Microsoft Planner and Guest Access: What you need to know


The new guest access feature for Microsoft Planner is now enabled for all farms - hopefully you saw the Message Center post!

Message Center post as a Task in Planner

This Planner task version of the message center post is courtesy of my Office 365 Change Management example using Azure Functions.  There was also a Tech Community blog post by Jo Parkhurst – https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Planner-Blog/Bring-your-plans-to-life-with-guests-in-Planner/ba-p/190704.  In this blog post through I’ll walk through some of the aspects of using Guests in Planner.

As you can see from the screen capture above I have added a guest user to my plan – the LU icon – lunchwithalens@gmail.com – which also happens to be me – so not a great example of collaboration – but you get the idea.  We don’t yet have the ability directly in Planner to add a guest (coming soon) – but we can assign guests to tasks for guests who are already in the tenant, having been added through Teams for example (ignore the ‘2’ – I forgot to capture a screenshot when I first added me as a guest):

Screen showing adding guest member to Teams

The important thing to remember here is that we are not federating a login with Google – and it actually creates an account in your Office 365 tenant which needs its own password – not your Google (or whatever) password – and please don’t re-use you Google password – very bad practice.  The person you invite will see an e-mail (in this case in Gmail) – first verifying the e-mail address, and once you do, then you will receive an invite to Teams (in this case):

E-mail sent to guests for verification

Welcome e-mail for guests from Teams

Then your guest has access to Teams and can start collaborating:

Conversation with a guest in Teams

Once your guest has access they will appear to be used elsewhere – such as assigning to tasks in Planner:

Assigning a guest in Planner

One thing that may catch your guest out is the log-in Url they need to use – and for Planner just going to https://tasks.office.com will NOT work as that Url does not know which tenant you are attempting to log in to – and only accepts “work or school accounts”.

Invalid log in at tasks.office.com

The log-in Url needs to identify the tenant – so the full Url would look something like this:

https://tasks.office.com/brismithpjo.onmicrosoft.com

where brismithpjo is my Office 365 tenant.

Valid login by adding tenant after tasks.office.com

And that one will work – and the guest sees the plans and groups of which they are members.

Guests view in Planner with all their Plans and Groups

There are some limitations on what guests can do in Planner, some based around security (can’t create plans or add other guests for example – and can’t join plans themselves) and others are more related to their limited tenant capabilities (no mailbox) so they cannot comment on a task.  Full details can be found on the support article at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/guest-access-in-microsoft-planner-cc5d7f96-dced-4da4-ab62-08c72d9759c6.

Guest accounts will be listed in the Office Admin center under Users, Guests – as well as in Azure Active Directory:

Azure Active Directory view showing my guest user


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