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Every craftsman relies on a variety of tools. They’ve got their hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, and scrapers among their toolbox arsenal because each one serves a different purpose.
The same holds for product development—there is no universal tool for everything. It would be infeasible to try and cram a solution for everything into one package. And it would likely do a mediocre job of everything instead of excelling at its true purpose.
Product Managers Can Use Azure DevOps and ProductPlan Together
Thus the product development ecosystem thrives on integration and collaboration. Each practitioner and team selects their array of favorite solutions for different tasks. And the best of the best also makes working well with others a priority, which is why ProductPlan and Azure DevOps make such a great team.
Pairing these two tools means information can stay put in its purpose-built tool—projects and details in Azure DevOps, strategy and product roadmaps in ProductPlan—without a lot of heavy lifting to get them to play nice together.
With this joint environment, teams can be sure every detail is attended to and tracked in Azure DevOps while creating stunning and easily-shareable product roadmaps in ProductPlan. Both tools stay in sync, making sure the development team and other product stakeholders are seeing the same, up-to-date information in their respective settings.
Fast and simple integration
ProductPlan makes connecting with an Azure DevOps instance a breeze. All that’s needed is the Azure DevOps URL and a Personal Access Token, which quickly generates on the Azure DevOps security page.
Enter these on the ProductPlan Integrations page, and then it’s time to start syncing. From there, it’s time to select which items will be connected, including Title, Description, and percent complete.
With this in place, teams can import epics, stories, and even the Parking Lot from Azure DevOps into ProductPlan. While this can be a wholesale import of everything, users can also select specific, individual items that correspond with what’s on the product roadmap and relevant to that particular product. It keeps the ProductPlan product roadmap from cluttering with too many extra items not pertinent to the themes and scope of the product roadmap.
Likewise, from within ProductPlan bars and containers can also be linked to Azure DevOps, with that information showing up in the product roadmap details. It makes the most sense when the goal is to provide an accurate development status for product roadmap users who want to take a deeper dive into the implementation plan and its progress.
Advantages of teaming these tools up
Honing the product strategy and shaping it into an engaging visual product roadmap is an essential step in meeting strategic goals and fostering alignment among stakeholders. It drives many product teams to turn to solutions like ProductPlan that are specifically for this purpose.
Project planning and resource management have their requirements, which is why product development organizations love tools like Azure DevOps. There are many moving pieces, code branches, and steps in the process; it would be silly not to use something created to manage these complex operations correctly.
Letting these two great products work in tandem can pay dividends for both the product management and those working hard on implementation. By far, the biggest win is in time savings.
If using these two tools in parallel, product managers, scrum masters, and project managers will be duplicating efforts by updating status and filling in details in multiple locations. When you integrate these, one update will appear in both places.
Not only does this speed things up, but it also ensures better accuracy. The same update takes place across platforms, and there’s no fear of inconsistencies or something lost in translation.
Making the Most of this Power Couple
With these two world-class tools working in concert together, product teams can streamline their internal processes. They can minimize communication gaps and create compelling visual product roadmaps that still have the details some stakeholders want and need.
To maximize this collaboration, here are a few best practices to put in place:
Level setting the level of detail
Just because you can include something, doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs there. Sometimes less is more. Get the team to agree on what information to sync and what’s best to leave alone in its original tool.
Overwhelming audiences with too much detail may backfire and undercut the power of a sleek, visual product roadmap. On the flip side, if there’s not enough meat on the bones, some stakeholders may demand access to both tools when they don’t need—and shouldn’t have—that level of visibility.
Creating audience-specific views
Creating the best product roadmaps means working with a specific audience in mind. Teams can target more easily by selectively filtering the presentation to each cohort.
By appropriately tagging and categorizing product roadmap elements in ProductPlan, custom views instantly generate for each audience. It gives them the information they want without raising questions and unnecessary distractions by showing them things they don’t need.
Keeping everyone in the loop
Product roadmaps shouldn’t be static as priorities, status, and timelines change regularly. But ensuring stakeholders have these updates doesn’t need to be a chore.
Leveraging ProductPlan’s Microsoft Teams integration, product roadmap viewers are automatically informed of all the changes and additions. And since they’re accessing an online view versus an outdated attachment hiding in their email inbox, product teams can be sure they’re always using the latest version.
Team-up Azure DevOps and ProductPlan Today
With a speedy and seamless integration already available, there’s no reason to delay. By pairing these two tools together, you can unlock additional value from both. Best of all, by joining forces, both tools become even more valuable than using them discreetly.
Each party will be using the appropriate tool for each job while still realizing the benefits of this collaboration. No product roadmaps cobbled together in a DevOps tool, or project planning tacked on to purpose-built product roadmapping software. To get started today, here’s a quick guide to the simple Azure DevOps and ProductPlan integration process.