Working with Planner for Project Controls

Planner provides you with a tool for collecting and managing your project controls data.  Depending on how you choose to set up and use Planner it can support the following:

  • Plans with Tasks
  • Cost and Resources
  • Risks
  • Issues
  • Actions and Decisions

Comprehensive video tutorials are provided as Planner Help and you can find them here, these pages are intended to provide guidance on the best practice use of Planner as it is set up in default configuration.

Planner, Project Controls

Separate guidance is provided for each of the three main Planner modes or tabs from the ‘Guidance’ button at the footer of the appropriate data form as follows:

Tasks This tab allows you to assemble your project plan which consists of a set of tasks.  Tasks may have duration information and also resource and cost information associated with them.

Risks This tab allows you to assemble your risk register and associated response actions.

Issues This tab allows you to collect issues for your project and their associated responses.  The list of Issue types often includes Actions and Decisions.

Planner file configuration

Depending on its purpose the Planner file you open may have all three project control tabs visible or some other combinations.  Typical combinations are as follows:

Small project – Combined Planner file supports all three tabs for full data collection.

Large project – separate files for Schedule/Plan, Risks and Issues, possible also separate Decisions and Action Registers.  On your larger projects it is possible that Plan isn’t used and an MS Project plan or some other file type is used instead.

Other – use as a RAID log is quite common with just Risk and Issue tabs in use.  You then use a separate Plan file either in Planner of another format.

The choice of tabs can be set up in the Options-Program View area of Planner (unless this has been locked by the template generator, note it will be open in standard PIAB templates).

Customising Project Controls in Planner

You can easily personalise Planner.  You can change the resource model and mode of % complete calculation.  You can also change the risk and issue types, categories and calculation basis.  You can change this in individual files for one project. You can also change the template versions of files in the method template.  Your personalisation’s are then used every time on each new project.  You can also lock your template file to stop others changing it.

As well as personalizing Planner you can also personalize the guidance.  You can produce your own guidance and host it yourself on an intranet site also Sharepoint or something similar.  You then just change the link location in Planner that the Guidance button should point to.  You change the link locations in Options.