Project 2010: Introducing the Team Planner

Hello--I’m Jon Kaufthal, Program Manager on the Project team. A key focus of mine for our upcoming Project Professional 2010 release is the new Team Planner, and I’m excited to introduce you to Team Planner today.

The main idea behind Team Planner is combining the power of the Gantt chart with the simplicity and familiarity of the Outlook calendar. Team Planner lets you:

1. Easily see your team’s work laid out over time

2. Quickly spot problems

3. Drag and drop to resolve those problems

So, what does this look like in practice? Let’s imagine you start with this in Gantt:


To switch to Team Planner, you can click the View tab in the ribbon and then choose Team Planner. At that point, you’ll see this:


A few things to notice here:

1. Each team member’s work is represented in a single row, making it easy to glance across the timescale and see who does what when

2. Overallocations are highlighted in red

In the example above, you can see that Jon is double-booked for part of that first week of October. Luckily, we seem to have at least two good options for how to deal with it.

First, we could move the task in time. In this case, it’s OK for the “confirm speakers” task to happen two days later, so I can simply drag it over to the right a bit. Once I do that, I see:


Notice that the row has shrunk down, and the red is now gone. The work remains assigned to Jon, but moves out to happen two days later.

Alternatively, Brian has some free time and is equipped to do this task as well. It looks like he’s out from Wednesday through Friday of that week, but he has two days open at the beginning of the week. Since that’s all that’s needed for this task, we can simply drag it down one row and a few days to the left. Once I do that, I see:


So we’ve now reassigned the task to Brian, and it’s beginning a few days earlier.

These are just a few basic examples to illustrate the power and simplicity of Team Planner. Making these sorts of schedule adjustments in Team Planner is a simple visual process, letting you focus your attention on keeping your plans on track.

There’s much more to cover in Team Planner, including:

· The unassigned and unscheduled zones

· Automatically resolving overallocations

· Updating your status directly in the view

· Customizing the look and feel of the view: colors, sizing, hiding sections, filtering, grouping

· Seeing/editing more details through tooltips, right-click, double click, and split views

…but I wanted to stick to the basics for this first post. Let us know what you think!