Monday, 2 February 2015

Make Tasks Visible

As discussed previously, we have used VisualWIP on projects to enable the whole team to see a task board showing the current state of our features for delivery. This application pulls from our data in TFS and the layout can be configured via an XML file (supported by a visual design mode within the application).

What if...

This application has worked well for us, but what if there is a reason that stakeholders can't run this 3rd Party Software. Perhaps it's against IT policy, maybe it feels too foreign for some of the team to comfortably use. Well, as long as we have a browser we can access this data without the need for Visual WIP or even Visual Studio.

By entering the TFS Url (inc. port) into our browser, we can run reports on the data as easily as if we were in the Visual Studio's Team Explorer. We can view and edit tasks (dependent on our TFS project permissions) and view any reports that we have created against the repository data.

Later versions of TFS enable you to access the contained data with relative ease via the web portal. Allowing an immediately accessible dashboard from which you can view the task summary, burn-down data and user defined queries. We also directly manage the backlog and sprint tickets thanks to the inclusion of an interactive task board.

I manage my own personal development tasks using the Team Foundation Services exposed through the portal.


Keep it Visible

There should never be a reason for the teams tasks to be obscured. The whole team should know (and be able to see the context of) what they are doing. Maintaining the transparency of tasks that produce feature completion enables the team to work efficiently and allows the outstanding effort (scale of work involved) to be measured and managed effectively.

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