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Azure Boards: How To Get Started With Agile Planning on Azure?

Last updated on May 22,2019 795 Views
Vishal is a technology enthusiast working as a Research Analyst at Edureka.... Vishal is a technology enthusiast working as a Research Analyst at Edureka. He has expertise in domains like Big data, Machine Learning,Statistical Analysis and...

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In my previous article we discussed Azure DevOps and its components. This article would elaborate on one of those components known as Azure Boards. In the process we would explore how it helps to plan, track and also discuss work across different teams.

First, let us start by taking a look at the pointers to be discussed in this Azure Boards article:

  1. What is Azure Boards
  2. Azure Boards Features
  3. Demo: Getting Started with Azure Boards

So let us start by understanding what the term actually means.

What is Azure Boards?

Well, you can think of it as an interface that lets you you track tasks, features, and even bugs that may be associated with your project. Here you are aided by three work item types:

  • Epics
  • Issues
  • Tasks

Here is the depiction in the form of an image(Image Source: Microsoft.com):

Work Item Types - Azure Boards - Edureka

Also as the work gets completed the status gets updated stage by stage from:

  • To Do 
  • Doing 
  • Done

Here is the image below depicting the same (Image Source: Microsoft.com):

Workflow - Azure Boards - Edureka

Each time we create or add an issue, task or an epic, it means we are creating a work item. Every work item we create would represent an object. This object is stored in the work item data store. Every item here will have an identifier, assigned to it. These IDs are unique to a particular project.

If you wish to track significant features or requirements you add epics. Issues on the other hand are used to track user stories, bugs, or other smaller items of work. Likewise tasks are meant for tracking little amounts of work. The tracker can be used for both hourly and daily tracking.

Now let us take a look at some of the features of Azure Boards.

Features Of Azure Boards

Kanban Implementation

It is very easy to implement and use Kanban with Azure Boards. It eases up two important tasks, those are:

  • Update the status of issues
  • Prioritize Your Backlog of Issues

This means assigning work becomes a lot more easier and you can share information better and prioritize your work with drag and drop features provided.

Collaborate using Azure Boards

  • The Discussion section lets you collaborate better with the people in your project
  • You can create dashboards and  track status and trends of the accomplished work. Get instant alerts for the issues created, changed or resolved
  • You can set notifications to get alerted when an issue is created or changed

Flexibility to work in sprints and to implement Scrum

  • It becomes easier to plan sprints with proper assignment
  • You can use effort estimates to predict work
  • It is possible to assign issues or tasks in bulk

Integrate with GitHub

It is easy to connect to GitHub and in turn it means:

  • You can perform pull, push and commit requests with ease
  • You can link to GitHub commits and pull requests with ease

Let us now move further and see how can we use Azure Boards to carry out some of the features we discussed above.

Demo: Getting Started with Azure Boards

Step1: Start by opening this link in your browser ‘https://aex.dev.azure.com/signup/boards’. You would be re-directed to this page. Click on Continue.

Login - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step2: Next you would be asked to enter the organisation name and the location where you are operating from. Enter those and click on continue.

Step3: Next step is to create a project. Enter the details below and create a project.

Create-Project - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step4: You would be re-directed to following interface, You have four sections. The first one gives you access to all the major tabs of Azure Boards. Second one lets you add items. Third one is for issues and fourth one lets you manage project and project members.

Interface - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step5: Let us create an issue, to do that click on issues drop down on top left corner of your screen and select issue.

IssueCreation - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step6: Click on Add Item and enter the name of the issue. Once you hit the enter button, the issue tab would appear as below.

Adding and issue - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step7: We can change the state to Doing and your item would shift under the column named Doing.

switching to next state - Azure Boards - Edureka

Step8: You can add tasks to the issue. This bit covers what needs to be done. I have added three tasks and I have crossed one suggesting the task was complete.

Adding Tasks - Azure Boards - Edureka

So guys this was about adding a simple issue to your Azure boards. There is a lot that can be done with Azure boards. You are free to explore Azure Boards. As far as this article is concerned. I would be resting it here. In case if you like Cloud Computing and DevOps. You may want to check out this AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Training by Edureka which is catered to meet all the AWS and DevOps needs the learners may have.

In case of queries put those in the comment section and we revert at the earliest.

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