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Customizing MSF Process Guidance, Part 5: Adding Cross Referencing and CMMI Adherence

Visual Studio 2005
 

Allison Bokone
Microsoft Corporation

June 2006

Applies to:
   MSF for Agile Software Development v4.0 Process Guidance
   MSF for CMMI Process Improvement v4.0 Process Guidance

Summary: The is the fifth of six companion articles. In this article we explain how to customize your process guidance by adding cross references to your content items. We also explain how to add an AlternativePractice to your MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process guidance.

Introduction
Adding NextStep, SeeAlso, and PatternPractices References to the MSF Process Guidance
Adding References to WorkProducts in the MSF Process Guidance
Linking WorkItems to Activities and Workstreams in the MSF Process Guidance
Adding Internal Links to the MSF Process Guidance
Cross Referencing a View in the MSF Process Guidance
Cross Referencing Activities to CMMI Goals in the MSF Process Guidanc
Adding AlternativePractices to CMMI in the MSF Process Guidance
Deleting Content Items from the MSF Process Guidance
Conclusion

Introduction

Process guidance is the content that documents your specific software development process. The process guidance complements the process template.

Visual Studio® Team System 2005 includes two process templates: MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement. Each of these processes may be customized and used to develop software in projects. As process templates are customized, the corresponding process guidance should be updated to address any changes that were made.

Cross Referencing

Cross references are supported to let you link to external and internal content. There are three types of cross references: NextSteps, SeeAlso, and PatternPractices. Each of these sections appears in the left column when a team member views process guidance pages.

CMMI Adherence

MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process guidance lets you cross-reference Activities to CMMI goals, and then displays these associations visually in guidance. This enables your team to easily identify how your process is adhering to CMMI practices. However, your team may have special needs that do not align with predefined CMMI practices. If this is the case, you can add your own alternative practices to the process guidance to track adherence to these custom practices.

Adding NextStep, SeeAlso, and PatternPractices References to the MSF Process Guidance

NextStep references are recommended steps to be completed after the current Workstream or Activity. NextStep references are links to other Workstreams or Activities.

SeeAlso references are links to Web content on the Intranet or Internet. Use SeeAlso references to link to Web content that is related to the content item and would be helpful to a team member trying to understand the content item.

PatternPractices references are links to guidance that is related to your content item. Use these references to help team members find specific guidance for Workstreams, Activities, or Roles.

To add a NextStep, SeeAlso, or PatternPractices reference

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that contains the content item you want to update.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. Select the content item requiring a NextStep, SeeAlso, or PatternPractices reference.
  3. If a Cross Type section does not already exist, create one by clicking the Insert item link.
  4. In the new Cross Type section, set the Cross Type field to NextStep, SeeAlso, or PatternPractices.
  5. If you added a NextStep reference, in the Cross Name field, type the name of Activity or Workstream exactly as it appears in the Content Name field for that content item.

    If you added a SeeAlso reference, in the Cross Name field, type a name describing the linked Web content. In the Cross Link field, type the URL of the destination Web content.

    If you added a PatternPractices reference, in the Cross Name field, type a name describing the pattern or practice. In the Cross Link field, type the URL that links to the pattern or practice content.

  6. Save your changes.

Adding References to WorkProducts in the MSF Process Guidance

You can create cross references to WorkProducts to identify which WorkProducts are associated with a Workstream. The cross references define the list of WorkProducts that appear when you view a Workstream on a specific role HTML page. You should also create WorkProduct cross references for new Activities.

To add a reference to a WorkProduct

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that contains the content item you want to update and select the Workstream requiring a WorkProduct cross reference.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. In a new Cross Type section, set the Cross Type field to an appropriate WorkProduct type. The following list identifies the different types of WorkProducts. The type determines the icon that is displayed when the content is viewed.
    • Microsoft Office Excel — WorkProduct-Excel
    • Microsoft Office Word WorkProduct-Word
    • Microsoft Project WorkProduct-Project
    • Microsoft PowerPoint — WorkProduct-PPT
    • Microsoft Visual Studio — WorkProduct-VS
  3. In the Cross Name field, type the name of the WorkProduct exactly as it appears in the Content Name field of the WorkProduct’s content item.
  4. Save your changes.
    Note   You can use these same steps to reference WorkProducts from Activities.

Linking WorkItems to Activities and Workstreams in the MSF Process Guidance

When a team member views the WorkItem page, there are links that display additional information about which Activities and Workstreams are associated with the WorkItem. The links are named Activities, and Workstreams. When selected, these links display a graphical view of the Activities and Workstreams associated with the WorkItem. Use the following procedure to link a new WorkItem to an Activity or a Workstream.

To link a WorkItem to an Activity or Workstream

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that contains the content item you want to update and select the Activity or Workstream to link to the WorkItem.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. Create a Cross Type section if one does not already exist. You can create a Cross Type section by clicking the Insert item link under the last Verification section.
  3. Set the Cross Type field to WorkItem.
  4. In the Cross Name field, type the name of the WorkItem exactly as it appears in the Content Name field of the WorkItem’s content item.
  5. In the Cross Description field, type the name of the state the WorkItem is in when you perform this Activity. Type the state name exactly as it appears in the State Name field of the WorkItem’s content item.
    Note   When an Activity links to a WorkItem, the Activity’s parent Workstreams will automatically link to the WorkItem.

Adding Internal Links to the MSF Process Guidance

Internal links are links from one page of your process guidance to another. Use internal links to cross reference related content that appears on separate pages of your process guidance.

To add an internal link

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that you want to add an internal link to, and select the text you want to make an internal link.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. On the Insert menu, select Hyperlink.
  3. In the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, under Link to: type http://internallink:<name of page to link to>.
    Note   Type the name of the page you want to link to without the .htm extension. For example, to link to AboutRoles.htm, type http://internallink:AboutRoles.
  4. Save your changes.

Cross Referencing a View in the MSF Process Guidance

As soon as a view is created, you must cross-reference Activities with the view so that you can see the related Activities when the view is selected.

To cross reference a view

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that contains the Activity you must cross-reference to a view, and select the Activity.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. Create a Cross Type section if one does not already exist. You can create a Cross Type section by clicking the Insert item link under the Verification Type section near the end of the content item.
  3. Set the Cross Type to the type of view you want to cross-reference. There are four possible values: Disciplines, Qualities of Service, Cycles, or Tracks.
  4. Set the Cross Name to the name of the view you created. You must type the name exactly as it appears in the Content Name field of the view or the Activity does not display in that view’s cross-reference map.
  5. Save your changes.

Cross Referencing Activities to CMMI Goals in the MSF Process Guidance

Activities can be cross-referenced to one or more CMMI goals. By cross-referencing Activities and goals, you document your team's adherence to CMMI practices. The CMMI goal information appears next to the name of an Activity when you view the Activity description. Additionally, when you view the Referenced Workstream Diagram for a specific CMMI goal, all the Workstreams associated with that goal are shown, and the Activities cross referenced to that goal appear highlighted.

To cross reference an Activity to a CMMI practice

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file that contains the Activity you must cross-reference to a view, and select the Activity you want to cross reference to a CMMI practice.
    Note   Process guidance XML files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. If a CMMI section does not already exist, on the Insert menu, click Section, and then select CMMIItem.
  3. In the CMMI Level field, enter the CMMI level number.
  4. In the CMMI Process Area field, enter the CMMI abbreviation for the process area of the Activity.
  5. In the CMMI Goal field, enter the number corresponding to the CMMI goal for the Activity.
  6. In the CMMI Practice field, enter the number corresponding to the CMMI goal and practice for this Activity. For example, 2.1 corresponds to CMMI goal 2, practice 1.
  7. Save your changes.
  8. Repeat steps 2-7 for each CMMI practice associated with the Activity.

Adding AlternativePractices to CMMI in the MSF Process Guidance

In order to customize MSF for CMMI Process Improvement, you may want to add alternative practices. An alternative practice corresponds to and replaces a specific CMMI standard practice. To add an alternative practice to process guidance there are four steps:

  • Add an AlternativePractice content item to a process guidance XML file.
  • Add a step to the AlternativePractice that represents the standard approach to the CMMI practice.
  • Add a step to the AlternativePractice that represents your alternative approach to the CMMI practice.
  • Cross-reference the AlternativePractice to the specific CMMI standard practice it replaces.

To add an AternativePractice to CMMI

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the source XML file where you want to add an AlternativePractice.
    Note   Process guidance XML files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. On the Insert menu, select Section, and then select ContentItem. The new item appears at the bottom of the content item list.
  3. In the content item form, set the Content Type field to AlternativePractice.
  4. In the Content Name field, type the unique name that identifies the CMMI practice you have an alternative for. The name must be unique across all content items to make sure that links between content items work correctly.
  5. In the Content Description field, type a description that explains the CMMI Practice and why you are adding an alternative practice in its place.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. Next, you should add two steps to your AlternativePractice, as described in the procedures below.

To add a standard approach step to an alternative practice

  1. First create a step to represent the standard approach to the given practice.
  2. Create a Part section if one does not already exist. You can create a Part section by clicking the Insert item link under the Entry Criteria section.
  3. Set the Part Type field to Step.
  4. In the Part Name field, type <Standard Approach - Short Description of Standard Approach>.
  5. In the Sequence field, type 1.
  6. Select the Is Required field.
  7. In the Part Description field, type a more in-depth description of the standard practice. You can also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the practice, and what led your team to use an alternative practice.
    Note   If you must create more than one part description, right-click the Part Description section and then click Insert Part below.
  8. Save your changes.

To add an alternative approach step to an alternative practice

  1. After you add a standard approach step, create a step to represent the alternative approach your team is taking to the given practice.
  2. Create another Part section below the standard approach section.
  3. Set the Part Type field to Step.
  4. In the Part Name field, type <Alternative Approach - Short Description of Alternative Approach>.
  5. In the Sequence field, type 2.
  6. Select the Is Required field.
  7. In the Part Description field, type a more detailed description of the alternative practice and discuss the ways this alternative approach enables your team to better accomplish its tasks.
    Note   If you must create more than one part description, right-click the Part Description section, and then click Insert Part below.
  8. Save your changes.

To cross reference AlternativePractices to CMMI goals

  1. Finally, an AlternativePractice must be cross-referenced to the CMMI specific practice that the alternative practice is overriding.
  2. If a CMMI section does not already exist, on the Insert menu, click Section, and then click CMMIItem.
  3. In the CMMI Level field, enter the CMMI level number for the standard practice.
  4. In the CMMI Process Area field, enter the CMMI abbreviation for the process area of the standard practice.
  5. In the CMMI Goal field, enter the number corresponding to the CMMI goal for the standard practice.
  6. In the CMMI Practice field, enter the number corresponding to the CMMI goal and practice for the standard practice. For example, 2.1 corresponds to CMMI goal 2, practice 1.
  7. Save your changes.

Deleting Content Items from the MSF Process Guidance

You can delete any content item, but know that other content items may have links to the deleted content item and must be updated. For example, if you delete an Activity, you must also delete its associated Part section in any Workstreams that reference it. Otherwise the Workstreams will list the Activity, but not link to it.

To delete a content item

  1. Select the content item.
  2. On the Edit menu click Cut.

Conclusion

In this fifth part of a six-part series, we have covered how to add cross referencing and CMMI adherence to your process guidance. See the following articles for more information about how to customize your MSF Process Guidance:

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