In December, I had the privilege to be the “MVP in Residence” with the Team System product group. Chuck blogged about the experience at the beginning and end of the week. I felt really good about the accomplishments at the end of the week. The main project I worked on was packaging up the Microsoft Process Template (MPT) so that it could used by the public community. I’m happy to announce that it is live on CodePlex now so feel free to download and use it!
The Microsoft Process Template (MPT) is a Microsoft internal, end-to-end project management solution that maps to the Microsoft product development cycle and works with Visual Studio Team System 2008 (VSTS). The MPT offers an out-of-the-box solution and includes all the work item types (forms), queries, documentation, engineering best practices, and reports required for Microsoft development teams to get up and running on Visual Studio Team System. The Engineering Excellence* and Visual Studio Development teams worked together closely over the last year to create this template by compiling the lessons learned from other teams that have implemented similar templates, incorporating engineering best practices, widely socializing the concepts, and finally piloting this template with several product groups.
*The engineering excellence team is a Microsoft business unit that provides Microsoft business group employees with high-quality technical education, best practices and guidance.
Be sure to check out the Introduction and the Getting Started guides to dive in and get the background information for the process template. One of the main things that people will notice is that the MPT simulates work item hierarchy through the the use of some daemon services. There are several ways to simulate hierarchy in TFS 2008 so if you’re looking for a solution the MPT has the services source code and reports created for them.
Here is a sample report that uses the hierarchy to rollup the progress by Feature:
There are a few known issues with the process template which are listed in the Getting Started guide. I’ll be sure to keep the guide updated if I hear of any other known issues.
Other MPT Resources
Gregg Boer, Principal Program Manager on the TFS product group, wrote an excellent series of blog posts of how Microsoft uses the MPT internally along with an overview of the process around tracking progress throughout the release.
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 1 (Our Process)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 2 (Feature Crews)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 3 (Implementing the Process)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 3 (Addendum)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 4
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 5 (Tracking Progress)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 6 (Tracking multiple projects)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 6 (Addendum)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS-Chapter 7 (Tracking Risk)
· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS-Chapter 8 (Tracking Quality Gates)
· How Microsoft/Dev Div uses TFS - Chapter 9 (Transparency in Reporting)
Jeff Beehler and Brian Keller also put together a video of how Jeff uses the MPT & TFS to monitor progress of the release cycle. Take a look on Channel 9: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/briankel/Better-Project-Management-with-Team-Foundation-Server/
I really want to thank you to everyone that helped getting it packaged up for the public! Also, thanks to Chuck for organizing the week, working logistics, and of course giving me a place to stay!