Microsoft Azure DevOps Review

Easy to use, stable, and helps speed up production


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our Agile teams, however, we started off using it with our executive suite. Our executive team now meets in sprints every day. Sometimes it's a short 15 minutes, other times it can be up to an hour. We have two-week sprints and daily scrums associated with it. We've also rolled that down from the executive. We've got seven formal Agile teams running throughout the organization across our businesses. We probably have at least 40% of our staff now trained in Agile and using DevOps to execute the projects.

How has it helped my organization?

As an Agile team, we're now able to move much faster than we could, even pre-COVID.

What is most valuable?

Typically the sprints themselves and managing the tasks have essentially eliminated our need for reporting. That in itself has had a huge effort on the number of meetings. In the past, you would almost wait a month before you could get all the executive teams together. Now, we've got meetings daily. Due to the regular meetings, we're utilizing daily scrums and two-week sprints, and we've been able to move a lot faster than we've ever had before as far as initiatives. 

Frankly, throughout this whole COVID situation, being able to respond the way we have to some of the changes that were going on has been amazing. I don't think that would have happened if we weren't an Agile team.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of features that we could probably work with a bit differently as we learn more about the tool. Right now, we're just really using it from a task management perspective. We've only been using it a year. There may still be more to learn and unpack.

Some of the queries, the way they're built, need to be looked at. We need better query tools.

Being able to report back to boards, to regulators, and the activities and stuff would be helpful. The queries do require somebody else to actually write them. There should, however, be a way to make things a little simpler in that space. Right now it's on us to figure out how to get better at making queries effectively and in such a way we're just not reporting on tasks complete.  

We track the associated feature story. In many ways you can actually go back and see the story, and see the progress you've made on initiatives due to the fact that you can see all the decisions that have been made along the way. If there's a way that person could dig into that and pull more information or insights, that would be very helpful as it would assist us in improving future projects or even help us forecast on an existing project. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I use the solution daily. We launched it in the company in January. We've been using it across all our Agile teams here for 12 months here.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. I haven't had issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's a reliable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution's level of scalability is good. We're a smaller organization. We've only got 300 people in total, and out of those, probably 40% of our entire staff use the product. About 120 people probably are in there on a daily basis. That's everyone from executives down to programmers. It's extremely cross-functional across our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to reach out to DevOps themselves personally, so I wouldn't have experience there. However, if we ran into any issues, my technology teams would contact them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't previously use a different solution. That's why we looked for an automation tool. We switched to DevOps mostly due to the fact that our development team was utilizing DevOps as part of their own Agile operations. A number of teams were also already sort of experienced. There are a number of individuals in the company who were experienced that way, and we had homegrown support in some ways when we launched it. It just made sense to go with DevOps as opposed to bringing in something new.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup wasn't complex. It was pretty straightforward. We didn't run into any issues that complicated the process of implementation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at Jira briefly, however, it didn't look that different from DevOps and we knew many of our team members were already comfortable with this solution so we didn't pursue it.

What other advice do I have?

We're just Microsoft customers. We don't have any business relationship with the company.

I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using.

I'd strongly recommend the solution to other organizations. I can't see us ever reversing back now after being on this for a year.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It's relatively easy to use and it does what we need it to do.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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