Agile groups align and get to marketplace quicker with Mural and Microsoft | Azure Weblog and Updates


This blog post was authored by Jason Morris, Global Partner Technology Strategist and co-authored by Gabby Francesco, Principal Product Marketing Manager at Mural, Joyce Balas, Global Partner Development Manager, and Ashley Kovich Ternan, Partner Marketing Specialist at Mural

During the last two years navigating changing economic climates and a global pandemic that shifted the way we work, we’ve learned that teams can continue to collaborate together productively and effectively in remote and hybrid settings. A recent Microsoft study shows that hybrid work works.1 The biggest risk of a hybrid workforce is not unproductive team members—it’s that people are becoming burnt out from too many meetings and a lack of clear, defined priorities.

But it takes intention and leadership to design a company culture where collaboration workflows let everyone contribute equally in retrospectives, standups, planning, and other agile projects where bold ideas and clear alignment are critical to staying competitive in the market. Now, more than ever, agile teams, or any team focused on planning and strategizing are expected seamlessly connect and collaborate regardless of where everyone is working.

Microsoft, in partnership with Mural’s leading collaborative intelligence system, is filling a critical need. Powered by Microsoft Azure and integrated with Microsoft Teams, Mural enables dynamic meetings and teamwork turning ideas and insights into reality so remote work no longer inhibits co-creation. Mural’s latest integration with the Microsoft ecosystem connects Azure DevOps to an intuitive workspace for teams to collaborate visually. Mural centers around a digital whiteboard and includes pre-built frameworks that guide and structure collaborative work, including templates for agile ceremonies and LUMA design thinking practices. Facilitation tools built into the product, like voting and a timer, make it intuitive for teams to work together intentionally and make it easier for everyone to contribute. Mural’s new integration with Azure DevOps is the connective tissue for agile teams, no matter where they’re working.

Level up your team’s next collaboration session with Mural and Azure DevOps

With Mural’s new integration, Mural and Azure DevOps customers can now save time and jumpstart collaboration by easily importing work items as sticky notes onto a Mural canvas. Teams can use Mural’s visual canvas and templates to refine work items in a backlog, review a sprint plan, break down a feature into smaller chunks of work, have a retrospective, or even build a program board. Having work items on the canvas where collaboration is happening keeps workflows connected and teams focused without incurring a toggle tax by switching between applications.2

93 percent of surveyed organizations who leverage agile experienced an increase in collaboration and productivity following the implementation of Mural.3

Everything from user story mapping to retrospectives are more productive, inclusive, and engaging when you connect Mural and Azure DevOps.

How Mural and Azure DevOps work

Connect Azure DevOps to your Mural account to view your projects and easily import work items as sticky notes. Use filters or run your own query to find the work items you want to import.

A panel showing options to connect organization, search and filter results, selecting work items, using custom queries, and editing imported sticky notes

Design your import in Mural by choosing which fields, including custom fields, to import as tags on your sticky. Stickies are automatically color coded by work item type to visualize and organize next steps and prevent delays in decision making.

Two screens showing how an object is imported, the object type, and the custom fields you can import

Be even more effective with Mural’s templates for hybrid agile ceremonies like program implement (PI) planning, sprint planning, sprint reviews, and more to level up collaboration and reduce time to market.

The Mural dashboard showing three columns (high-priority items, for consideration, and spring goals) that show the following sticky notes. Cancel order form, font not loading on checkout errors, and update all link colors.

Partners in collaboration transformation

Mural is a Microsoft Partner of the Year award winner, which recognizes partners based on their commitment to customers, the impact of their solutions, and their exemplary use of Microsoft technologies. We are thrilled to collaborate with Mural, an ISV building the next generation of solutions with Azure technology, to help teams everywhere plan smarter, collaborate better, and ship faster. Integration with Azure DevOps improves agility and can optimize your existing cloud investments by helping decrease costs and saving developer time. With comprehensive security and compliance built in, Mural is paving the way for organizations to adopt a DevOps culture. Mural integration with Azure DevOps is truly a “better together” story as both teams recognized early on a need for the integration across both end users, DevOps, and developers. In the early stages of development, both Microsoft and Mural not only helped test the integration, but also incorporated it into their main development lifecycle of Azure DevOps, quickly realizing the full potential of both Mural and Azure DevOps as an all-in-one platform.

“In a hybrid, modern workplace, organizations need to collaborate and brainstorm with virtual teams to develop innovative solutions for their businesses. We’re thrilled to partner with Mural and deliver its latest integration with Azure DevOps to enable teams everywhere to do their best work using a shared collaboration space across platforms.”—Casey McGee, VP of Global ISV Sales and Digital Natives, Microsoft

If you’re already a Mural customer, check out the user guide to get started using the Azure DevOps integration. If you haven’t tried Mural yet, get started for free at the Mural website or connect with Mural to learn more about purchasing Mural through Azure Marketplace.

Sources

1 Microsoft Work Lab.

2 Harvard Business Review.

3 TechValidate.

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