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Microsoft Assessments - Milestones
Published Nov 07 2023 11:56 PM 2,991 Views
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Introduction 

Hi folks! My name is Felipe Binotto, Cloud Solution Architect, based in Australia.

 

In this post, I want to talk about Microsoft Assessments but more specifically Microsoft Assessments Milestones because they are a very useful tool which is not widely used.

 

In case you don’t know what Microsoft Assessments are, they are a free, online platform that helps you evaluate your business strategies and workloads. They work through a series of questions and recommendations that result in a curated guidance report that is actionable and informative. Here’s how they work:

 

Start: Choose an assessment that aligns with the business strategies you’d like to evaluate. 

About You: Provide answers to fundamental questions, which in return will narrow your content options. 

Get a Score: Receive curated and personalized guidance that fits your specific scenarios. 

Take Action: Review and action recommendations at your convenience to improve your score. 

Recheck Score: Save your assessment progress through signing in and creating a milestone. 

Improve: Creating milestones will allow you to gradually improve your score and see your progress in real-time. 

As I mentioned before, I want to focus on the Recheck Score and Improve lens which are related to milestones. 

 

Getting Started 

For purposes of illustration, I’m going to use a Well-Architected Cost Optimization assessment and guide you on how you can make use of milestones.

 

Browse to the Microsoft Assessments landing page.

 

Now click on Sign in and authenticate so your progress is saved in your profile.

 

fbinotto_0-1699429921792.png

 

Once you are authenticated, click on the Azure Well-Architected Review. 

fbinotto_1-1699429921794.png

 

Click on Start assessment. 

fbinotto_2-1699429921796.png

 

Next, give it a nice name and click on Start. 

 

Note: you can Import recommendations from Azure Advisor to be included in the assessment. However, recommendations can only be imported from a single subscription. 

 

fbinotto_3-1699429921797.png

 

Select Core Well-Architected Review and click on Next. 

fbinotto_4-1699429921799.png

 

Select which pillar you would like to evaluate. As I mentioned before, I will use the Cost pillar for illustration. However, you can choose any or all the pillars. Click on Next. 

fbinotto_5-1699429921801.png

 

 

At this point, you will have to go through a series of questions according to your environment. Be transparent. Remember the aim here is to optimize your environment and not score points! Once you are done with the questionnaire, click on View guidance. You should see something like the figure below, which displays some important information as follows: 

  1. Your overall results, that is, where you stand based on the Well-Architected guidance. 
  2. You can export that to a CSV. 
  3. Some documentation around the best practices based on your recommendations. 
  4. Actionable recommendations to improve your results. 

fbinotto_6-1699429921804.png

 

Let’s imagine you planned and executed some of the recommendations throughout a period and you ask yourself, “How can I measure and track the progress since the last time I took the assessment?” 

 

If your answer was, “I will create a new assessment and answer all the questions again”, you are in the right place, because that is not the right answer! The right answer is to create a milestone as part of the assessment you took previously. 

 

Go back to the Microsoft Assessments landing page, make sure you are logged in, and click on the Azure Well-Architected Review, the same way you did the first time. 

 

You will notice that under Your sessions, there is a completed assessment. Click on it.

 

fbinotto_7-1699429921806.png

 

Now click on New Milestone, give it a proper name and click on Start. 

 

fbinotto_8-1699429921807.png

 

You will notice all the check boxes you ticked the last time are still selected. You can now go ahead and answer all questions based on the new state of your environment, after you implemented the recommendations. 

You can see your overall score is higher and you have less recommendations. That’s all obvious. What’s not so obvious is the Overview button at the top of the page. Click on it. 

 

fbinotto_9-1699429921812.png

 

 

Now you can see exactly how you were when you first started, what your progress was after you implemented the recommendations from the initial assessment, and you can keep actioning new recommendations and creating new milestones until you reach that envisioned Well-Architected State! 

fbinotto_10-1699429921814.png

 

 

Conclusion 

Microsoft Assessments, and more specifically, the Milestones feature within, offers an unparalleled tool for continuous improvement and evaluation of your business strategies and workloads. The ability to not only receive tailored recommendations but also track your journey to optimization is essential for organizations that are intent on keeping their strategies and workloads aligned with industry standards. The steps I've laid out in this post, using the Well-Architected Cost Optimization assessment as an example, showcase the ease with which one can navigate this process. The dynamic nature of Milestones ensures that you are not simply 'ticking off boxes,' but are engaging in a process of consistent evolution and optimization. In today's ever-changing business landscape, where agility and foresight are paramount, tools like Microsoft Assessments provide a compass that keeps you on the right path. So, if you're looking to elevate your strategies and refine your workloads, begin your journey with Microsoft Assessments and harness the power of Milestones to see tangible, measurable progress. Cheers to continuous growth and well-architected futures! 

 

I hope this was informative to you and thanks for reading! 

 

 

Disclaimer 

The sample scripts are not supported under any Microsoft standard support program or service. The sample scripts are provided AS IS without warranty of any kind. Microsoft further disclaims all implied warranties including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk arising out of the use or performance of the sample scripts and documentation remains with you. In no event shall Microsoft, its authors, or anyone else involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the scripts be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use the sample scripts or documentation, even if Microsoft has been advised of the possibility of such damages. 

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