Planning for Team System

Now that I have had the time to get into Team Foundation Server and Team System, I am really jazzed about the possibilities. Having said that, I have a few helpful hints that you should consider before adding Team System to your organization.

Planning your process

The first step is to choose a methodology. For most of you, the MSF Agile or MSF for CMMI will work fine. It just depends on how much process you want surrounding your work. CMMI has a lot of documentation and a very controlled change process. MSF Agile, on the other hand, is an Agile methodology, which, for those not familiar, means the process is driven more by schedule than functionality. The idea in Agile processes is to deliver on a regular basis with as much funcationality as possible. Yes, this is an over simplified answer, but it works for now.

For those who like Scrum, Conchango has released Scrum for Team System. It is a very thin process guidance template overall, as it has very few document artifacts. Scrum is designed to work with or without a lot of documentation.

What would I chose? I am quite fond MSF Agile, although I like a few of the Scrum reports, especially the breakdown reports. I also like a few of the old MSF documents, as well as a few CMMI documents, esp. change request documentation. The fortunate thing is I can download the MSF process template and add documents, reports, and other items, to my hearts content.


For those interested in changing their own templates, it is actually quite easy. First, go to the Team Menu and find the Process Manager option. Once option, click download and choose a root directory to download to. This is the way you update to the latest version of the process guidance templates from Microsoft downloads.

My suggestion is you seriously examine each of the process templates and determine which your organization is closest to. If you are not currently involved in a formal SDLC process, you will probably want to institute MSF Agile, as it is the simplest to institute up front and requires no extra work on the server. Scrum is also a good alternative for companies without a formal SDLC currently. If your organization has instituted CMMI, MSF for CMMI is your best option, although you might want to customize.

Migration of Source Code

The next decision point, for your first project, is migrate or not. If you currently use SourceSafe as your source control repository, Microsoft has a command line tool for migrating source. If you use another SCM, Component Software has a tool for migrating source from a variety of SCMs like CVS, RCS and SVN (and SourceSafe). Before migrating source, make sure your database is verified and has no problems. This is especially true with SourceSafe.

If you use a source control repository like SourceSafe, all of your source is located under a single root. The same is true in Team Foundation version control, but the source is organized based on your team project, at least in most cases. As you create a Team Project, you can connect to existing source, which is the case if you migrate the full source control repository in one step. If you have not migrated all code, you will want to migrate on a solution by solution basis and connect to a single Team Project.

Do not take your migration strategy too lightly, as you will get bitten if you approach this without some thought.

What version of Team Foundation Server?

This largely depends on your organization. If you have five or fewer people that need Team Explorer installed (ie, have a DIRECT stake in the project, will have tasks assigned, etc.), you can use the Workgroup edition that comes free with every Team System product. If not, you will have to get the Team Foundation Server full edition.

Single or Dual Server install? In most cases, Single is fine. The tests MS has done show a single server install, on a decent server, will handle teams up to hundreds of members. Check out this blog entry for more info. If you have more than 500 members, you might consider a dual server install, of course.


Hope this helps!

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