Setting up a Board in Azure DevOps (AGILE)

Its time to start tracking Projects with Azure DevOps boards.

With Boards, teams can manage software Projects. They can track user stories, backlog items, tasks, features etc. You can choose the environment you want to work with like AGILE or SCRUM.

For this example, there is only one developer (me) and I’m am tracking my progress on a project where I have been the single developer

AGILE is the process that going to be used

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a “big bang” launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

First Open Azure DevOPs

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/services/devops/

Sign into your DevOps account.

And create a new Project under your Enterprise

Work Items

Now we have a new project we can start working with Boards but first we need to understand what our AGILE work items are and how they interact with each other.

Epic

I have specific Epics I want to achieve

  • Reporting from the companies main system
  • Social Media reporting
  • Reporting for the Surveys
  • Reporting for all the telephone enquirers
  • Reporting for Complaints
  • Main Reporting Area for all the data Auditing
  • Reporting for Report usage

So, just looking at this. I want 7 Epics to work with (To start with)

Feature

A feature is some complete behavior to implement a new business process. So for example. for the Social Media Epic we want

  • Overall View of Business Performance as provided by the surveys
  • Monthly level reporting on customer satisfaction with drill through

User Stories

User stories are within a feature. These are the smallest change that will result in behavior change. If you don’t observe a change then it cant be demonstrated

For example, as the Customer Satisfaction Manager I want to see the Survey results by month and have the ability to see how we are doing by over the year and at the same point in the year because we need to know if we are doing well as a company to see our trends in satisfaction

As the Company Head of Service I want a full review of our performance using our scoring system against customer satisfaction and how our competitors are doing for benchmarking

Task

These are within a User Story and are the smallest independently deployable change.

  • Get file of Survey data (Pilot project)
  • Move Survey data into the Azure Data Warehouse (Staging area) Incremental loading using Data Factory
  • Establish dimensions and facts
  • Create Dim 1
  • Create Dim 2…….
  • Create Power BI Data Flows
  • Create Top level report by Month of Customer Satisfaction containing last 12 months
  • Create KPIs for Satisfaction against this time last year
  • Drill through to detailed report
  • Drill through to lowest level

Bug

a Bug is an error in the code

  • Incremental Refresh is causing Duplicates
  • NULL data Items in Survey Data set

Issue

An issue is more related to a process, when the System fails to meet user expectation

  • Created a report based on poorly Served Customers but this needs changing to the new business logic.

Test Case

Test cases can validate individual parts of your code. We will look at this item in another blog post

Boards

Lets start with boards. These boards are Kanban Boards

A Kanban board is one of the tools that can be used to implement Kanban to manage work at a personal or organizational level.

When the board is first opened up, Epics don’t seem to be available

With Boards Selected Go to Configure Team Settings

Make sure that Epics are ticked in Under Backlogs

And now with Epics selected click on New Items are start adding in the required Epics

Next we need to start adding some features. It would seem that you cant add the features and then connect them to the epics. You have to create the Features from the epics

go back to the epic, click on … and Add Feature

And you can then see the feature within the Epic

Now we have a Feature we can add the user Story. Go to Features and click on the Add User Story

Same again. Move to User Stories and add Tasks

You can also go into the items and add lots more detail

This link to the Microsoft Documentation gives you lots of information regarding, effort, story points, business value, Priority etc.

Its always good to create the epic and work your way down into the Tasks

Retrospective Items

For this example, items are being added for a sprint that was closed some time ago because the project is being retrospectively moved into Azure Boards

Epics

I am starting them all from the beginning of this particular Project and for this I can add a Start Date

Stories

The Start Date also Applies to Stories but these will be set when the stories were originally created

However when you close a task and move the whole story into completed, you cant set a completed date


If you click on History and look at the state graph, you cant change the New and Resolved Times. These are set at the time of the action which makes it difficult to add past information into the Board

Backlogs

  • Backlogs help you to Quickly define work (User Stories, backlog items, requirements)
  • You can reorder the backlog so you work on the highest priority first
  • Add details and estimates
  • Assign items to team members and sprints by either bulk update or drag and drop
  • Map items within a hierarcy
  • Review the portfolio of work
  • Forecase work to estimate deliveries
  • Display rollup progress, counts and totals to show completion of work

Basically your backlog displays work items as lists and boards display them as cards

The Remaining Active User Stories have been dragged to Iteration 1

Work Items

All the work items you create can be viewed in here as well as created

Hopefully this gives you a little head start into the world of Azure DevOps boards

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