Archive for the ‘VSTS’ Category


By:  Cole Francis, Solution Architect at The PSC Group, LLC, Schaumburg, IL.

Today’s successful IT Delivery Leaders focus predominantly on the delivery of a “product” and focus less on the term “project”.  They despise heavy planning phases that require intense requirements gathering sessions, they avoid meetings that they know will produce unactionable results, they redirect unnecessary project drama and chaos, they address unmanageable timelines, and they shy away from creating redundant product artifacts that tell a story that’s already been told.

Today’s successful IT Delivery Leaders are all about orchestrating results in rapid successions to demonstrate quick and frequent progress to the Stakeholders, they manage realistic expectations across the entire Delivery Team, they allow a product and its accompanying artifacts to define themselves over a series of iterative sprints, and they work directly with the Stakeholders to help shape the final product.  That’s efficiency!  Hi, I’m Cole Francis, a Solution Architect at The PSC Group in Schaumburg, IL, and I’ve been successfully delivering custom software solutions for an impressive and growing list of well-branded clients for over twenty years.


Please join me, Cole Francis, when I speak at “Dev Ops in the Burbs” on Thursday, February 2nd, at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, IL at 6pm sharp.  During my hour-long presentation, I’ll discuss and demonstrate how to navigate and use the comprehensive cloud-based Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) platform.

I’ll also talk about how I use this platform’s built-in tools and capabilities to manage my SCRUM-based Agile projects and teams, such as:  Product Backlog Items and the Kanban Board, capacity planning and management, sprint planning, and setting up a project’s areas and iterations.  I’ll also discuss general team management using the SCRUM-based Agile approach, including how to conduct your team and product stakeholder meetings.

Additionally, I’ll also talk about how your team should estimate the level-of-effort for PBI’s, and how those items should be prioritized and monitored during the course of the project.What’s more, I’ll also help you understand how to forecast when your project will be done based upon your team’s ever-fluctuating velocity and capacity.

Finally, I’ll also cover bug entry and management, PBI prioritization, when you might consider breaking PBI’s into more discrete tasks, when an epic should be used on the project, basic VSTS security, Visual Studio source code integration, how to customize the project home page, how to set up custom queries and alerts, and how to automate the build & deployment processes.

It sounds like a lot of information…and geez…it is.  🙂  I’m pretty sure that I could talk for at least a day on this platform, so I’ll have quite a bit of ground to cover in a very short amount of time, but I think I can do it.  However, just in case I can’t, please bring a sleeping bag, a change of clothes, and a day’s worth of food and water with you. 🙂  In all seriousness though, it should be a very fun and educational evening.  I look forward to seeing everyone there.  Please join me.  Click here for more details.

Organized by Craig Jahnke and Tony Hotko.