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MSF for CMMI process improvement for Visual Studio ALM

Using the work item types (WITs), reports, and dashboards shown in the illustration, teams can plan projects and then track, view, and report their progress. These artifacts, which are based on the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) requirements, are created when you create a team project using the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) for CMMI process template.

CMMI process template artifacts

The latest version of the CMMI process template is automatically uploaded to Team Foundation Server (TFS) when you install or upgrade to the latest version of TFS. Use the Process Template Manager to download and upload process templates.

In addition to the work item types, reports, and dashboards, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions.

Teams plan their project by capturing features and requirements. When teams work in sprints, they define tasks and link them to requirements. To gain insight into a rollup of requirements across teams, program managers link requirements to a feature. Blocking issues are tracked using issues. For details on using these WITs, see CMMI process template work item types and workflow

CMMI 7.0 work item types

A work item is a TFS database record that contains the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Work item types define the template of fields, workflow, and form for each type. Work items can be linked to each other to support tracking dependencies, roll up of work, and reports.

You can use the shared work item queries that the CMMI template provides to list work items for a current sprint or the product backlog.

CMMI work item queries

You can open a query from the work items page and then use the query editor to apply different filter criteria. Also, you can add a query as a team query and it will appear on the team home page.

From Team Explorer, you can open any work item query in Excel to perform bulk edits. In addition, you can open the Triage workbook and Issue workbook from your project portal to prioritize bugs and review issues.

The CMMI process template provides the following reports. For these reports to be useful, teams must perform certain activities, such as define build processes, link work items, and update status or remaining work.

Build reports

Project management reports

Test and bug reports

To access these reports, your team project collection must be configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services.

Dashboards display project data, support investigation tasks, and help teams to perform common tasks quickly. The following dashboards support the display of Team Web Access parts for listing work items and reports built in the Analysis Services cube.

To use Dashboards your team project must have a project portal configured that points to a SharePoint site.

The situations and working practices of development teams vary widely, and most companies will have their own well-established processes. For these reasons, the guidance given here does not attempt to prescribe a development process in full. Instead, we describe just the activities that are relevant to making best use of the MSF for CMMI process template.

  • Background to CMMI : Provides an overview of CMMI and the six capability levels that are intrinsic to the model.

  • Project management : Provides guidance to help you better understand how to manage, plan, and coordinate the development and maintenance of software products working with the CMMI model.

  • Engineering : Addresses the value-added activities for discovering the information that is required to design and build software products

You should adapt this guidance to your own situation, which will depend on the type and history of the product that you are developing, the project's scale, the background of the team members, and accepted practice in your organization.

Using the CMMI template and guidance can help you achieve the aims of CMMI if you use it as part of a process improvement program.

This guidance was developed in partnership with David Anderson. For more information, see the following Web page: David J Anderson & Associates.

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