The Future of Project Management in the Microsoft Stack

The project management and portfolio management space has been crowded for decades, with no single solution “owning” the space. While MS Project could make an argument for the leader position, the most common tool actually used for project management schedule building and planning is Excel. With the expansion of cloud-based solutions, however, there seems to be a trend toward kanban list management tools, which better fit the agile project management needs employed by many organizations. Microsoft long talked about a re-factored PM solution, and began working on a solution for SharePoint and Office 365 called “Project Highlander.” And then, on September 22nd this year, the Office 365 team announced the Planner “experience,” their answer to the Project-lite needs of customers.

CollabTalk tweetjam Oct 2015Is this what customers want? Having a kanban-based task and list management solution is exciting, and the public response has been generally positive, but what are the gaps? That’s the topic of this month’s CollabTalk tweetjam, which takes place Monday, October August 26th at 9am PST, bringing the community together once again to hash it out over Twitter to discuss the topic “Re-imagining Project Management Workloads in Office 365.” You’ll hear from a panel of experts, as well as interested members of the community, as they share opinions and customer experiences on what they are excited about – or concerned about – surrounding the latest Planner news, and how their organizations, partners, and customers are preparing for the latest release. If you’re interested in hearing from a huge panel of experts on this topic, simply follow along on Twitter using the #CollabTalk hashtag, or join the conversation at

If you’ve never participated in one of these tweetjams, they can be a lot of fun – and for those like me who do a lot of blogging, they are also a great source of material for future posts. Within each hour-long session using the Twitter UI of your choice (, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twubs, whatever) we will go through a series of questions over the course of the hour, responding to Q1, Q2, Q3 and so forth with A1, A2, A3 and always including the #CollabTalk hashtag with your answers. Feel free to reply as often (or as little) as you’d like, ask your own follow up questions, share relevant links, retweet others, and engage with the audience.

The questions we will discuss during the session include:

  • When SharePoint tasks were deprecated, how did people respond?
  • How are end users using Office 365 for project management workloads today?
  • Why doesn't Microsoft "own" the project management tool space?
  • Is there a need for Project Server-lite within O365?
  • With the rise of Wunderlist, Trello, and others, has kanban become the standard?
  • Will Office 365 Planner be too complex for end users, too limited for PMs?
  • How do PowerBI and other analytics tools play into Microsoft's long-term strategy?

Participating on this panel are a number of MVPs and experts on SharePoint and Office 365. Of course, this is open to the public, so please join in the discussion!

  • Treb Gatte (@tgatte), Project Server MVP and principal at Tumble Road
  • Haniel Croitoru (@hcroitoru), lead consultant at 2toLead
  • Mike McLean (@mikemcleanlive), senior program manager at Microsoft
  • Brian Kennemer (@briankennemer), principal consultant at Projectified Consulting
  • Prasana Adavi (@prasannaadavi), Project MVP and sr. project and portfolio management consultant at Moen Inc.
    • Dan Holme (@danholme), Office365 MVP, evangelist, and co-founder of ITUnity  
    • Owen Allen (@owenallen), Office 365 technology specialist at Microsoft
    • Brian Culver (@SPbrianculver), SharePoint MCM and founder, president of Expert Point Solutions
    • Erica Toelle (@EricaToelle), business development manager at Protiviti 
    • Stacy Deere-Strole (@sldeere), owner of Focal Point Solutions 
    • Agnes Molnar (@molnaragnes), SharePoint MVP, founder and managing consultant at Search Explained 
    • Brett Hill (@bretthill), Office365 MVP and manager of technical marketing at Riverbed Technology 
    • Kelvin Kirby (@kjkirbu), ceo of Technology Associates
    • Jeff Shuey (@jshuey), founder NuNalu
    • Gina Montgomery (@ginammontgomery), vp of corporate strategy at Softmart
    • Richard Harbridge (@rharbridge), cto at 2toLead
    • Patrick Curran (@pcfromdc), director, federal group at Plan et Technologies
    • Bjoern Rapp (@bjoern_rapp), SharePoint MVP and senior advisor at Steria 
    • Tamara Bredemus (@tamarabred), director of collaborative services at City of Minneapolis
    • Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), branding expert and author, founder of PixelMill  
    • Jeremy Thake (@jthake), senior product marketing manager at Microsoft
    • Eric Riz (@rizinsights), SharePoint MVP and ceo of Empty Cubicle   
    • Jared Shockley (@jshoq), senior service engineer at Microsoft IT
    • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), SharePoint MVP and co-founder, president of Sympraxis Consulting
    • Kanwal Khipple (@kkhipple), Office 365 MVP and founder of 2toLead  
    • Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Office365 MVP and cto at ManyWorlds 
    • Noah Sparks (@noahsparks), customer success manager at Microsoft 
    • Robert Toro (@SharePointToro), SharePoint practice director at Slalom  
    • Adam Levithan (@collabadam), senior product manager at Metalogix
    • Paul Stork (@pstork), SharePoint MVP and MCM, principal architect at BlueChip
    • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Office365 MVP and chief marketing officer for Beezy

    The panel size may increase over the next couple days, but as always everyone is invited to participate whether or not you’re part of the panel. Join the conversation using the #CollabTalk hashtag and share your thoughts!

    Christian Buckley

    Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.