Introduction to Agile Product Planning in Visual Studio 11

By | 2012-02-29T08:16:27+00:00 February 29th, 2012|Visual Studio 11|1 Comment

When getting started with Visual Studio 11, the first thing you will want to do is get your business team on-board and connected. This is critical as Scrum is easy enough if you can figure out what to build – this is the preview of the business and not the Development Team. The first step is connecting to the new Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server web interface, which is provided out of the box.

Webcast: Connecting to TFS11

Business users are unlikely to use Visual Studio 11 Team Explorer, as the UI may seem a lot scarier than the web interface.  However, you may want them to have it installed so you can get access to the Excel integration that is provided out of the box. Once connected to the web interface, users will be struck by the clean, no-nonsense approach to the UI.

Webcast: A walk around the new UI

If you are a team lead or a project manager, you are likely to create Team Projects.  This requires the local Team Explorer bits, and this could not be easier, but it does require a little knowledge of Reporting Services and SharePoint, as well as Team Foundation Server security.

Webcast: Creating a new Team Project

Now that you have created a new Team Project in Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server, you can start to work with the Work Item Tracking system to create a backlog for your next three iterations. Keeping your backlog relevant is difficult and many use technics from lean inventory control in order to manage it. These practices are embodied in many of the agile practices that we see being used by teams, which was taken into account by the product team when they created their web access.

Figure: Managing the backlog

The goal is to make it simple and easy for non-technical users, as product Owners tend to be, in order to manage that backlog. There are a number of tools included to help achieve that, and while many of them are not very Scrum-like, the reality of modern software development is that not everyone is doing Scrum.

Figure: Forecasting in Visual Studio 11

The new forecasting features will really help product owners see what might be completed in future sprints, and will also help them maintain a threshold of 3 or so sprints worth of content into the future. I like that they can tweak the velocity that is used to calculate it, as this means they can see when things might be completed based on either an optimistic or pessimistic outlook.

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  1. […] some great videos on using TFS here at this site. Everyone uses the web settings, and its super intuitive – including velocity, on the top […]

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