Yesterday Brian Harry announced the new Visual Studio Online Stakeholder Plan – basically, full access to Work Items only in Visual Studio Online (and on-premise Team Foundation Server) for everybody, free of charge.
I believe this is a true game changer: it’s at least four years that we talk about ‘involving stakeholders in the process’, ‘synergy among the parts in the organization’, Product Owners, etc. We could do that, for a fee (the Visual Studio Online plan or the on-premise TFS CAL) but it was perceived as a bit unfair against who could use that CAL/plan at full power (a developer would use all the features provided by the platform, a stakeholder certainly wouldn’t, 99% of the time).
Right now there are no excuses anymore as you can involve as many stakeholders as you wish without paying a penny.
As there are evidences of how involving stakeholders in the development process is a staggering improvement compared to other methodologies, it is a great opportunity to push hard on the quality pedal and starting to achieve great results!