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How do we present this week's work to developers when using the Formal Project Process?

Michael Prentice (622913) | asked Jun 14 '13, 2:14 p.m.
edited Jun 18 '13, 10:54 a.m.
So how do developers in a Formal Project get data in Eclipse and VS to determine what their work is for the coming week? The plugins are built around using queries for this kind of interaction. But that does not work for Formal Projects since you can't query against Planned Start/End Dates.

Having each developer go to the current plan for all projects that they are involved in to collect Planned Start/End Dates is unacceptable. We need a way that they can log into Eclipse or VS and see their work for the week immediately across all teams without having to do any calculations or data mining across projects!

Currently our queries give the developers 100-200 work items and there is no way to sort them intelligently. Sorting by Priority or ID has no relevance to what needs to get done first via Planned Start/End Date. We need developers doing their work in the order that is defined in the Plan.

If this can be done with Reports, please provide a complete example of how this is done.

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Millard Ellingsworth (2.5k12431) | answered Jun 20 '13, 7:28 p.m.
Since you mention the Eclipse client, have you tried the My Work view? While it doesn't show multiple project areas at one time, it is very easily switched between project areas and does not require opening a series of plans and looking for work. It is organized into Current Work and Future Work, so it is easy to see what's for now and what's coming.

Michael Prentice commented Jun 21 '13, 12:57 p.m. | edited Jun 21 '13, 12:58 p.m.

That's quite helpful. It doesn't let me choose between teams in the same project area. But maybe that means that it does show work across all of the teams/releases.

But it does seem to have quite a few bugs. Because it won't let me select a Team Area, "My Work Load" shows 0 available hours because all of my allocation is towards the Team Area and not the Project Area. So that feature doesn't work for me at all (everything is red since I have 0 hours).

I can't really figure out how it is scheduling the work either. It appears to be using the SCRUM scheduler or something else even though I am on a Formal Project. Thus for today it is giving me work that has Planned Start/End Dates in July and the work for June is showing up in Future sometime after the end of July. This appears to be another bug in that it should be using the Planned Start/End Dates for its calculations on a Formal Project.

Oh and do you know when this will be available in Visual Studio? 90% of our team uses VS and really needs to have this functionality (after bugs are fixed). But I can't find it in VS.

Millard Ellingsworth commented Jun 21 '13, 1:15 p.m.

@splaktar There's another possible wrinkle. Because it is My Work, I can do some personal scheduling of the work to indicate my intended flow through the tasks. That will trump, I think, any planned dates on the work items. Future Work is work that is planned for an iteration later than the identified current one. So if Phase 1 is still marked as the current iteration, even though by the calendar we are in Phase 2, Phase 2 work will appear under Future Work.

It's not impossible there are defects here, either in the implementation or how we describe it. We'd need to work through an example where we knew the history of the work items and planning in order to identify them.

Michael Prentice commented Jun 21 '13, 1:33 p.m.

Implementing the My Work view for VS client is in the Backlog (half done?) here:

This "Enhancement" talks about how the My Work view is not properly planning the Today/Tomorrow/Future work in the view:

This Enhancement asks for the My Work view to be more customizable similar to the Plan view (a personal version of it): 

Michael Prentice commented Jun 21 '13, 1:56 p.m.

@millarde All of the work that I am referring to is in a single 'Design and Code' iteration. And the 'Future' that I was referring to was the 'Future' listing in the 'Current Work' section (not the 'Future Work' section). Also note again that we are using the Formal Project model and not an Agile/SCRUM model.

Michael Prentice commented Jun 21 '13, 2:08 p.m. | edited Jun 21 '13, 2:08 p.m.

I've opened to track the issue with "My Work Load" not being able to use allocations from Team Areas (and only those in Project Areas).

Michael Prentice commented Jun 21 '13, 2:20 p.m.

@millarde OK, I've been messing with some of the ability to schedule my own work in the My Work view. It is quite nice and allowed me to resolve some of the ordering issues myself. Of course, we don't want everyone of our developers to need to do this themselves (that's why our PM team spends so much time working on schedules and Planned Start/End Dates).

Where is this data stored? I don't see changes to the My Work view reflected in changes to the Plan or the Work Item history. If I use Eclipse on my laptop (instead of my desktop), do I loose all of this data? What about on the web client?

Unfortunately, none of these features appear to work in the 'My Dashboard' view in the VS client. So this does not really solve the problem that our team is having.

Millard Ellingsworth commented Jun 21 '13, 3:07 p.m. | edited Jun 21 '13, 4:12 p.m.

In the Scrum template (sorry, I don't think it's part of the Formal template) there is a Planned Time view of project that will surface the "micro planning" done by the developers, reflecting the flow they have defined in the My Work view and making it visible to everyone else.

That data is stored server-side and should work with your client wherever you load it. There isn't quite a compatible view in the Web client yet.

I have never used the Visual Studio client so I am unable to comment on its features but I have emailed the lead for the VS team to see if they will add to this conversation.

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