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After clarifying the concepts of tracks, workstreams and activities (see these previous posts), we still felt something was missing in our process template (based on "MSF for CMMI").

A couple of our developers have been working on a lists of tasks for a recent project. They are not involved in the Team System rollout so they are not aware of any of the MSF concepts mentioned earlier. They have organized the work in a hierarchy. For example:

  • Database schema creation
    • Analyse DTS file
    • Analyse Excel file
    • Create data access layer
      • Reporting System
        • Report1
        • Report2
      • Search System
        • Functionality1
        • Functionality2
  • Application development
    • Define look and feel
    • Design UI
    • Write UI
      • Reporting System
        • Report1
        • Report2
      • Search System
        • Functionality1
        • Functionality2

 

I conclude the following points from the list above:

  1. "Reporting System" and "Search System" clearly correspond to Areas since they refer to components of the application.
  2. Some points try to recreate tracks and workstreams (i.e. general phases and steps in software development lifecylce). For instance, "Application development" and "Design UI" could be mapped to "Build/Implement a Development Task/Design" (Track/Workstream/Activity).
  3. Some points are a way to group smaller tasks under a same title. For instance, "Create data access layer".

The final question is: Are areas and iterations enough to classify work items? Or do we need some extra fields?

Point 1 can be taken into account with the default work items by using the area field. Point 2 does not need to appear in the work items because these concepts belong to the process guidance (if you disagree with this, I would love to hear your comments). Point 3 would be nice to have ...  I'm not yet convinced extra fields are needed once we split our project carefully into areas and iterations. But it would certainly be nice to have some sort of super-task work item that would be the parent of other tasks. I am probably going to try the TeamRM plug-in from Notion Solutions Inc (you can download it from teamsystemrocks) to do this.

 

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Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 8:56 PM Team System , MSF | Back to top


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