Scrum Dynamics 21 - Azure DevOps with Mark Christie

Congratulations, Mark. Well done on completing the Introduction to Scrum for Dynamics 366 course. Welcome to the Customery Crew!

Congratulations, Mark. Well done on completing the Introduction to Scrum for Dynamics 366 course. Welcome to the Customery Crew!

Mark Christie, who specialises in Dynamics 365 for Field Service at eBECS, uses Azure DevOps (formerly known as Visual Studio Team Services). He’s from Perth, the ancient capital of Scotland. On 25 January he’ll be celebrating Burns Night where the haggis is introduced to the table with bagpipes. Dynamics 365 Saturday Scotland runs on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January, and its speakers will also be piped into the room.

Azure DevOps combines planning tools such as backlogs and boards, with development tools like source control and testing with operations features to help you compile and deploy your applications.

I’m enjoying the forecasting feature of Azure DevOps which helps you see how long a project might take given a set of product backlog items and estimated team velocity.

Mark enjoys building Azure DevOps dashboards and that although it’s a large suite, users can use a single app, like testing, within Azure DevOps without knowing the other parts of it.

Azure DevOps is free for small project teams up to five users. Paid plans start at US$30 per month for 10 users to $750 per month for 100 users. Visual Studio subscribers are free. Microsoft partners can choose whether to provide their own instance of Azure DevOps and invite their customers to join, or whether to join their customer’s instance of Azure DevOps.

When we recorded this episode, neither Mark nor I knew there was an on-premise option of Azure DevOps available. There is. It’s called Azure DevOps Server 2019 and it’s the successor to Team Foundation Server.

Mark outlines how he manages his product back in Azure DevOps. Mark uses tasks to manage the work required to complete user stories in his backlog whereas Neil doesn’t.

Mark also reveals a cunning track: using hashtags to label items even more quickly than using the label feature.

Mark and I share the different statuses they use to track how items move across their Scrum boards.

Mark’s co-worker, Richard Harding, gets credit for how Mark’s team are using the Azure DevOps wiki feature to help stakeholders learn how to use Dynamics 365’s features.

Finally, if you think Scotsmen are famous for being frugal with their money, Mark will pay you £1.25 for a $1 note.

Mark’s blog: TheMarkChristie.co.uk

Mark’s LinkedIn profile: Mark Christie

Mark’s Twitter page: TheMarkChristie