Tracking Cross-team Projects Portfolio with Azure DevOps Boards

Developer Support

In his previous post, App Dev Manager Ricardo de Almeida explained how to perform portfolio tracking in Azure DevOps/TFS using Delivery Plans. In this follow-up, he talks about the recently released Feature timeline and Epic Roadmap extension.

A quick recap:

Last year I decided to share how I was using Azure DevOps and the Delivery Plans extension to support one of my customers in their digital transformation starting by the mindset change from a prescriptive model to an agile approach and as I described in my previously post:

The first step is by helping customer understand that agile project management is a paradigm breaker for those coming from traditional software project management methodologies and several mindset changes will be required, but besides the differences between both methods, business’ needs must come first and if part of this transition requires that some aspects from the legacy process be kept, this is a great opportunity to show to this customer that, by using agile process and agile tools we can have an even better control about the value (no more only software) that the developers team are creating to the company, but now doing it in an incremental and interactive way.

Here I share some results of this first step:

  • Overall quality of improved software delivered to production and end-user satisfaction. ​
  • Tracked monthly releases have increased from an average of 9 to 583 (increase of near 6500%). ​​
  • CIO has demanded to expand agile development to all new projects (113 projects on the pipe). ​​
  • Improved relations between IT and end-users by increasing satisfaction and aligning deliveries to business needs, increasing head count from 113 to 138 developers – an increase of 18%.​

During this past year the change to an agile approach allowed us to work with this customer to implement a CI and CD strategy, and make this strategy an institutional process. Now, the business areas are testing new features every 15 days, instead of every 6 months. Given all the recent success, portfolio management is still a challenge.

As I also mentioned in my previously post:

We have a well-documented process to use Azure Boards and TFS to configure a great software portfolio to be used by Product Owners and Feature Teams, but to align the best perspectives from traditional and agile software development management I’ve been working with my customers by using Delivery Plans that is an amazing Azure DevOps’ extensions (Also available to TFS) which allows PMO’s members and Software’s teams to do a better management of their portfolio of work in different levels of abstraction with a calendar based view across teams and projects by using Azure Boards and TFS.”

On 8/29/2019, Microsoft DevLabs team released a new version of the extension Feature timeline and Epic Roadmap which is an amazing evolution of Delivery Plans. This new extension is really helping my customer to make the software portfolio management even better for everyone. With this new extension, we can create views to track multiples Feature timelines, Epic Roadmaps and the Portfolio Plans.

Feature timeline and Epic Roadmap is an organizational tool that helps users to drive cross-team visibility and alignment by tracking work, features, epics and portfolio plans status on an iteration-based calendar. Users can tailor their plan to include any team or backlog level from across projects in the account. Furthermore, Field Criteria on Plans allows users to further customize their view, while Markers highlight important dates.

Feature timeline:

View the Features being developed through the sprints calendar and track its progress visually.

Feature timeline

You can go deep and view the PBIs being developed through each sprint in the calendar as well.

Child rollup

Epic Roadmaps:

View cross team dependency tracking for an Epic. While Feature timeline is a team’s view of work in-progress, Epic Roadmap is for an Epic worked by multiple teams across multiple sprints.

Epic roadmap

Portfolio Plans:

View portfolio level Work Items across Projects. Portfolio Plans is an organizational tool that allows you to pull Epics from any Project and Team within an Organization in an easy to read timeline view. This helps teams drive cross-project visibility and alignment by tracking portfolio level work.

Plan timeline

The inclusion of Feature timeline and Epic Roadmap in the portfolio management process is helping my customers to make the PMO’s life even easier than before. The Delivery Plans extension allows for collaborative, constant and automated portfolio updates. This enables everyone evolved in the software development process to better manage the cross-dependencies between Projects, Epics and Features. Now with this new extension, we have all the needed views to track projects in the perspective of Software Teams and Customer.

(Link to Portuguese version of this article)

1 comment

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  • Saurabh SahMicrosoft employee 0

    Love this feature. Epic roadmaps view is actually epic.

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