Thursday, November 19, 2009

DogFood v2 Session summary on: Customizing TFS Process Template to Match Your Process.

My slide portion of the session has briefly covered customization and extension points on TFS. Due to time limitations I had to hide a significant portion of slides.  The full version of the PowerPoint Deck is available for download.

In summary, if you are planning on customizing process template I recommend for you to follow a few simple steps:
1. Start with documenting your process.  Do an ALM Assessment, as a mere a fact Microsoft has a great tool for it: Application Platform Capability Assessment.  Spend the time with all the people that are involved in the process and get a "Green Light" from the management.  Remember the process is not only for developers, but for the entire team (including business sponsors and clients).  Create an Action Plan of the implementation steps.

2. Templates shipped with current versions of TFS are not meant to be used as is, they are just blueprints.  Do not treat the process as paint, throwing it on the wall and seeing what will stick is not the best strategy for the development.

3.  Do not expect by customizing TFS process guidance to go fully integrated (dynamic) environment over night. It will take time, long time.  Use your Action Plan (created part of the ALM Assessment) to fully integrated ALM into VSTS/TFS.

4. Treat your TFS server as production server.  Do not go and try some new ideas against.  If you need to prototype a rule or workflow or workitem get yourself a test environment.  Once you know that it is working well in test server, then go ahead and implement it in your production TFS.

5.  Do not be afraid to make process adjustments on active projects (as long as you are following rule #4).  If your project needs a new rule/workitem/field/report/etc then just implement it.  At the end of the project do a retrospective and decide if the change is worth making part of the global template.  If you are not willing to change and adjust the process, chances are it will become stagnant and obsolete.  100 years ago ice houses and transporting ice down the rivers was a booming business, now days we just use refrigerators...

Happy customizations!

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