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Lesson 5: Create phase plans and the plan schedule

In this lesson, you create phase or iteration plans so that you can see the plan items and work items that are assigned to each phase or iteration. You create a project schedule by defining the dependencies and constraints of the work items. You also define the milestones for the plan. Then, you can view a Gantt chart of the work items in the project plan to see when the work items are being worked on. At this stage, you can also take a snapshot of the proposed plan.

About this task

A plan schedule provides the timing and sequence of the work items in the plan. For more information about plan schedules, see Schedules in traditional project plans. You create a schedule when you define the plan start and end dates and the dependencies and constraints for work items in the plan. To learn more about dependencies and constraints, see Schedule dependencies and Schedule constraints.


  1. Create phase plans for each phase and iteration that you created in the project timeline. To learn about creating plans, see Creating iteration plans. After you create the plans, view the plan items and stories that you assigned to the iteration by clicking the Planned Items tab, and then changing the view to Work Breakdown and Schedule in the drop-down list.
  2. Define a plan schedule by specifying the work item constraints and dependencies. For more information about specifying constraints and dependencies, see Specifying work item constraints in the web client and Creating schedule dependencies between work items.
  3. Optional: Create milestone work items for each plan or plan phase. A milestone identifies the significant points or events in a project or project phase. To create a milestone, create a work item, and for the work item type, select Milestone.
  4. From the menu, click Plans > Current Plans, and open a phase plan. On the Planned Items tab, view the Gantt chart (the Work Breakdown and Schedule view) of the plan.
  5. Take a snapshot of the proposed schedule:
    1. Click the Snapshots tab.
    2. Click the Create Snapshot (Create snapshot) icon.
    3. Type the name of the snapshot and a comment.
    4. For the snapshot type, select Proposed, and then click OK.
    5. Click Save.
    Plan snapshots are approved project plans with which you can measure and control activities during project implementation. Managers can compare current plans with previous snapshots to analyze the progress of projects and to forecast project outcomes. For more information about snapshots, see Plan snapshots.


You now have a detailed project plan with a defined schedule and a snapshot of the current state of the plan. In the next lesson, you will assign owners for each work item in the plan.

Lesson checkpoint

In this lesson, you learned about plan schedules and how to create them. You also learned about snapshots and how to take a snapshot.
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