Delivery Plans 1.0 Marketplace extension

Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2017

Use the visualization options that Delivery Plans provide to review the schedule of stories or features your teams plan to deliver. Delivery Plans show the scheduled work items by sprint (iteration path) of selected teams against a calendar view.

Note

Delivery Plans 2.0 is available for Azure DevOps Services. The new version of Delivery Plans supports several new features and is a supported feature of Azure Boards,. It isn't an extension. The plans you have already defined with the extension will open using Delivery Plans 2.0. For a summary of the differences between the two versions, see Delivery Plans FAQs.

Use Delivery Plans to ensure your teams are aligned with your organizational goals. You can view multiple backlogs and multiple teams across your whole account. You can interact with the plan with simple drag-and-drop operations to update or modify the schedule, opening cards, expanding and collapsing teams, and more.

You can change the assigned sprint of a work item by dragging it to a new sprint as shown in the following image.

Screenshot of moving a card to a different iteration

In this article you'll learn:

  • How to review a plan with your teams
  • How to add and edit a plan
  • How to add field criteria, customize cards, and add markers
  • How to open a plan from the list of defined plans
  • How to work with the interactive elements of plans and change the plan view
  • What permissions are required to create and view plans

Prerequisites

Note

Installation of Delivery Plans requires TFS 2017.2 or later version.

Review a plan with your teams

It takes several teams to develop large software projects. Large projects require multiple autonomous teams. Review Agile culture for a discussion of autonomous teams and organizational alignment. Autonomous teams manage their own backlog and priority, which contributes to a unified direction for that project.

Regular reviews of the project schedule with these teams help ensure that the teams are working toward common goals. Delivery Plans provide the needed multi-team view of your project schedule.

Some questions you might address during the review:

  • How confident are the teams in meeting the deliverables scheduled for each sprint?
  • Are dependencies across teams adequately addressed via the planned deliverables?
  • Are there gaps in the schedule, where no deliverables are scheduled? What's the cause? Can this risk be mitigated?

For example, we use Delivery Plans internally to share the schedule of Features. By seeing the work many teams have planned for the next three sprints, we can easily discuss whether these priorities are the right priorities and if dependencies exist.

In this way, a Delivery Plan is a driver of alignment while allowing each team to keep a strong sense of autonomy. Individual teams can work to different sprint cadences, if needed, and manage different work item types—stories, features, or epics. Their work is all visible with the same plan view. Teams can even be part of different projects if they use different processes. You can also customize the card fields so that you only see the data fields of interest and applicable per work item type.

Learn best practices

  • Use a consistent sprint schedule across your project teams and organization. Use the same sprints for backlogs, features, and epics. Don't create specific sprints for epics or other portfolio backlogs.
  • Minimize the number of fields you choose to display on your cards.
  • Eliminate cross-team ownership of area paths. Cross-team area path ownership isn't recommended and can lead to undesirable edge cases.

Note the following criteria:

  • Plan views are limited to 12 to 13 months.
  • Plan views are limited to a maximum of 10 teams/backlogs
  • Zooming out can cause fields and tags to disappear from the cards. The further you zoom out, the harder it's to fit items on a card. By design, we hide select items depending on the zoom level.

Add a plan

  1. Open Boards>Plans.

    Screenshot to Open Boards>Plans

  2. To add a plan, choose New Plan.

    Choose New Plan.

    All users, except users assigned Stakeholder access, have permissions to create a plan and manage the plans they create. To manage permissions for a plan, see Set permissions and access for work tracking, Manage or edit Delivery Plans.

  3. Fill in the form to name, describe, and specify the team backlogs that you want to appear within your plan.

    Add a plan

  1. Open Boards>Plans.

    Open work>Plans, previous nav

  2. To add a plan, choose New Plan.

    Choose new plan.

    All users, except users assigned Stakeholder access, have permissions to create a plan and manage the plans they create. To manage permissions for a plan, see Set permissions and access for work tracking, Manage or edit Delivery Plans.

  3. Fill in the form to name, describe, and specify the team backlogs that you want to appear within your plan.

    Add a plan

When defining a plan, note the following criteria:

  • Use the name and description field to clearly identify your plan within the project
  • You can choose one or more teams from any project defined in the organization or collection. Choose up to a maximum of 10 teams.
  • You can choose one or more active backlogs for a team

    Note

    If you aren't able to select a backlog level, check the Team Backlog settings to ensure the backlog level is enabled for the team. To learn more, see Select backlog navigation levels for your team.

  • You can reorder the team backlogs by dragging and dropping them into the sequence you want
  • To filter for specific work items, specify the field criteria. For example, to exclude bugs from the view, add the following criteria: Work Item Type <> Bug.

Edit a plan

Once you've defined a plan, you can further customize it.

  1. To open the Settings dialog, choose Configure plan settings .

  2. Then, choose the page you want to edit. You can customize the plan in the following ways:

    • Edit the teams you've selected and their backlog level

    • Set field criteria to further limit the work items that will appear on the plan

    • Add markers to show important upcoming events on your timeline

    • Customize the fields that display on the cards, similar to how you customize them for your Kanban or taskboard.

      Here, we add the Tags field criteria. Only work items that contain the RC Review tag will appear in the Delivery Plan.

      Settings dialog, Fields page
  3. To set a marker, open the Markers page, specify a date, and select a color.

    Open the Markers page, specify a date and select a color.

    Markers appear on the plan as shown:

    Plans, Markers appear on calendar slide

Open a plan

Once you've defined a few plans, you'll see them listed from the Plans page under All, or the ones you've favorited (Add to favorites ) under Favorites. You can see their title, description, and their most recent creator/editor.

Use the favorite's star to favorite a plan so that you can quickly return to that plan. You can also search for other plans in the project.

To open a plan, choose the plan name.

Interact with a plan

Each team's backlog specified in a Delivery Plan appears as a row within the plan view. When collapsed, a roll-up of the backlog items shows. When expanded, a card for each backlog item appears, organized by their assigned iteration.

Interactive plan elements.

You can interact with the plan in the following ways:

  • Filter the plan by choosing Choose Filter . For more information, see Interactively filter your backlogs, boards, and plans.
  • Scale the size of the cards (enter + or - to also scale)
  • Scroll the view horizontally via the calendar to view previous months or future months (Enter Shift-left or Shift-right to scroll)
  • You can also scroll the plan via click and dragging your mouse.
  • Scroll the view vertically to view teams that appear lower within the plan view. You can also scroll the plan by clicking the plan and dragging your mouse vertically.
  • Select a card title to open the backlog item and view details. Close the work item to return to the plan.
  • To view details for a team, expand the team row by choosing Expand team row.
  • To expand and collapse all team rows, choose Expand all team rows or Collapse all team rows next to Teams. (Enter u to collapse, o to expand all rows).
  • Enter t to quickly toggle fields shown on cards to just the Title or all other card field settings
  • To edit the plan and change the fields displayed on the cards, choose Configure plan settings .

In the following example, Team 1 features expanded, two items are scheduled for delivery in Sprint 50.

Team rows in plans

You can also quickly see that:

  • Team 1 is currently working on Sprint 50 deliverables
  • Sprint 50 began on December 14 and is scheduled to end December 25.
  • The team expects to deliver the two features shown by the cards.

Collapse teams for summary information

A benefit of Delivery Plans is to view multiple teams across your projects that you care about. Two main ways to view more teams within the plan view is to collapse all teams to focus on summary data. You can also minimize the number of fields displayed on cards.

To gain a summary view of work that is schedule, collapse all teams. You can then more easily look for gaps in the forward forecast.

For example, here you can see the count of Features for Team 1 for the next three sprints. You can collapse/expand team rows by choosing Expand team row or Collapse team row next to the team name.

Collapse click targets

View titles only in the collapsed card view

The collapsed card view allows you to quickly switch back and forth between cards showing titles only and cards showing all fields configured for the plan. To toggle between titles only and show all fields, enter "t" from your keyboard.

Update the iteration for a backlog item

As changes occur to the schedule, you can update the iteration for a backlog item. Update the iteration by moving a card to a different iteration. This action will help to drive alignment across your organization.

Move a card to a different iteration

Minimize the fields displayed on cards

To quickly change the cards to only show their Title, enter the keyboard shortcut 't'. This will hide all other fields, as shown in the following image, the Assigned to field no longer appears. To persist this view, edit the plan's settings for card fields.

Cards showing the Title only

Learn keyboard shortcuts

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts when interacting with a delivery plan. To view the valid shortcuts, enter ? when viewing a plan from the Boards>Plans or Work>Plans page.

To toggle between card titles only and card details, enter t.

Note

The following shortcuts are available from the web portal for TFS 2017.2 and later versions. Type ? to access Global and service-specific shortcuts.

Delivery plans keyboard shortcuts



Home     Select first item
Enter      Open item
n            New item

Ctrl+↑  Move item up
Ctrl+↓  Move item down
Ctrl+←  Move item left
Ctrl+→  Move item right
Shift+←  Pan timeline left
Shift+→  Pan timeline right

u            Collapse all backlogs
o            Expand all backlogs

Shift+pageup    Focus on previous team
Shift+pagedown  Focus on next team
Ctrl+Shift+f      Filter results

For more resources to help work with multiple teams, see these articles:

Programmatically manage Delivery Plans

You can manage plans using the REST API, Plans.