How to get the new Agile features in Microsoft Project

Are you still anxiously waiting to receive the new Agile and Kanban features that were announced by the Project Product team at the Microsoft Ignite conference back at the end of September? Are you the person that checks every morning by opening Microsoft Project in the efforts that you’ll see the “What’s New in Project” message, but only end up being disappointed?

Well chances are you fall into 1 of 2 scenarios:

1. Wrong Edition of Microsoft Project

If you have either Microsoft Project Professional 2016 OR Microsoft Project Standard 2016, you will not receive the latest features and updates.

Only Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium subscriptions will receive the new Agile features in Microsoft Project.

2. Wrong Update Channel

If you have the correct edition, but are still not receiving the new features, chances are you are on the Deferred Channel (which is the default) when you install the software using Click-to-Run.

In order to get the latest updates automatically, you need to be on the Monthly Channel.

But the good news is that you can change the channel (excuse the pun 🙂 )

How to Change the Office 365 Update Channel

You have a couple of options depending on your security permissions:

A. If you have the permission to install software:

Microsoft has written a quick and easy “How to” article titled, “How to switch from Deferred Channel to Current Channel for the Office 365 suite“, where you have 2 methods of changing the update channel:

1. Download and run the Easy Fix Wizard
The downloaded wizard file will be called: ““.
Simply double click on the filename and follow the instructions.

2. Running a Batch file that makes modifications to the Registry

You copy and paste the commands listed in the “Let me fix it myself” section.

However, I would add the Pause command as my last command so that I know that the batch file ran without any problems or I would at least see the error messages if it failed.

Also make sure you run the batch file a Administrator, by right clicking the batch file and click on Run as administrator. If you don’t then you will have errors when you run under your personal credentials.

When the batch has finished, your screen should similar like mine. (However, YMMV)

B. Your Office 365 Administrator has configured and installed your software

Your Office 365 Administrator has a couple of options when it comes to changing the update channel for Office 365 products.

1. Office 2016 Deployment Tool

You can download the latest version of the Office 2016 Deployment Tool here:

2. Group Policy Administrative Templates files (ADMX/ADML)

You can download the template files here:

For more detailed technical information on Office 365 Update Channels, please go to this support page:

Once you have changed the Update Channel to Monthly, then it’s simply a matter of waiting for the update to install automatically.

However, you could also attempt to force an update:

1. Launch Project.

2. Then click on File –> Account.

3. Then click Update Options and click Update Now.

4. If there are updates, you will see the Office message window and will start the download process of the updates.

5. Once the download is complete, Office gives you a notice that it needs to close any Office apps that are currently open. SAVE YOUR WORK FIRST! Then click Continue.

6. Office then applies the updates. When it’s finished, the Office window will automatically close.

7. Then go ahead and launch Project and hopefully you will see the “What’s New in Project” window:

8. And you will see the new project templates:

All the Best
…and may all your projects be on time and on budget!

Rolly Perreaux, PMP, MCSE, MCT is a Business Solutions Architect / Founder for PMO Logistics You can view his complete bio at:

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