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In this two-part article, Oaklin’s digital workplace team help you get to grips with Microsoft Azure DevOps. Here in part one they explain what ADO is and what to look out for.

"It is part of a growing trend of software companies to offer an all-encompassing ecosystem."

What is Azure DevOps?

Also known as ADO, Azure DevOps is the latest string Microsoft are adding to their O365 bow. It allows teams to plan, collaborate, build, test and deliver in a way that takes into account all practices and capabilities concerned with delivery in an organisation, programme or scrum team. ADO has five components – Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, Azure Test Plans, and Azure Artefacts. 

You can tell from the names that the functionality primarily serves software development but can also be used to support any type of collaborative team development. The five components are aiming to be your end-to-end delivery toolset. No more fiddly importing of clunky excel requirements catalogues into test tools or planning development in a separate PowerPoint. ADO does the lot and in a slick and fully integrated way. 

So what’s the significance of ADO? Why do I need to know about it?

You may have noticed that over the last couple of years Microsoft have expanded the boundaries of their software offering from an operating system (Windows) and a desktop publishing suite (Office) to include, well, a bit of everything. You can store all your files and collaborate on them through OneDrive, you can manage multimedia in Stream and you can connect and automate your data through Power Apps – the list goes on. It is part of a growing trend of software companies to offer an all-encompassing ecosystem – think Google’s expansion into Docs and business software with Workspace or Atlassian’s amalgamation of Jira, Trello, Confluence et al.

ADO is Microsoft’s latest play. We think it is going to be big and gain real traction in the coming twelve months. ADO could be to 2023 as Teams and Zoom were to the lockdown months of 2020. We see the use of large-scale agile planning software to be a growing trend in 2023.

Great! Another feature packed addition to O365. What’s not to like?

Well herein lies the rub. Microsoft have built a toolset that really does try to do cater to your every development need. In fact they are trying to cater to everyone’s every development need – and that results in quite a complicated bit of software with so many bells and whistles that it can be difficult to know where to start. Remember that top of the range Japanese DVD player that the man in Currys sold you in the 00s, the one which when you got it home there were so many buttons and menus that you couldn’t press play? Well, if not done correctly, ADO is a little like that DVD player. To get the thing to work you need to invest setup, training, and change management.

Read our part two to get 7 top tips to set up the Azure Boards component.

If you want to learn more about ADO, or to discuss how to implement it and how to ensure your users use it, then get in touch with Oaklin’s digital workplace team of Simon Mould, Joe Thomas and Steve Girdler on enquiries@oaklin.com.

Steve Girdler

Consultant
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Steve Girdler

Consultant

Steve is an experienced consultant and is excited to help clients tackle the increasingly complex set of challenges they face. He sees necessity of innovation and transformation in order to develop novel solutions to the unprecedented problems we now face. He has 14 years’ consulting experience across energy, financial services and the public sector and has worked on projects covering customer remediations, business design, change management, cybersecurity, innovation, talent management, and integrations and divestments.