Visibility Across Teams With Azure DevOps

5 min read

Project portfolio management success runs hand in hand with how well you can access the correct data. This article elaborates on how you can gain visibility across teams with Azure DevOps and addresses ways to fill in the gaps where Azure may be lacking.

Your project may fail for various reasons, and not having enough access to all its data can be a significant contributor. Project portfolio visibility consists of everything from portfolio dashboards, real-time reports, and collaboration to metric tiles and scoreboards. Visibility ensures that everyone involved with the projects understands the primary objective and their respective roles in accomplishing the target.

Hence, having the proper project portfolio visibility can make all the difference in your organizational success. Project managers often struggle to find the right tools that ensure real visibility for their projects. 

There’s so much more to project portfolio visibility than a mere update via email. And yet, so many PPM’s are busy continually answering calls and emails, updating sheets, and emailing new data. PPM’s lose a lot of time and energy in the process, but transparency isn’t achieved.

What happens due to a lack of portfolio visibility?

Project management officers with little to no project portfolio visibility experience a range of problems, including:

Fragmented view

With different teams using different tools, project information becomes haphazard and difficult to find. Project managers thus struggle with accessing the correct data to move forward.

Inaccurate progress

Tracking project progress by each portfolio becomes impossible when projects are disorganized across various teams on different platforms. Project managers then fail to assess project deliverables, which can even result in project failure.

Reactive approach

Due to a lack of visibility, project managers struggle to identify interventions for projects that require immediate attention. As such, there is limited control and chances of significant delays.

Delayed statuses

Without the right PPM tool, project managers may spend hundreds of hours just coordinating meetings and creating status reports, where the real work is nowhere near finished.

Visibility with Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is a powerful tool that enables you to manage and analyze a large amount of data at any instant. Moreover, Azure integrates with Excel, facilitating data visualization in better ways to help you crack business insights. If that’s not all, more and more BI options are being added to Azure due to an increase in demand.

Azure helps each team plan, prioritize, and track their tasks. Portfolio and project managers can also create roadmaps, visions, and goals for each project. They can monitor their progress across projects and handle risks and dependencies.

However, Azure stumbles in performance when it concerns visibility across projects, teams, and enterprises. Different teams in the organization may be using various tools to monitor their work. While one tool may work for developers, another may be fitting for business managers. 

Moreover, Azure can’t do much to ensure visibility between two or more interdependent projects. This slows down teams working across multiple projects, which translates to a much bigger problem when it’s scattered across an organization. Your teams would lack proper visibility because they wouldn’t correlate data from multiple projects from a birds-eye view.

Why is visibility across teams so important?

Project managers can use proper project portfolio management strategies to ensure and increase visibility. Unfortunately, several project managers struggle to adopt the practices that will promote portfolio visibility effectively. Efficient project managers need to monitor a wide range of factors, including but not limited to budget allocation, deliverables, resource availability, and task progress.

They have access to the more significant picture matters. Otherwise, coordinating several moving parts of a project can turn into a reactive cycle of response, where project managers only see whatever needs to be done immediately at any given time.

This marginalizes overall project visibility to a great extent and essentially offers a tunnel vision rather than the bigger picture. And this constricted glimpse into project data can come in the way of project milestones and even endanger project success.

Moreover, team members benefit from visibility in several aspects. While working on multiple projects that may be interdependent, teams can easily access information under a single shed. This improves transparency and accountability across teams since everyone remains in the loop.

Organizations that focus on and promote visibility have a proactive approach. Efficient project managers also leverage automated software solutions that expand visibility. This, again, opens the doors to a range of facilities:

Better resource planning

Better portfolio visibility means better identification of the resources at your disposal. It also means you can address the possible resource conflicts and act accordingly. Project managers can use insights from the bigger picture for strategic allocation that will ultimately benefit the organizational mission.

With the help of a PPM tool, you gain better access to data sets your organization needs to map resources and workload.

While Azure DevOps is brilliant for software development, the tool misses some key features that ensure visibility and access to the bigger picture. However, integration with PPM Express offers a wide range of parts, using which you can do just that. All your projects, epics, and features remain under a single dashboard, allowing you absolute clarity, transparency, and visibility.

Gone are the days when you’d have to ask for manual calculations or ask your team to provide a piece of information via email or Excel. With PPM Express, you can rest assured that you’ll view real-time information updated automatically on Azure.

Efficient project prioritization

The problem starts when project managers have limited visibility across all the projects at hand. This hinders them from accurately prioritizing their tasks. Better portfolio visibility means PMs can monitor and assess every project, drive strategic alignment, complete tasks ahead of the deadline, and ensure informed decision-making.

You can automatically integrate and synchronize all your epics, projects, and features in Azure DevOps with projects in PPM express to gain a bigger picture view and ensure portfolio visibility. You and your team can use Azure DevOps while using the PPM features you need through PPM Express.

Better alignment with strategic vision

Having a better understanding of your project needs plays a crucial role in assessing how every initiative would boost and align with your organization’s strategic vision. Project managers can evaluate accordingly to boost success rates, and financial results and increase customer satisfaction.

Besides, with seamless integration between Microsoft Power BI reports and PPM Express for project portfolio management, you can gain access to so much more, including:

Addressing risks ahead of time

Last but not least, increased visibility helps project managers quickly address the vulnerabilities and risks of a portfolio. Project managers can evaluate accurate, real-time data sets that highlight potential threats. This means they can adjust their plans accordingly to mitigate those risks and keep the projects going.

Using PPM Express, you can manage resource calendars, and resource pools, monitor resource utilization, and allocate available resources for future projects. You can also access visual resource utilization charts and mitigate risks by discarding over-allocation. 

While your team keeps using Azure DevOps, PPM Express makes the experience even more seamless with better and more efficient resource planning.

An All-in-One Solution To Resource Planning & Portfolio Visibility – PPM Express

Now that you fully understand the importance of portfolio visibility, let’s look at what you can do to make the most of it. Teams today use various project management tools based on their needs, user experience, and effectiveness.

PPM Express is a project portfolio management software that offers holistic portfolio visibility. Access all your project work under the ‘Big Picture View’ and know where your organization is headed.

With PPM Express, the company saves up to 60% on reporting, project, and resource planning. — Martijn Schasfoort, Maxima M.C.

Final Words

The dynamic business environment today demands portfolio visibility, and as such, PPM Express steps in where Azure DevOps lags in viewing the bigger picture. Sign up for PPM Express’s free 30-day trial to take your project management system to new heights.

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