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Using Azure DevOps for Project Management (1)

Azure DevOps provides developer services to support teams to plan work, collaborate on code development, and build and deploy applications. Developers can work in the cloud using Azure DevOps Services or on-premise using Azure DevOps Server. If you’re familiar with Azure DevOps, you know that it integrates with Dev Hub and we need that for a source repository.

Today, I want to tell you about how to use DevOps from a project management standpoint describing a project management aspect of an iterative process with Agile characteristics on a BI style project.

  • To begin, I’ll choose the Agile template from Azure DevOps and I’m going to build work items.
  • Let me explain the hierarchy of work items in order to understand them. We have epics, features, user stories then tasks and hours (which live at task level). Here’s an example to help:
    • Let’s say I want to analyze sales. To do this I’ll use epics and to analyze sales correctly, I need to add features to my epics.
    • If I want to analyze profitability of my sales or analyze my customers based upon sales, I will add features for this.
    • To build out a feature, we need to have user stories. If my feature is, I want to analyze customers based upon sales, I’d want to capture data about my customers or about my products and a point of sale day for my user story.
    • Now, what tasks do I need to deliver a good user story? Tasks are where your hours This is where you estimate; you do an original estimate, then you show the hours completed and the hours remaining to be worked.
    • If I want to capture data about my customers, that user story would be built out by tasks like: design the customer dimension, create a data source for the customers, verify the source to target mapping, create the ELT for the customer dimension and certify customer data.
    • Not all the tasks above need to be completed by the developer. Some of them, like certify the data or verify the source to target mapping, may be done by your clients. The key here is by developing user stories at the task level, it allows you to involve the whole team.

Another important aspect to discuss are bugs. When a user story has a bug, maybe there’s a code issue or a requirement was missed, it’s important to capture information using the bug work item type and you'll want to manage your bugs in ways that align with your Agile practices. To learn more about defining, triage and management of bugs, click here.

By using DevOps for project management, the built-in reporting for burndown charts and Sprint planning allows you to properly communicate with your management and clients about reasonable expectations for you and your development team. It provides up to the minute reporting, so everyone is fully informed.

If you have questions about using Azure DevOps for project management or if you want to learn more about DevOps in general, you’re in the right place. We’re here to help you with any Azure product or service. Click the link below or contact us – we’d love to help.

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