Creating timelines, iterations, and iteration types

You can add timelines to your project process. Add iterations at the top level of a timeline or within an existing iteration. The iteration can contain start and end dates.

About this task

A timeline represents an area of activity within a project that typically has its own schedule, deliverables, teams, and process. For example, you might use one timeline to track new product development work and a different timeline to track maintenance work. Within a timeline, you can create a hierarchy of iterations where top-level iterations represent releases and child iterations represent milestones within those releases. You can customize the process at the iteration level. You can also define iteration types so that all iterations of an iteration type use the same process.

A child team area inherits the timeline of its parent team area.

Within a project area, you can designate one timeline to be the project timeline. The project timeline differs from your other timelines in the following ways:

  • The project timeline iterations apply to the project area. This means that if the project timeline process is customized for the current iteration, that customized process affects any artifacts associated with the project area.
  • All team areas that do not have an explicit custom timeline set are governed by the process of the project timeline.

For each iteration type, you specify a set of permissions and operation behaviors that can be applied to all iterations of that type. Select a type that matches the function of the iteration you are editing. The timeline and iteration identifier (ID), such as "m3," is displayed in the process configuration source code (id="m3"). The display name, such as "Milestone 3," is displayed in the Timelines list.

To modify the project process, right-click the project area in the Team Artifacts view and click Open. The project area opens in the editor view.

To add a timeline, click Create Timeline. Enter an ID and display name for the timeline and click OK.


To add an iteration to a timeline or an existing iteration:

  1. In the Timelines list, select a timeline or iteration and click Create Iteration.
  2. In the Create Iteration window, optionally select an iteration type and enter an ID and display name for the iteration. To create an iteration type, click Manage in the Iteration Type field; click the Create a New Iteration Type icon; enter an ID and display name; and click OK.
    The new iteration type is displayed in the Iteration Type field.
  3. Click the calendar icon next to the Start date or End date to specify a date.
  4. To enable the iteration for an iteration plan, click A release is scheduled for this iteration. Only iterations with scheduled releases are eligible for iteration plans.
  5. Click OK.

What to do next

To customize the process for the iteration, click the icon in the Process Iterations toolbar: Configure the Process for the Selected Iteration or Timeline.