Automating creation of Product Backlog Items (PBI)

I was having a conversation the other day with a PO (Product Owner) politely warning us about an avalanche of pending requests from various teams coming in for provisioning Azure resources and deploying code to meet new client commitments.  Basic information is provided by the dev lead, and the PO will then manually create PBIs in our Azure DevOps board.  Next, we review these requests during regular refinement meetings to see if enough information is there for us to work with, schedule and act on accordingly.

The PO emails the requestor a series of questions taken from our standard library of forms hosted in a OneNote location to be filled out and sent back.

OneNote form.

You can see how quickly this would become tedious multiplied by the number of requests that come in (ugh!). I am constantly looking for ways to make life better and increase efficiency through automation when it occurred to me that this would be a terrific opportunity to do just that. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

I started by going to and signed in with my corporate M365 account. (Alternatively, SharePoint can be used instead but that brings up more questions that I wasn’t able to answer now.)

Create a new form.

The questions were taken from the OneNote document above and pasted with the type set accordingly (text, multiple choice, etc.). In our case we decided to set all questions to required. Looks much nicer now. 🙂

It’s quite easy to set access.

The form can be published and shared accordingly.

Now it’s time to set up a flow. Sign into

Search for the following template: Create AzureDevOps workitem and send email when Microsoft Form is submitted.

You will need to define some permissions.

Click on each step and complete appropriately.

Looks like a Logic App. 🙂

If you are not able to select the form from the dropdown, you can work around this by adding the form’s ID directly. The value is between &id= and &topview.


So how does this all look when a form has been filled out and submitted?

Email confirmation that the requestor receives.
Azure DevOps PBI created.

Now we have some PBIs to groom during our next refinement. 🙂

Thanks for reading this post, I hope it helps! Feel free to reach out in the comments section if you have any questions or comments.

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