As a project manager, it can be challenging to manage a global team, especially when it comes to software development. However, with the right tools, it can be made much more manageable. One of the most powerful tools available today for managing software development is Azure DevOps.
Over the last four years, our team has been using DevOps (formerly TFS) to manage our software development projects. We’ve seen significant improvements in our processes, and we continue to expand our use of the suite of tools as they become available.
One of the most useful features of Azure DevOps is the Agile template, which provides an iterative process with Agile characteristics that are well-suited to software development projects. As a project manager, I use the Agile template to build work items that help me organize the project.
The hierarchy of work items in Azure DevOps includes epics, features, user stories, tasks, and hours. Epics provide a high-level overview of the project, while features break down the epics into more manageable components. User stories provide a detailed description of the project’s requirements, while tasks break down the user stories into specific tasks that need to be completed. Hours are used to track the time spent on each task.
By developing user stories at the task level, it allows you to involve the whole team in the development process. Not all tasks need to be completed by the developer, and involving the whole team helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.
Bugs are an inevitable part of software development, but Azure DevOps makes it easy to track and manage them. By using the built-in bug work item type, you can capture information about bugs and manage them in ways that align with your Agile practices.
One of the most powerful features of Azure DevOps is its built-in reporting for burndown charts and Sprint planning. These reports allow you to 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.
Testing is a critical area for any DevOps team, and Azure DevOps provides a range of tools to manage testing. Our team uses inline tests for lightweight traceability and to manage manual tests for user stories or other backlog items that they support. However, one issue we have encountered is that there is no integrated automated way to test mobile applications iOS and Android within DevOps.
In conclusion, Azure DevOps is an incredibly powerful tool for managing software development projects, and its Agile template is well-suited to the needs of project managers. By using Azure DevOps, you can organize your project, involve the whole team, manage bugs, and track progress through built-in reporting.