/_layouts/15/guestaccess.aspx?docid=0b9e9c540c8974944b99510d838b4a135&authkey=AddlBaV3zBOpFDfy_YD5iuw&expiration=2017-11-09T05%3A00%3A00.000Z&e=cccf666937b246eaa77bbf0c8e180056

      • LOrlando commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        In the same boat as many others here. I open a group for each specific project - each project will always start with the same exact tasks of which there are hundreds - the due dates move base on the deadline. Would like a template project that we create with tasks and who is assigned to the task and when it is due (i.e weeks/days or months out from deadline). Would also really like it if once the project is started in planner, if the final due date moves, the corresponding dates shift as well. I also noticed this idea use to be on your road map but fell off months ago... I see it says "Planned" above, why is this not on the road map? Also, as others have mention, we cannot actively incorporate Planner into our groups until this feature is available.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree with the commenter that said if you combine duplicate (or near duplicate) ideas on this topic, then it would have >5,000 votes. TEMPLATES are CRITICAL to the USE of PLANNER. Please provide this feature. Thank you,

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I need to duplicate same tasks in differents plans. I can't use Planner if this option is no possible soon.

      • Kyle Harloff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have a major project coming up soon and need be able to copy templates or it will take me months to get all of the info input to Planner. Am going to have to use something else if we don't get this soon.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We'll use the planner to plan recurring monthly tasks. It takes a long time to set up. Will not use this until we have the option to copy an entire plan to use again. Can't go through the detailed setup each month.

      • Damon Edmondson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is simply...a must have. We will not adopt and deploy this product until we have the ability to duplicate whole plans as templates.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is the same as other requests. Merge them together. If we merge this and the other similar requests together, the number of votes puts this at the top of the list by a huge margin.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I provide implementation planning and consulting for IT projects with different clients. The processes are often very similar and the effort to build up hundreds of tasks each time is frustrating – especially when they are the same tasks you did in the last three projects.

        When using planner for repetitive projects/plans it would be useful if the following items could be saved and reused as a template:
        Buckets – these are used as specific personas/roles on the project but could be anything
        Tasks – the task name, description and checklist items are often common project to project. Dates, assignments and attachments would be project specific and not copied.

      • Damian Castillo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just checking in again to see what progress has been made and I am honestly amazed. This must be the least supported project at Microsoft. Without project templates, this app is almost useless for business use.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        For Planner templates, we need the ability to manage repetitive workflows. We work in the legal/insurance industry. We have the same workflows for each individual claim. While it is the same workflow (tasks/buckets/etc.) for the claims, we need the ability create and individualize those workflows for each particular claim to insert due dates, check-lists, and communicate on. We have about 6 or 7 different complex workflows that get used frequently on the claims. The ability to create templates would make Planner INCREDIBLY USEFUL. Unfortunately, without templates, I really cannot use Planner because it is way too inefficient to create those same workflows on each claim. I hope I am explaining this understandably. Please contact me if you need more information.

        I really hope Planner can make this happen, and soon. Thank you,

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A specific application is a yearly event, like a Gala or major Show, that requires many sub groups/teams of individuals from a variety of departements (ie finance, promotions, marketing, operations, sales) etc. The themes and particulars may change, but the general activities don't. I know this starts to creep into MS Project territory. The reason Planner is valuable for this is the ease of use and learning. Project requires a power user to be effective, whereas Planner allows even occasional users to immediately participate in a project or event. Having a template for a specific event or project that recurs yearly, quarterly or whatever would save a lot of work and duplication. It would also avoid having to delete the old data out of the new plan, as the buckets and tasks could be set up without specific content/dates/assignments, etc. In other words, the task is there (ie book the caterer) without the details of who or when...etc. etc...

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