Jeremy Cottino

Il est bien plus beau de savoir quelque chose de tout que de savoir tout d'une chose. [Blaise Pascal]

Presenting Office 365 Planner


So, what is Office 365 Planner?

Announced by Office 365 Team, on September 22, 2015, Office 365 Planner (originally codenamed Highlander) is presented as a tool which:
“offers people a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files (using Office 365 Groups), chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.”
Office 365 Planner is available for the following O365 plans:
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4, E5,
  • Office 365 Education E3, E4,
  • Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Office 365 Business Premium
Microsoft positioned Planner between applications such as Wunderlist (acquired on June 2, 2015) for task management and PPM applications (Project Server or Project Online).

Illustration from Microsoft Mechanics YouTube channel


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How to change the SharePoint title bar text

One of the most frequent question I’m asked, is, if it’s possible to change the SharePoint title bar text, being on SharePoint or Project Server.


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How to remove (blank) values in an Excel Pivot Table

You can call it perfectionism, but I hate when my reports are not looking good. One of the most irritating element are those (blank) text you may have on your Excel pivot tables.


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Managing risks and issues with Project Server 2013 (or Project Online)

As part of your projects’ management, you will most probably have to manage risks and issues.
The goal of this article is to show how risks and issues (but also documents or deliverables) can be managed within Project Server 2013 (or Project Online) and linked with Projects, Tasks or any other assets.
Before we start, let see how the Project Management Institute (PMI) defines issue and risk:
Issue: A point or matter in question or in dispute, or a point or matter that is not settled and is under discussion or over which there are opposing views or disagreements.
Risk: An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives.
Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide) – Fifth Edition.

In fewer words, risks might occur and we need to manage this eventuality, where issues are events that are already happening and we need to manage consequences.

My project
For the demo, we will use a simple project called [Related items project], that has the following schedule.


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Use baseline and track your work

Let me tell you this story of a project manager; he spent time with his team to compile their project planning, then proudly print it on A0 page, and pin it on the wall behind his desk. This is for me one of the most common mistakes a beginner does on project management. Why? Because the time you print the schedule and pin it on the wall, the schedule is not anymore up to date. You planning is alive, people will make work and progression on some tasks, others tasks might be delayed… It is important to track the work done in order to answer the question “how are we progressing compared to original plan?”.
A snapshot of the original plan should be saved in order to allow later comparison. This is what we call the Baseline.

Once your original planning is done, you can save your first baseline, by clicking on Project > Set Baseline > Set Baseline.


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How to estimate effort, duration or cost?

The practice of estimating in project management is one of the most challenging. Whether you’re trying to figure out project effort, duration or cost, given the inherent uncertainty of projects and their uniqueness, we often end up “guesstimating.” This article provides techniques to use in order to be as accurate as possible in doing your estimates. While I focus on effort estimation, the same techniques apply to duration or cost estimation.
Let’s start with a reminder about how project time management is articulated, according to the PMI® PMBOK® Guide & Standards, Fifth Edition:


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