Everyone loves a to-do list. But did you know 41% of to-dos never actually get completed? Not the end of the world for household chores, but in EHS, the consequence can be much worse than a messy home!

In enterprises, one method to manage this is EHS software. Place user-friendly forms at the fingertips of frontline workers, and you could see a 370% increase in reporting.

However, an effective EHS program not only identifies risks and nonconformances, it also remedies them. Take a minute to think how many Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPAs) 370% more near miss reports would result in at your company.

Therefore, EHS task management software clearly has value. Combined with the rise of collaboration platforms such as Microsoft 365, the question many enterprises now have is, can we use Microsoft 365 for EHS task management?

The answer? Yes. Should you? Let’s look at your options.

The benefits of EHS task Management on Microsoft 365

If you use a to-do list, where the do you keep it? At your work desk, or in your bedroom?

The same rationale applies to your Action Library. It should be within a program that you open every day at work. That is, Microsoft 365.

But what are the advantages of using MS 365 for EHS task management?

  • Single Sign On: Removes a barrier to accessibility. Workers simply log into their Microsoft 365 account to access their EHS tasks and actions rather than logging into an additional external application.
  • MS 365 interface: Companies use Microsoft 365 for a simple, user-friendly experience. Libraries are searchable, color-coded and organized, clearly showing who a task is assigned to, its due date and completion status.

Ultimately, having EHS task management in Microsoft 365 keeps it front of mind for employees, in the apps they’re using every day.

Can EHS use Microsoft 365 Planner?

To achieve this, some organizations are using Microsoft 365 applications such as Planner.

However, although undeniably handy for some light lifting, professionals agree Planner is better fit for small scale projects.

Simplistic workflows and limited reporting functionality play against Planner, limiting EHS professionals’ ability to stay on top of their workload, escalate actions, or identify underlying trends.

In other words, for anything more than a simple dashboard of tasks, seek a specialized EHS task management software system.

Why seek EHS task management software on Microsoft 365?

Currently, the apps Microsoft 365 currently offers aren’t specifically designed for EHS. And you can tell.

Particularly in enterprises, EHS professionals should be aware of no-code/low-code platforms like Power Apps that promise to turn business users into developers. The Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ) warns these have been overhyped and are limited in their application.

On the other hand, standalone EHS software isn’t optimal for frontline workers (FLWs) – or anyone not in the EHS team – to see their EHS to-do list on the daily.

So, what enterprises need is a way to intertwine the benefits of Microsoft 365 with the functionality of specialized software.

EHS task management software built into Microsoft 365, like Pro-Sapien, bridges the gap.

This approach combines the powerful features of commercial software with the accessibility of Microsoft 365, providing benefits such as:

  • Increased employee engagement through MS 365 apps
  • Reduction in user administration due to Active Directory integration
  • Automated approval workflows to save time
  • Easy visibility into task progress to identify bottlenecks
  • KPI tracking and oversight into business performance

Clearly, embedding EHS task management within collaboration platforms like MS 365 is a compelling way to make sure 100% of EHS to-do’s get done.

As independent analyst Verdantix reports, “customer demand for increasing engagement makes it a likely long-term market trend”.

EHS task management in Microsoft Teams

What’s the first program you open every day?

For many of us, that would be Teams.

If our aim is to take EHS task management straight to the user, Teams is a potent target.

Since 86% of executives identify ineffective communication as a major cause of failure in business, it makes sense that simplifying communication channels through the popular collaboration app would remove a barrier to pushing a task along in its lifecycle.

Therefore, whether you’re using Planner in an SMB or Pro-Sapien in an enterprise, a great way to engage employees is to put their EHS tasks in Teams.

Figure 1 EHS tasks from Pro-Sapien appearing in Teams

Learn more about Pro-Sapien in Teams 🡢

This makes it much more likely employees see their tasks in the first place and eases the effort of updating task progress.

EHS task management and Power BI

Another consideration of keeping EHS task management within Microsoft 365 is seamless integration with Power BI to analyze your action insights.

Arguably, it is one the best Business Intelligence tools out there, and offers a solid reporting experience for EHS without requiring highly specialized BI skills.

Of course, reporting in Power BI requires a suitable data source. Currently, there is no out-of-the-box connection between Planner and Power BI – so instead, enterprises can look to EHS task management software built into the Microsoft 365 platform.

With the right data, in Power BI you can display KPIs on dashboards to identify where things are going overdue.

For example, is there a particular site that repeatedly has a high volume of overdue actions? Is it actually a specific department that is not completing tasks in time?

Figure 2 An EHS Action Management report in Power BI

Importantly, identifying trends gives you the power to harness data and transform it into actionable insights, to address underlying issues that otherwise could go unnoticed.

Learn more about Power BI 🡢

Save EHS professionals time switching between disconnected systems to manually gather data into a single source. Utilize time better making improvement decision based on EHS trends, calculations and KPIs.

Maximizing your investment in Microsoft 365

Time and time again, disconnected IT systems are one of the biggest barriers to successful EHS software.

To remedy this, as we’ve seen, it makes sense to keep EHS task management closely integrated with your Microsoft 365.

Although tools like Planner can be used to an extent in small organizations, EHS task management software embedded into your Microsoft 365 is the better option for enterprises.

Not only does this encourage employee engagement, it also leverages the best of your Microsoft investment including Active Directory, Teams and Power BI.

The result? Full control over your tasks, accountability from creation to completion, and tracking your task management KPIs.

Time to get 100% of those EHS to-do’s completed on time!

Learn More about Pro-Sapien’s Action Manager in Microsoft 365 →

Author

  • Irene Zueco is a Marketing and Communications Executive at Pro-Sapien, providers of EHS software on Office 365. Irene is responsible for producing informative content that helps guide EHS professionals through the complex EHS software marketplace. Previous to working in the industry, Irene completed a Master’s in International Business and Modern Languages in 2018 and has lived in Spain, Italy, and Scotland.

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