Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps

By default, Azure Boards don’t provide an option to show the progress of the scheduled work items of a team by sprint in a calendar view. However, you can add this capability by installing the Delivery Plans official extension.

What is a delivery plan?

A delivery plan provides an overall view of different teams’ work schedules spread across sprints. Doing so enables transparency across teams and helps management make decisions based on dependencies between tram’s deliverables and schedule slippage.

Install the extension

These instructions will show you how to install the Delivery Plans extension that we are going to use for this tutorial,

  • Sign in to your Azure DevOps organization.
  • Go to Organization Settings.
  • Select Extensions.
  • Click on Browse Marketplace at the top right.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Organization settings

  • As the Marketplace opens, search for Delivery Plans and click on the respective result.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Delivery plan extension

  • Click on the Get it Free button.
  • Select your target organization from the dropdown and click on Install to complete the procedure.

If you expand the Boards tab on any of your projects you will now be able to see the Plan (Preview) option.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Plan (preview) option

Enable preview

Before being able to use the new feature introduced interview mode, you have to turn it on on your profile. To do so, follow this procedure,

  • Sign in to your Azure DevOps organization
  • Click the profile icon, and then select the Preview features option.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Preview feature

  • Enable the New Delivery Plans Experience

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Enable new delivery plan features

Create a new plan

Before being able to visualize and track work items across all your teams you have to create a new plan. To do so, select Plans and then click New Plan.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
New plan

In the delivery plan’s creation form, provide a name and a description that identifies your plan. Then choose one or more teams from any project in your organization and specify the team backlogs that you want to appear within your plan. Optionally, you can add additional criteria to limit the number of work items appearing on your plan and add markers to show important upcoming events on your timeline.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
New delivery plan form

Once you create a plan you will be able to visualize and track work across all your teams as well as interact with the plan with simple drag-and-drop operations, modify cards, expanding and collapsing teams, and more.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Preview delivery plan

Work items multi-iterations

To make work items span across multiple iteration boundaries set both a Start Date and Target Date.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps

View rollup of features and epics

Rollup displays a fuller picture of the underlying work directly on the cards in your delivery plan. Rollup views are available for features, epics, or any portfolio backlog you’ve added to your project. To enable rollup, open your plan settings, choose Fields, and select Show child rollup data.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Plan settings

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps
Child rollup data

Dependency tracking

The 2.0 release introduces a new cool feature that allows to track the dependencies between work items. This feature supports only predecessor and successor links for work items. To view all the dependencies of a particular work item, move your cursor on it and click on the dependency link icon in the upper right corner of the card.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps

Once clicked, a new panel will appear from the right side of the page and you will be able to see all of the dependencies for that work item including the direction.

Important: If there is a problem with a particular dependency, a red exclamation mark will appear next to the work item name.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps

By clicking on the work items defined in the dependency panel, you will be able to see an arrowed line between its dependencies.

Manage Delivery Plans With Azure DevOps

References