You have installed Team System and set up your first Team Project. How do you properly configure it? The Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) has some good guidance, but most people seem to be stuck when trying to figure out where to go next. What is the optimal way of setting up your areas and iterations? What exactly is an iteration? In this chapter, we provide a context around these questions and many more.
You should read this chapter before implementing a Team Project. We provide important information here on how to structure it.
Effectively leveraging the artifacts in Team System involves an understanding of the underlying goals of the product. One of the reoccurring themes you will see is the implementation of software engineering principles in your development process. However, it's much more than that - many processes out there provide the rigor, but no agility. Team System is a remarkable suite of tools as it supports the best of both worlds. Sam Guckenheimer in his book Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System (ISBN: 0321278720) refers to this amalgamation of agility and mathematical precision as the "Value Up" approach. It makes a great deal of sense because both the Agile and Software Engineering movements seek to scope out how software is developed and drive predictability.
Software project management is a complex set of tasks that involves the balancing act of managing project dependencies and resources. You can easily write an entire book on the subject. (In fact, hundreds have been written on the topic.) One authoritative compilation software project management wisdom is the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMBOK covers most aspects of the project management discipline, and provides guidance on areas that can be managed using Team System. It also covers additional areas such as project management for human resources, procurement, and cost management (to name a few). You can learn more about the PMBOK at www.pmi.org.
In this chapter, we look at some the guidance provided by the PMBOK, and then compare and contrast it with the capabilities of Team System. We also provide a pragmatic guide to setting up a Team Project, and running it through to its conclusion. You will come to understand how all the pieces of the project puzzle fit together. Finally, you get a solid overview of how to manage your test infrastructure within the scope of a Team Project.