Plans and work item management

Team leads and team members can use plans to manage their work items that are planned for completion for a release, backlog, or an iteration. As work items are created, they are assigned to a category. A team lead later assigns the work item to a milestone. Plans can be associated with a team area or project area. If the work item categories are associated with a team, the work items are displayed in the responsible team's plan based on the work item's category and planned iteration settings. If the work item category is not associated with a team area, a project area is used.

Before beginning work on a plan, define the timelines, iterations, team areas, and work item categories for your project. If you do not have team areas, you can create a plan for a project area.

The following figure outlines the relationship of how categories, team areas, and iteration schedules help assign work items to the appropriate team and plan. With these relationships, team members can view and manage work items for all iterations within their corresponding plans. The steps for creating and using a plan are presented in the topics in this section of the help.

Figure 1. Work item categories and iteration schedules drive team assignments
The figure shows how work item categories and iteration schedules are used to populate plans with work items.

You can use plans to manage work items within the context of fixed development periods within a project. You can create plan notes, create and modify work items assignments for team members, track the progress of the work that is committed for the iteration, and create additional documentation. IBM® Engineering Workflow Management projects are organized into a series of fixed-length development periods called iterations. Each timeline has its own set of iterations. Timeline, iterations, start and end dates, and the current iteration designation are defined in the project area overview Process Iteration list.

Plans are composed of a set of work items. Changes to the plan are reflected in the work items; for example, new entries in the plan create new work items. Changes in work items are reflected in the plan; for example, when a work item is closed, that status is reflected in the plan. This keeps the plan synchronized with current project activity and minimizes the need for redundant documentation. The plan structure is also flexible. You can group the work items in the plan predefined or user-defined plan views.

You can use the plan editor to manage the following information:
  • General information for the plan, such as important dates, high-level dependencies to other components, objectives, test plans, and other unstructured content. This information can be documented on the Notes page by using the wiki syntax for text formatting. You can include links to work items and queries on these pages.
  • The actual work in terms of work items planned for an iteration. Planning the work is done using the Planned Items page. You can modify all the attributes of a work item.
  • Progress information to determine if the team is on schedule to meet the committed objectives.
    • The plan progress can be tracked using the progress bars in the plan editor heading and on the group headings on the Planned Items page.
    • You can also add widgets to the plan Dashboard page to track progress.
  • Link plans with other plans, requirement collections, and test plans on the Links page.

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