Communication is the lifeblood of any project, but it is especially important in the software development world. Gathering the requirements that a particular application is supposed to handle, managing and communicating those requirements to everyone on the team, and ensuring that the application comes in on time and on budget are large issues to most project teams. Every person and every team is different, which means that the most effective way you communicated on one team may not work on another team. What are you supposed to do?
Well, Team Foundation Server may not solve every communication problem you encounter with your project team, but it goes a long way toward handling a majority of them. Moreover, with its ease of extensibility, you can modify Team Foundation Server and your process to make things work for you, to enable greater communication among project members, and ultimately to lead to project success.
In this chapter, you learn how Team Foundation Server can help you and your team to communicate better and more effectively. First, we discuss some of the communication challenges that face teams today, and look at some of the current methods that are used to address those challenges. After that, you look at how Team Foundation Server provides a sure, strong foundation for meeting your team communication needs. Finally, you learn about some existing third-party tools that integrate with Team Foundation Server and the e-mail program most everyone uses, Microsoft Outlook. We look at some existing tools and discuss some ideas for tools that might not be out yet, but that you could build yourself using the Team Foundation Core Services. One such tool has Team Foundation Server send out instant message alerts.