Team development with Visual Studio 2010 (by François Merand, Sogeti) Develop, collaborate and exchange with the project team

Work Items: tasks to share

Let’s go back to our Team Explorer panel to understand the different project management tools that TFS provides. The basic concept is the Work Item, which is an essential element in TFS for managing and tracking the progress of your projects.

A Work Item is accessible in the form of a form containing a lot of information and describing either a task to be carried out, a user scenario or a bug to be fixed. This Work Item is always assigned to a member of the project team who is in charge of monitoring and tracking its progress. This is an important point: the Work Item will evolve over time, passing through certain identified stages, during which the TFS server will systematically record who does what and when. Last but not least, these Work Items can be linked together.

To access these Work Items, click on Work Item in your Team Explorer panel. Browse through the different trees that classify them by type, then select the My task node, for example. You should see, depending on your version of Visual Studio and the method you selected when you created your Team Project (step 1), a list of this type:

Task List. Microsoft

Creating a Work Item

To understand the principle, we will create a Work item. Right click on the Work Items node, then New Work Item and finally select Task. A screen for entering a Work Item of type Task appears; browse and complete the various screens that appear.

création d'un work item.
Creating a Work item. Microsoft

The different elements to be filled in are sufficiently explicit. When you have finished, click on the Save Work Item button at the top left, and check that you find this newly created task in the list on the Team Explorer side.

You can then intervene at any time on this form, to indicate the progress of this task, either directly via the menu above, or when the Visual Studio environment asks you. The best example consists of doing a check-in of your code (insertion in the source control), which will ask you to select a Work Item before validation. The TFS server will then save your source on the server, while associating this check-in with the chosen Work Item (thus identifying at the same time all the useful tracking information: who, which module, which iteration, etc.).

An undeniable advantage for dashboard tracking of your project.

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