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Viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps

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In this post I want to cover options for viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps. Because it’s a common request.

For instance, somebody may be responsible for teams that use a combination of Agile and Scrum Processes in Azure DevOps. If they link them all to a theme or epic on a separate board, they will only be able to see whichever ones use the same process as that board.

It’s a bit different than recent posts. However, it gives me a chance to show you where you can use some T-SQL like code in Azure DevOps.

Test projects

To test how to view all work items I created two different projects. One using the Agile process and another using the Scrum process. For the Agile project I created the below epics, features and user stories.

Agile work items

I then did the same for the Scum project by creating epics, features and product backlog items.

Scrum work items

Preferred way

My preferred way to doing this is to use a query. Because it’s simple yet effective. In addition, you do not have to install an extension. However, I will show you where installing an extension can be useful.

You can create a query within Azure Boards by selecting ‘Queries’ as below.

Queries

When you go to create a query in the ‘Editor’ section you are presented with a Query Editor which can look and feel very familiar. Especially for those of you who have worked with query designers in the past.

In order to view the two different types I had to change the type of query to ‘Tree of work items’ to view the work items in a tree format.

From there I added features, backlog Items and user stories to the ‘Work Item Types’. In addition, I added the two projects that I had created and the states as below.

Viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps
Query layout

You can see the results of the query below. It shows both the Agile user stories and the Scrum product backlog items in a tree like format.

Viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps
Query results

As you can see, this is a very good way to see both Agile user stories and Scrum product backlog items across multiple projects. In addition, you can also take it one step further and move the epics to a central board in another project and just link the user stories and backlog items to them.

Wiql extension

Now you can take the above one step further if you have the Wiql Editor extension installed. Because this extension allows you to directly edit the Work Item Query language (WIQL) that the query designed uses.

I like using this for two reasons. Firstly, because I find it very flexible. Secondly, because I have worked with SQL Server for years and it is familiar to me. Some of you will also see how familiar it looks below.

SELECT
    [System.Id],
    [System.WorkItemType],
    [System.Title],
    [System.AssignedTo],
    [System.State],
    [System.Tags]
FROM workitemLinks
WHERE
    (
        [Source].[System.WorkItemType] = 'Theme'
        AND [Source].[System.State] <> ''
    )
    AND (
        [System.Links.LinkType] = 'System.LinkTypes.Hierarchy-Forward'
    )
    AND (
        [Target].[System.WorkItemType] IN ('Feature', 'Product Backlog Item', 'User story')
        AND [Target].[System.TeamProject] IN ('Test Agile', 'Test Scrum')
        AND [Target].[System.State] IN ('In Progress', 'New')
    )
MODE (Recursive, ReturnMatchingChildren)

You can find out how to install extensions here.

Alternatives

Now there are some alternatives to doing this. I will cover how you can use both of them instead below.

Delivery Plans

You can use the popular Delivery Plans extension by Microsoft which allows to track work across sprints. You can create a delivery plan like the below example.

Delivery Plan design

Now a Delivery Plan will be able to show you both Agile and Scrum work items together as you can see below.

Viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps

It does mean though that you have to add each level manually yourself as you can see in the settings section below.

Delivery Plan settings

However, you can do some very useful things within this view. For example, moving work items into different sprints/iterations and create new branches for repositories.

Portfolio Plans

One option is to use Portfolio plans within Azure Boards if you have the Feature timeline and Epic Roadmap extension installed.

Portfolio plans

If you create a Portfolio plans are really good for viewing the bigger picture of progress. However, you only appear to be able to drill into the next level down. So, if you want to view multiple levels you will have to add them to your Portfolio plan as below.

Portfolio plan with Epics and Features

Final word

I hope these options for viewing Agile and Scrum work items at the same time in Azure DevOps are useful.

Personally, I prefer using queries to get more dynamic results. However, the alternatives can give you some interesting options.

Feel free to say which option you prefer.

Published inAzure DevOps

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