Seven COOL features we noticed on Visual Studio Online today

We dogfood Visual Studio Online (VSO) 24x7, explore as we evolve, innovate, and continuously fine-tune our process. Our recent Managing agile open-source software projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Online eBook is already dated, thanks to the cool features that are released as part of the regular service updates.

Here are our top seven (7) features we noted today, while working on the setup of the VSO Extensibility Ecosystem, App Sample and Guidance project, which we will cover in more detail in one of the upcoming posts.

  1. After creating a new team project, you can fast-track to your Kanban board to get organised, or to your source control system to manage your code.
  2. Your backlog visually indicates which work items are managed by your or another team. For example, 10516-10528 are owned by another team and cannot be reordered on the ALM team board.
    If we show the area path, this becomes even more evident.
  3. The Value Area allows us to define a business of architecture (runway) value for each work item, as used by the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).
  4. We can opt in the Epic backlog level and stop decorating some of our Features with an Epic tag to simulate an Epic.
  5. Board columns can be customised, allowing us to introduce our favourite “in flight” analogy for active projects.
  6. Definition of Done (DoD) can be specified for each column and instead of searching for the DoD in a document or work item, you simply click image.
  7. Part of the customisation is the ability to split columns into Doing and Done.


For more information on these and other productivity features, please refer to Visual Studio Online, Get Started, and Visual Studio Online Updates.

Comments (2)
  1. giuliov says:

    Lovely portrait Willy

  2. DavidLean says:

    Any tips on how to use/set the "Value Area" column?

    I'd like to add my own choices eg: "Operations" to the default set of "Business" & "Architecture". But can't figure out how to do so.

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