In recent months Microsoft have been releasing new pieces of functionality to their Office 365 platform.


As many other SharePoint organisations, developers at Microsoft are using Agile development processes.

On a regular frequent basis new features are arriving in our tenants.

I’m not sure exactly what happens inside the Microsoft kitchen, but something is definitely cooking.

Microsoft is trying to improve this process as I recently found out on the tech community site 

I’m sure that it is quite difficult to manage updates (and customers) when multiple customers share the same hardware/software as preferences for customers will be different.

Some of these features are announced within the message center. Even thought the arrival of the message center has improved things slightly there is still plenty to do to improve the communication towards Microsoft’s customers.


It would help if we knew what we would get for dinner. 

So how should an Agile/Continuous delivery process work?

Many organisations seem to have forgotten that even though we are working with Agile processes. There are still phases to each sprint/iteration.

These can include any of the following:

  • Requirements gathering/prioritizing backlog
  • Planning & Design
  • Estimation
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Implementation
  • Delivery to test (Microsoft calls these First release 🙂 )
  • Delivery to production ( Production environments without FR enabled)
  • Support

Possible improvements?waiter_gesture

Once development is ready to start there should be a sprint backlog with estimates ready.


This backlog (The menu) can then be published to Office 365 admins through the Message Center. Including a rough estimate for delivery. 

Once development has been completed the updated back log for the sprint can be published. Including elements of the back log that may not have been completed. So the waiter is standing at my table waiting for the order now: “Do you want to be first release or not?”

Once the testing is complete first release enabled tenants can now be updated.

'Being the royal food taster doesn't mean you always get to lick the filling from the cookies.'

Again the Message Center should include details of the update that is about to be delivered.

Then we get our tasters to try the solutions for a while and if they are happy we are ready to serve dinner to the production environments.

Dinner served! Don’t forget to tell people to come to the table! Once again the Message Center should be updated.

Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

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