Microsoft Project vs Microsoft Planner

Clear project definition and goal setting are essential in ensuring project success, but with a range of project management solutions available finding the right fit solution for your business can prove challenging.

The author of this page: Malek Al-Shayeb
Malek Al-Shayeb, Principal PPM Consultant Jun 16, 2022

Microsoft Project for Web is a great tool for project management, while Microsoft Planner is a lightweight task management solution. When it comes to choosing a project management tool, there are a few key questions to ask yourself before making a final decision. 

Basic Uses 

Although both tools can be used for project management, the differences between them are significant. For instance, while Microsoft Project for Web is focused on project management from an organisational level, Microsoft Planner is more commonly used for task management at an individual or team level. Project for Web can be scaled up for enterprise-level project management with the inclusion of Kanban, Collaboration, Teams integration and the layering on of project management governance. Planner can be used in its out-of-the-box format mainly.


Designed for team-level task management, Microsoft Planner is a user-friendly solution suitable for smaller organisations not requiring complex project governance. It features a variety of tools that help people organize their tasks. Its mobile app is also very good at making task management quick and simple. 

Microsoft Project for the Web was released by Microsoft to the demand for a more enterprise user-friendly alternative is required, it features the same functionality and modern user interface as planner.

Where Planer is restricted in terms of complexity, MS Project for Web offers greater levels of project and governance with rich integration and the ability to align with a variety of formal project management methodologies. To get the most out of the software, consider working with a technology partner who can help tailor integration and system configuration to aligning with your business needs.


Designed for out of the box usage, Planner offers very limited customisation. For those looking for enhanced configurability, Microsoft Project for Web is the preferred choice. Built on top of Power Platform, the Project for Web allows organisations to customise forms, fields and views with the added option to enhance project management thorugh process automation.

In addition, MS Project for Web facilitates the nesting of projects into a portfolio/programs.

Resource Planning 

While Microsoft Planner is offered as a team or individual solution with no resource planning ability, Project for web provides a central resource pool with a universal resource schedule engine that centralises all resource assignments, demand capacity and role planning on projects.


Microsoft Planner offers plan level reports and progress 'dashboards', however a centralised data set is not easily accessible and requires the integration of 3rd party applications. Project for Web on the other hand as an enterprise level applications already provides a centralised reporting system that can be extended to include any additional entities or components, with the reporting capable of accessing project, assignments, resources or project governance etc on any component within project for web.


In summary, there is a significant difference between the two tools. By evaluating the constraints of each tool between cost, team usage, and details required for planning the project, you will know which tool will work best for you. 

To explore how the latest project management software can help your organisation, watch our on-demand webinar Project Management Reimagined. 

To learn more about Microsoft Project, check out our case study with Eurofound.

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