Agile Project Management with
Azure DevOps / VSTS

Duration: 3 Days

This three day course is designed to introduce its attendees to the agile templates within VSTS, and to give brief training in how to use them to apply agile best practice within a Scrum, Kanban or XP project. It moves on to discuss strategies and techniques for customising the templates to tune the tool to match local variations on the standard agile methods. This customisation covers the modification of existing or creation of new work item types and their relationships, as well as the customisation of state transition models for work items.

Coverage in the course of how to map traditional requirements onto the agile feature hierarchy is given, as well as guidelines on how to automate progress reporting on project delivery.

Lastly, a discussion on the effective use of Git and GitFlow strategies for version control leads into a study of how to integrate Git workflows with a continuous integration pipeline hosted by VSTS.

How can I attend my course?

Course Outline.

Brief Reacquaintance with VSTS

  • Managing the application development lifecycle with VSTS
  • Comparing software lifecycle templates: Agile, Scrum and CMMI
  • Capturing and refining requirements with Epics, Features and PBIs
  • Version control: Git and TFS-VC
  • Build management: Build agents, and test automation
  • Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Managing releases with VSTS
  • Tracking manual test cases and scenarios

Limitations and benefits of the VSTS Scrum Template

  • Managing hierarchical product requirement backlogs with Epics, Features and PBIs
  • Estimating, planning and conducting sprints with PBI/Bug to Task decomposition
  • Standard reporting with release and sprint burndowns, and cumulative flow diagrams
  • Tracking risks and issues with Impediment work items
  • Managing and resolving defects with Bug and Task work items

Limitations and benefits of the Agile Template

  • Understanding the differences between the Scrum and the agile template
  • Scrum versus XP-style methodologies
  • Interleaving defects and user stories on the backlog
  • Tracking estimation quality through original estimate fields

The CMMI Template

  • Exploring the differences between the Scrum and CMMI template
  • Managing change requests formally with VSTS
  • Maintaining a dynamic risks and issues register with Risk and Issue work items
  • Tracking formal reviews
  • Aligning the CMMI template with auditable formal project methods
  • Using the integrated test management suite in VSTS
  • Automation versus manual testing

Customising VSTS templates and workflows

  • Understanding template reconfiguration
  • Amending and extending VSTS work items
  • Work item states, state transition rules, and customised Kanban boards
  • Modifying work item state models to match local practice
  • Creating new custom work item types and relationships
  • Adding Risk and Issue management to Scrum and agile templates
  • Customising dashboards and VSTS-hosted reports
  • Exporting, importing and synchronising VSTS data with Microsoft Excel
  • Integration approaches with Microsoft Word and external requirements documents.

Capturing requirements in agile projects

  • Comparing traditional and agile/scrum structured requirements
  • Mapping requirements to Epics, Features and Product Backlog Items (User stories)
  • Managing the quality for product backlog based requirements
  • Definition of Ready and the INVEST criteria
  • Definition of Done and its relationship to agile requirements delivery
  • Estimating short, medium and long term effort for product backlog delivery

Managing development workflows within version control

  • Comparing Git against traditional client server version control repositories, e.g. TFS-VC
  • Branching and merging strategies for single and multi-team development projects
  • Selecting and optimising the workflow: GItFlow, Feature branches, team branches, release branches
  • Configuring continuous integration with automated build pipelines
  • Integrating test automation into the CI pipeline
  • Using test automation to drive reliable merging
  • Reporting on continuous integration builds, test runs and deployments

Further Information:

The course uses a combination of interactive lecture/seminar style learning, and hands-on practical exercises using VSTS. In this way attendees are not just informed of the capabilities of the tool, but are also able to start using it in real projects following the completion of the course.

My Course Notes

You will receive a full set of course notes and all supporting materials for your course. Hard Copy Delivered to your premises or Downloaded to a chosen device.


To book this course please call +44 (0) 1444 410296 or email at

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