Azure DevOps Delivery Plan 2.0
Posted by: Subodh Sohoni
in Category DevOps
Abstract: Azure DevOps has a new feature called Delivery Plan (2.0) which enhances and replaces Delivery Plan extension. In this article, we will explore some new features introduced in Delivery Plan 2.0.
In this article we are going to explore a new feature of Azure DevOps – Delivery Plan (2.0).
This feature allows us to visualize sprint details of multiple teams working on the same product.
In my earlier article on DotNetCurry https://www.dotnetcurry.com/devops/azure-product-development-multiple-teams, I had shown you how to plan for multiple parallel iterations and then visualize those using the Delivery Plan Extension. The Delivery Plan (2.0) feature of Azure DevOps enriches the same extension. It is no longer an extension that we have to install separately for our Azure DevOps account, but now it is an integral feature of Boards service of Azure DevOps.
At present (as of this writing) it is in Public Preview but will be generally available by the end of April 2021.
In my previous article on Azure Product Development for Multiple Teams, we have worked with multiple teams doing parallel development of the same product. We have also seen how we can visualize sprints of those teams with their respective work items like user Stories or PBIs or Features etc.
Figure: Delivery Plan Extension
Azure DevOps Delivery Plan 2.0 – What’s New?
Let us now see what are the enhancements in the Delivery Plan (2.0) feature over this extension.
At the basic level, Delivery Plan remains the same. We add teams that are working in parallel over their own sprints which are usually overlapping each other.
Figure: Basic Plan is Delivery Plan 2.0
Cards spanning multiple sprints
The first enhancement that you will see in the above picture is that the span of work items can now be over multiple sprints. A story that is starting in a sprint, can go on in the next sprint and is visualized that way.
We do now have multiple settings that allows us to enhance the look and feel of the delivery plan.
Figure: Setting on Delivery Plan 2.0
We can set a field criteria base upon which the work items will be filtered to be shown or not to be shown.
Figure: Field Criteria for filtering Work Items to Show
We also now have the ability to add multiple fields that will get added on the cards which are shown on the plan.
Figure: Fields to Show on Cards
Some of the important information that the cards will show are:
- Tags set to that work item
- Parent of that work item
- Child roll-up data
We can also pick and choose other interesting fields that we feel are important on plan view.
We can also set custom markers with color specifiers for showing important dates.
Figure: Setting the Marker
Stylized cards with much more data
Last setting is the styles of the cards. We can set colors of the cards which match specific criteria. For example, we can set a color for all cards which show work item in the ‘state’ closed. A different color can be chosen for cards of the work items that are still ‘Active’.
Figure: Setting Styles to Cards
Let us now see how the Delivery Plan and the cards on it will look like:
Figure: Customized Delivery Plan
It shows stylized cards (with different colors matching the criteria that they fulfill), various data items, links to parent work items, the marker that we had created etc. enhancements that are available in Delivery Plan (2.0).
We can also view the plan when all the cards are compacted (Collapsed view).
Figure: Collapsed View of Delivery Plan
Dependency view and details of dependencies
One of the most important enhancements that we can observe in the Delivery Plan (2.0) is the Dependency view. For this view to work, work items should have predecessor – successor relationships set. When we click a card representing work item that has such a relationship, the diagram shows the dependency chain between various work items, in which the clicked work item is a part.
We can also view the details of the dependency relationships. For viewing that, we can click on the link icon that appears on the top-right corner of the card.
Figure: To View Dependencies Details
When that icon is clicked, it shows various dependency relationships that exist for that work item.
Figure: Dependencies Details
Children roll up data on the card
Let us now view the Children Roll Up information on a card. For that we have created a plan for Epics that have some User Stories as children. Each User Story may have a different state. The view shows a card for each Epic and that card shows the overall status of children User Stories.
Figure: Children Roll Up
In this article, we have explored some details of A new feature called Delivery Plan 2.0 in Azure DevOps. The enhancements in the feature as compared to Delivery Plan extension which used to exist earlier are:
1. Stylized cards with much more data on each card that represents the work item.
2. Link to Parent work item on the card.
3. Children roll up data on the card.
4. Dependency view and details of dependencies.
5. Cards spanning multiple sprints shown on the plan.
This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.
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