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Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

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In this post I want to cover using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards. Because it can be useful.

In fact, I recently did a demo of this for Data Saturday Pordenone.

By the end of this post, you will know how you can use Analytics Views and Power BI desktop to create a dynamic sprint review dashboard in Power BI.

Sprint review

Just to recap, a sprint review is a meeting the tends to take place at an end of the Scrum Sprint. Usually, the Product Owner and the rest of the Scrum Team will go through what they have delivered with stakeholders.

About Analytics Views

Analytics Views is a feature that is currently in Preview in Azure DevOps, which I talked about in a previous post here. An Analytic view is a way you can present data to be consumed for Power BI.

At this moment in time, they support details about work items in Azure Boards within Azure DevOps. For example, the details about backlog items completed in the last 30 days.

Which is very useful for Product Owners or anybody else who wishes to report on work items. Because it gives them the possibility of creating powerful dashboards for their stakeholders.

You can find out more about Analytics views in detail by clicking here.

Just a reminder that to do the below you need to enable the Analytics Views Preview feature in Azure DevOps. You can do this in Azure DevOps by clicking on the User Settings icon and selecting ‘Preview Features’.

Enabling Preview Settings

Creating Analytic Views for a sprint

In reality, there are a few ways you can use Analytics Views for a sprint review. However, to keep this demo simple I decided to create two new Analytics Views based on the existing ones below.

  • Backlog items – Last 30 days
  • Tasks – Last 30 days

I put the sprint number in front of the names of the new views to make them easy to identify.

New Analytics Views

For my customized backlog view, I added a filter for the current sprint.

For my customized task view I also added a filter for the current sprint. In addition, I added an additional field for the remaining work. Due to the fact it’s needed for the burndown chart we will reproduce.

With this in mind, now is a good time to mention that to copy doing this you have to be using tasks as part of your sprint (or iteration) and using the ‘Remaining work’ column to show how many hours you have left to work on the task. In addition, you should be updating this column each day.

If you are looking to copy the above, make sure you actually go to edit the views. So that you can view the other settings and change them if needed. Like I have done with the History settings below.

Selecting the views in Power BI desktop

Note: To do this it is important to have a fairly recent version of Power BI desktop installed.

Once I had created the views, I was ready to create the dashboard in Power BI desktop. First thing to do was to get the data using Azure DevOps (Boards only).

Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

After clicking connect I then had to enter in the URL to my organization and the project name. Just to confirm, you can use spaces here if they are in your project name.

After I clicked on OK, I selected the two views that I created.

Selecting the customized views

Creating a burndown chart

As part of the sprint review dashboard, I decided to create two pages. One to represent a burndown chart and the other to show a dynamic dashboard of all the backlog items worked on.

In reality, you can extend this by adding other things like a velocity chart. In addition, you can show a pie chart of all the items based on their different tags.

Right at the start I renamed the page to show what it was going to show. In my case, it was bad burndown for reasons that will be clear to a lot of people who work with Scrum.

After that I selected the ‘Area chart’ visualization. Afterwards, I selected the ‘Date’ column for the Axis and ‘Remaining Work’. However, when you first do this nothing appears. Due to the fact that you have to change the Axis from using the Date Hierarchy to just the date.

Once date is selected the burndown looks a lot better.

Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

However, as you can see here this is a bad burndown and the remaining work to be done does not go down to zero on the Y axis. To change this, you can select the ‘Format’ option in Power BI desktop. From there, select the Y axis and change the ‘Start’ value to 0.

Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

You can now see a better representation of this burndown chart.

Creating dynamic backlog items dashboard

Next, I looked at creating a dynamic backlog items dashboard. With this in mind, I created a new page and renamed it.

First of all, I selected the ‘Assigned To’ and ‘Title’ columns from the ‘Sprint 18 – Backlog Items’ view. Which created a static list on the screen. In addition, I went to the ‘Format’ section again and in the ‘Values’ section I made the font bigger.

Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

As you can see this table appears to be static. Sure, I can click on it to get a few other options. However, I made it a bit more dynamic simply by adding a couple of slicers visualizations.

Using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards

Just by adding these two slicers I have created a more dynamic filtering mechanism fairly quickly.

Once done with Power BI Desktop

Once you are all done, I recommend publishing it to Power BI (or Power BI Report Server). Especially if you are using it for a dynamic sprint review. Because it means you can share the link out for it afterwards to give it that extra wow factor.

Video

I did a demo of this for Data Saturday Pordenone recently. If you want to see how this looks you can watch the video from the Data Saturday Pordenone session here. In case anybody was wondering, the organizers created the really good introduction.

Final word

I hope this post about using Azure DevOps Analytics Views and Power BI to create Sprint review dashboards helps you. In reality, once you have gone through the above once you should be able to repeat it easily within minutes. Just like I did at Data Saturday Pordenone.

Of course, you can create your own customized Analytics Views to cover other things as well. In addition, you can extend the sample I have shown above to create very powerful dashboards for use during sprint reviews or other presentations.

If you have any comments or queries about this post feel free to reach out to me.

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