Sharing the process of a project area
After you create a project area, you can make its process available to other project areas. By sharing a project area process, you can ensure that all project areas across your organization use the same process. You also centralize process maintenance.
A project area that consumes the shared process from another project area does not inherit all process elements. The following elements are inherited:
- Configuration data (applies to Change and Configuration Management and Quality Management only)
- Iteration types
- Operation preconditions and follow-up actions (applies to Change and Configuration Management and Quality Management only)
- Members and their role assignments
- Process description
- Project area artifacts, such as:
- work items
- plan views
- report folders structure
- test cases
- files under source control
- Project area links
- Timelines and iterations
- Work item category associations (applies to Change and Configuration Management and Quality Management only)
Allowing project areas and team areas to override process settings
By default, project areas, and child team areas, that consume the process of another project area can customize process settings. However, as project administrator of the sharing project area, you can control which settings can be overridden. For example, in the figure below, the Save Work Item permission setting is selected and Final (ignore customization of this operation in child areas) is selected. In this example, project administrators of consuming project areas and team areas cannot restrict this role from performing Save Work Item operations; although the project administrators can make changes in the editor of the consuming project area, the changes are ignored at run-time.
Limitations of customizing configuration data
If you customize configuration data in a project area that consumes the process of another project area, all of the configuration data for that category is copied from the sharing project area to the consumer project area, and the consumer project area no longer inherits any of the configuration data for that category. For example, the figure below shows the categories of work items configuration data. If you customize the Types and Attributes configuration data in the consumer project area, that consumer project area no longer inherits any of the Types and Attributes configuration data from the sharing project area. Unless you are certain that you do not want to inherit any of the data for a configuration data category, do not make any changes to that category of configuration data in the consuming project area.
Changing and upgrading the process
A key benefit of using a shared project area is that changes that you make to the process of the sharing project area immediately apply to the project areas and team areas that consume that process. You can change the process for all project areas by configuring the process in the sharing project area. In addition, when a new version of the process template that the sharing project area uses becomes available, you need only update the sharing project area with the new template. In this way, you can control the upgrade of all project areas across your organization from one sharing project area. Consuming project areas and team areas that have customized some process settings retain those customized settings.
The following restrictions apply when using shared project areas:
- Project areas that share their process cannot configure process for iterations because iterations are not shared.
- If you configure process for a project area’s timelines or iterations, you cannot make that project area’s process shareable.
- Project areas that share their process must be visible to all members of the consuming project areas. Therefore, if you restrict read access to the sharing project area, members of the consuming project areas can still access the sharing project area.
- You can modify a project area that consumes shared process from another project area so that it consumes shared process from a different project area. However, you cannot modify that project area so that it uses a template instead of a process for a shared project area.
- A project area can share its process or can consume the process of another project area, but it cannot do both.