Using the TFS Scrum Process Template – Introduction

Visual Studio 2010 ships with a Scrum Process Template, which is a customized set of work items and workflow designed to work with the ceremonies associated with an agile team using scrum. If you’re familiar with TFS, using this tool is a no-brainer. Your standard “work items” just have different names and are embedded in a unique workflow.

Details about this tool can be found on the Microsoft Developer Network website in the section titled Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server.  They have done a fabulous job documenting how it works; I’m just adding to it.  I’ll frequently reference this site throughout this series.

In a multi-post series to follow, I will share the intricacies of how I put the pieces of the puzzle together to solve the unique needs of my project. My implementation has evolved through trial-and-error and is in no way the only way to skin the cat. The intent is that through sharing my implementation others will learn what can be done and come away with ideas on how to make it work on their teams.

Back story

I am a Certified ScrumMaster.  In the practical world, that doesn’t mean a whole lot.  I was certified back in 2008 by the king of agile, Ken Schwaber.  Look him up for insightful, no nonsense commentary on the topic.  Back then you didn’t have to demonstrate you could apply the knowledge you learned; you just had to survive eight hours of sitting in an uncomfortable convention room chair and a boxed lunch.  Fast forward to 2013 when I had my first opportunity to perform in the role of Scrummaster.  I was clueless and I still am for the most part.

I have 25 years experience as an analyst on development teams and have found the inherent skill sets of an analyst to be complimentary to the management of a product backlog.  Yes, the product backlog should be managed by the Product Owner, but in my experience, I haven’t had the luxury of  a knowledgable Product Owner, so I’ve had to be intimately involved in the backlog.

My experience with what I call “TFS”  has been while on contract for a state government agency, so we did not have the budget to make a specific purchase of a tool.   I kept hearing “TFS” in the context of the source control and commentary about workflow management, so I dug a little deeper.

TFS was used by the development team, but no one had spearheaded the effort to utilize the Scrum Process Template which ships with it. Here’s where I came in.  I take on crazy things like this because I like to figure things out.  What I figured out was there is a lot of information on the MSDN site, but it took me hours to dig through it.  I’ll try to provide some quick tips to help highlight how I have adopted the Scrum Process Template in the agency.   As a Certified Scrum Master, senior systems analyst, and stand-in Product Owner, the following blog series details my experience and implementation.

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