Microsoft Planner for admins

Your teams will get the most out of Microsoft Planner If everyone uses it to schedule tasks, collaborate on files, and stay on top of planned work. As an admin, there are a few things you can do to help people stay productive.

In this article:

How do you get Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner is included with Office 365 Enterprise (E1, E3, E4, and E5), Office 365 Education (E1, E3, E4, and E5), Office 365 Business Essentials, and Office 365 Business Premium, and is designed to work with several different browsers. For more information see the system requirements for Office.

Each user who has one of the Office 365 plans mentioned above has a Microsoft Planner license that is enabled by default. An admin can easily manage planner licenses to add or remove licenses for individual users, or to disable Planner to all users.

Microsoft Planner will not be available to users by default in the General Availability (GA) update in the following subscription plans:

  • Office 365 operated by 21Vianet

  • Office 365 Government

You can use the Office 365 Roadmap to get the latest news about upcoming availability.

Introducing Microsoft Planner in your organization

Here are some resources that you can use to get your organization started with Microsoft Planner.

Before you announce Microsoft Planner

Make sure you understand the relationship between Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Planner. If your organization is already using Office 365 Groups, each group will now also have a plan, much like it already has a calendar, a notebook, and a OneDrive location.

If someone creates a new plan in Microsoft Planner, they're also creating a new Office 365 Group. Be aware that deleting a plan will also permanently delete the Office 365 Group, and everything associated with the group. This includes files stored in the group's OneDrive location, conversations, and the group's notebook.

Note: For more information about Office 365 Groups, see Learn about Office 365 groups.

Announcing Microsoft Planner

When you announce Microsoft Planner, consider pointing users to the following articles to give them a head start:

Using Microsoft Planner on a day-to-day basis

As your users start diving into Microsoft Planner, they may have questions about deleting tasks and plans, signing in, marking plans as favorites, setting task preview pictures, and collaborating with their teammates.

Frequently asked questions about managing Microsoft Planner

The following is a list of common questions that Microsoft Planner admins might ask.

Planner is enabled by default, but you may need to control which users you want to assign Microsoft Planner licenses to. For example, your organization may not be ready to begin using Planner, and you need to temporarily remove access to some or all of your users until you are ready. To do this, you can assign or remove licenses either through the Office 365 admin center or though Office 365 PowerShell.

You can also see How to use Office 365 PowerShell to manage Microsoft Planner licenses for more information and to see sample PowerShell scripts for Planner license management.

Note: When running the scripts in Office 365 PowerShell, the DisabledPlans value for Microsoft Planner is PROJECTWORKMANAGEMENT.

An admin Office 365 administrator may want to control which users have the ability to create Office 365 Groups in your tenant, and may want to only allow the ability to create Office 365 Groups to specific users who use specific Office 365 services that require Group creation, such as Microsoft Planner.

Controlling who can create Office 365 Groups is also an additional safeguard in restricting Microsoft Planner use for unlicensed users. While removing a license from an Office 365 user will no longer display the Microsoft Planner tile to that user, they can still access Microsoft Planner through the URL ( Disabling their ability to create Office 365 Groups further restricts their ability to use Microsoft Planner, since in addition, they won't be able to create plans.

Admins are able to control this through the use of Azure Active Directory (AD) PowerShell. These cmdlets allow you to:

  1. Disable Group creation for all users in your tenant

  2. Then allow specific users to create Groups (for example, all Planner users) when Group creation is disabled

Important: Disabling Group creation across your tenant will affect users of other Office 365 services that need Group creation, such as Exchange Online. Make sure to account for all users that need the ability to create Groups when configuring this setting.

For more information, see Manage Office 365 Group creation for Microsoft Planner.

If you are interested in having your notification emails come from a custom email domain, follow the steps described in Multi-domain support for Office 365 Groups - Admin help.

If you previously had signed up for Office 365 Planner Preview using a promotional code, you may receive an email announcing that your preview will expire and Planner will be disabled and deleted. This won’t happen if you’re enrolled in an Office 365 plan that includes Planner. If Planner is part of your Office 365 subscription, your tenant and user data will not be affected.

You can ignore the expiration email for Planner Preview if you’re using Office 365 Enterprise (E1, E3, E4, and E5), Office 365 Education (E1, E3, E4, and E5), Office 365 Business Essentials, or Office 365 Business Premium. All of these include Office 365 Planner as part of their plan.

If you aren’t on an Office 365 plan that includes Planner, you can sign up for one before your expiration date, and your data will be unaffected.

For more information, see this post on the Office 365 Planner support blog.

If you are using Microsoft Planner in a hybrid environment in which your users may have Exchange Online or on-premises mailboxes, note that:

  • Planner has full functionality when your user has an Exchange Online mailbox

  • Planner users without Exchange online mailboxes may have the following issues:

    • Users may have issues with viewing or adding comments to a task.

    • Users may have issues viewing their Favorite plans in Planner.

For more information, see KB article 3169632.

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