The Pitfalls of Provisioning Planner Plans in Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups come with a Planner plan, right? That’s what you’d think, but when you provision an Office 365 Group the plan is not automatically created.

The Office 365 Group plan is actually created the first time Planner is accessed from the Group menu in Outlook, as shown below:

Planner Link

New Plan

This is great if you use the Groups functionality of Outlook, but what if you use Microsoft Teams as the front end of your collaboration experience?

If you try adding the default Office 365 Group plan to a Planner tab on a Teams Channel of an Office 365 Group where no plan has been created, the only option you have is to create a new plan or go through the Outlook interface above.

What people will generally do is create a new plan, which will probably be called the same name as the Office 365 Group unless it’s a plan for that specific channel. This is all fine until someone clicks the Planner option from the Outlook Groups menu, at which point the default plan will be created and your Office 365 Group now has two plans with the same name, which is going to be confusing for new and non-technical Office 365 users.



If you go to the Planner site and look carefully in the Favorite plans section, there is a subtle difference but this is not shown in the Favorites and Recent Plans lists in the left hand menu.

Duplicate plans

This difference is also not shown in Teams when adding a new Planner tab:

Two plans with the same name

The best way to fix multiple plans using the same name is to either rename one of the plans from the Planner interface or delete the plan that was created by mistake, if its not being used.

The takeaway from from this blog post is, if you’re rolling out Office 365 Groups using Microsoft Teams as the front end, which many organisations are doing, make sure you understand the Planner plan creation process and incorporate it into you Office 365 Group creation steps and governance framework.

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