My Azure Experience: Handling the Requirements

It is been a while I am doing some projects totally based on Azure ecosystem. As we are not working in a same place, it is a completely new experience for me because everything is different with working together in a company like place.

I’ve recently started this kind of development since our Tralus framework got ready for remote development. In brief, Tralus is a framework designed for remote teams to work separately with no need to have a shared dev database. It took a year for me and Afshin to make it ready in such a way.

But the interesting part is NOT about the framework technology, it is about how we integrated the development processes using Azure ecosystem tools like TFS Online and Azure itself. Here in this blog, I describe how we are accomplishing our tasks using TFS Online.

Features

Talking with business people and product strategists in a meeting, we get into a very high level requirement called feature.

A feature is a high level requirement with some clear strategic value to the product.

In this way, you can have a very high level understanding of your project progress:

Backlog Items

After then, we break down features into some backlog items.

A backlog is a testable requirement. It should be as small as it can be tested independently, but not smaller.

So as long as it can be tested by testers, it is a backlog item. In the following image you can see a sample feature which is broken down to some backlog items:

The backlog items board is really great view designed in recent versions of TFS like this:

As you can see, there are 3 backlog items here in the board. The first one has 15 subtasks (11 of them are done). And there is 1 Test designed to validate this backlog item. The 3rd backlog is more interesting as there is 3 tests designed for it. So you can check your backlogs quality status at a glance.

Sprints: Doing tasks

Now it is time to action, doing the tasks to accomplish backlog items. On the sprint board, developers add tasks to backlog items and makes them done.

And finally you can monitor the project using the great dashboards available on the home page.

Final Word

If you look for some “Requirement Engineering” tool, TFS Online is a really professional option. There are 3 types of work items Feature, Backlog item and Task (which came from Scrum) facilitat to logically structure your mind when thinking about requirements. Showing very meaningful cards on the boards brings lots of smartness to progress monitoring of your project. In later posts, I will write about Build/Release Management and how they integrate with code, work items and Azure servers.

About the author

Mehran Davoudi

A former technology geek! Currently a mentor and software architect, working as a consultant for companies with large scale software development.
Why dvd? Read about me (uɒɹɥəɯ)!

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