Delivery Plans 2.0 is now GA!

Martina

The Azure Boards team is thrilled to announce the GA of Delivery Plans in the Azure DevOps Service!

We have worked hard over the past year to deliver a feature our customers have wanted for a long time. To use it click “Delivery Plans” on the left navigation under the Boards service. Delivery Plans will be available for Azure DevOps Server (on-prem) later this year with Update 2.

Thank you to all the customers who participated in the private and public previews, the feedback was invaluable.

Delivery Plans 2.0 delivers on 3 key scenarios

  • A timeline view of the plan
  • Progress of the work
  • Dependency Tracking

These scenarios work across teams and projects. Delivery Plans 2.0 is now native to the product so an extension is no longer required. Plans created with the original Plans extension will continue to work in Delivery Plans.

Here’s a quick comparison of the differences between Plans and Delivery Plans

Feature Plans 1.0 (extension) Delivery Plans 2.0
Number of teams Limit is 10 Limit is 15
Work item timeframe Iterations only Start/Target date and Iteration
Visualization Full card view Condensed and Expanded views
Roll-up information None % done of child and linked items
Dependency Tracking None Yes
Start Time visualization No, only where work item ends Yes, both start and target dates
Card Styling No Yes

Delivery Plans Features

Below are the main features. Filtering, Markers and Field Criteria are also part of Delivery Plans.

Views

Work items in a Delivery Plans 2.0 plan are based on start and target dates, and iteration dates. The order of precedence is start & target dates then followed by iteration. This enables customers to add portfolio level work items like Epic which often are not defined to an iteration. There are two main views the condensed view and expanded view. Customers can also zoom in and out of the plan by clicking on the magnifying glass in the right-hand side of the plan.

Condensed View

The condensed view shows all work item cards “collapsed” meaning that not all card information is shown. This view is useful for an overall view of the work in the plan. To collapse the card fields, click on the card icon next to the magnifying icons in the right-hand side of the plan. Here’s an example of a plan toggling between the condensed and expanded views.

Image DeliveryPlans collapsed cards

Expanded View

The expanded view shows the progress of a work item by counting the number of child and linked items and showing the percentage complete. Currently progress is determined by work item count. Here is an example of a plan using an expanded view. Note the progress bars and percentage complete.

Image ExpandedViewPlan

Dependency Tracking

Dependency tracking is based on predecessor and successor links being defined in work items. If those links are not defined, then no dependency lines will be displayed. When there is a dependency issue with a work item, the dependency link icon is colored red.

Image RedDependencyIconsCondensed

Viewing Dependencies

Specific dependencies are viewed through the dependency panel which shows all the dependencies for that work item, including the direction. A red exclamation mark indicates a dependency problem. To bring up the panel simply click on the dependency link icon in the upper right corner of the card. Here are examples of dependencies.

Image dependencies

Image dependencies cross project

Dependency Lines

Dependencies between work items are visualized with arrow headed lines between the respective work items. Multiple dependencies will display as multiple lines. A red colored line indicates a problem. Here are some examples

Image BlackLineDependency

Here’s an example of a work item with multiple dependencies and it works using condensed view too.

Image DependencyLinesMultiple

When there is an issue the line color is red, and so is the dependency icon. Here is an example.

Image DependencyLineMultiplewRed

Card Styling

Cards can now be styled using rules, like the Kanban boards. Open the plan settings and click on “Styles”. In the Styles pane click on “ + Add styling rule” to add the rule and then click “Save”. There can be up to 10 rules and each rule can have up to 5 clauses.

This example shows the before and after views of a Delivery Plan with a card styling rule that highlights architecture work.

Image CardStyleSettings

Before…

Image CardNoStylePlan

After…

Image CardStylePlan

29 comments

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  • Sandy Teenan

    Great overall progress on Delivery Plans 2.0!
    Suggested enhancements :
    – I tried adding my first style rule – turn the card red if Target Date is in the past and the State is not Closed – and the date value can only be set explicitly, when I’d want to use the @today capabilities or another field value (e.g. Closed Date > Target Date)
    – Area Path and Iteration Path aren’t available as Field Criteria, where I think they’d be one of the main fields to filter a plan by e.g. filter by a Product Increment Iteration Path

  • Jesper Lund Stocholm

    Thank you so much for all of your work on this!

    I have two requests to future functionality:

    1. Enhancements to Style engine

    It would be super nice if the “Styles” configuration would allow usage of the DateTime macros in e.g. queries in Azure Boards. I would like to be able to create this style rule:

    “Color Features red where Target Date is in the past and State is not closed”

    It would be easy to make this in a Boards query with the @StartOfDay macro but currently impossible in Delivery Plans

    2. Show all dependencies

    We are not only interested in “bad dependencies” but also the magnitude of them – especially during program (PI) planning. So be able to see all dependencies would bring great value.

    • MartinaMicrosoft employee

      Thanks for the suggestions. We are planning to show all dependencies in Delivery Plans and that is targeted for next quarter.

  • N, Prajwal

    Hey, is there a way to bring in Tasks under delivery plan ?
    Could you please direct me to the right place to request for this feature ?

    For our companies use case, we really need to track the roadmap of our tasks.

  • nicksen huandra

    Hi Martina,

    Is it possible to re-arrange the vertical order of product backlog item in delivery plans permanently? At the moment I am able to re-arrange it but every time it is refreshed, the order will be arranged according to the product backlog item ID.

  • Simon Lustgarten

    This is such a nice feature! any idea on when will it be available for on-prem deployments?

  • Ash Parker

    Hi, I’ve been trying to understand how I create a plan with multiple projects, like a PMO view. This earlier article indicated that plans would support multiple projects.
    I was hoping to use the planning view primarily for scheduling projects, resources, and in some cases mapping dependencies.
    Any assistance/guidance or reference material would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Tommy Lauritzen

      I am trying to figure out the exact same.
      I am having issues with rollups and dependencies across projects.

      We were looking to have epics as our top portfolio item, have all epics in a separate project, and link features from other projects to these epics. This would let us tie the backlogs from several projects and teams together and follow up delivery status and dependencies on shared initiatives. Sadly nothing gets rolled up to the epic level.