A session recap from the Microsoft 365 UK User Group

As consultants, we often deal with multiple communication channels with our customers, which can cause problems like data loss, low visibility, inefficiency, and dissatisfaction. In this blog post, I will share how to use Power Automate and Azure DevOps to automate the creation of tasks from customer emails, simplify the communication and collaboration among consultants, and increase the visibility and control of the customer requests.

Why to use backlogs for service and projects

A backlog is a list of tasks that need to be done for a project or a service. Using a backlog helps to:

  • Make each task visible and transparent
  • Show the customer what is going on and what is planned
  • Prioritize the tasks based on the customer needs and expectations
  • Track the time and effort spent on each task for billing purposes
  • Facilitate the discussion and feedback under each task
  • Prevent forgetting or losing any details or information
  • Delegate or reassign tasks to the next person
  • Save time and nerves by avoiding duplication and confusion

I used Azure DevOps as the tool to manage the backlog, but you can use any other tool that suits you. The main point is to have a single source of truth for all the tasks and requests that you need to handle for your customer.

How to teach the customer to use one information media

One of the challenges that we face as consultants is that the customer may not be familiar or comfortable with the tool that we use to manage the backlog, such as Azure DevOps. They may prefer to use their own channel of communication, such as email or phone. How can we teach the customer to use the same information media that we use, without forcing them or making them feel frustrated? Here are some tips:

  • Choose the media that you want to use (e.g. Teams and Azure DevOps) and stick to it
  • Serve the customer and answer them in the media that they contact you, but also reply to them in the correct media
  • After a while, stop replying to the other media and remind them to use the correct one
  • Offer solutions for the customer to use the media that they prefer, such as integrating their email with Azure DevOps using Power Automate
  • Explain the benefits of using the chosen media for the work and the tasks, such as better visibility, control, and collaboration
  • Don’t tell the customer that they are doing wrong, tell them what to do right and how to do it

The goal is to make the customer feel comfortable and confident with the tool that we use, and to show them that it is for their benefit as well as ours.

One of the solutions that I demonstrate in my session is how to use Power Automate to automate the creation of tasks in Azure DevOps from customer emails. This way, we can save time and effort and serve the customer in their preferred channel.


In this blog post, I have summarized some of the key points from my session at the Microsoft 365 UK User Group, where I showed how to streamline the customer requests and improve the consultant productivity using Power Automate and Azure DevOps. I hope you have found this useful and interesting, and I invite you to try it out for yourself and share your feedback and questions with me.


Technical posts about the actual solution