Process Guidance Now Online in Team Foundation Server 2010

One of the big changes made to the Agile & CMMI process templates in 2010 was to move the guidance outside of the process template itself and into MSDN (the guidance was shipped in past versions as a set of HTML files provisioned on SharePoint at the project creation).  There were many contributing factors to the decision that I thought it would be useful to write about.

Discoverability – While the guidance was discoverable from within Visual Studio, that’s where it ended.   We heard from many of you that you wanted to search the guidance and reference it in other materials.   MSDN was a natural solution to this problem.

Integration with Help – Having “help” topics separate from “guidance” topics proved to be another stumbling block.  It was never clear if you should look for the answer to a question in the help system?  Or in the process guidance?  The two are now integrated together into one experience.

Maintainability – The final factor in the decision was that MSDN provided a vehicle to update process guidance after the product ships.  This is a huge step forward because it allows us to address common questions/issues or new trends/tools relating to the process itself or the product.

You can see the Beta2 versions of the Agile and CMMI guidance at the links below.  It should be noted that that Agile guidance is only about 60% complete in this version and the CMMI version is only about 10% complete (see the Artifacts section in CMMI).  More to come

Update (4/28/2010) - I had a few questions so I wanted to point out that the links below are now hooked up to the RTM process guidance.

MSF for Agile 5.0 Process Guidance

MSF for CMMI 5.0 Process Guidance

Comments (3)

  1. sgryphon says:

    I am glad that Microsoft did the research and has responded by adopting Scrum as the basis for the agile process delivered with TFS2010 / MSF v5.0.

    … however I don’t think the name is appropriate, as the process is quite different from MSF Agile in MSF v4.0.

    The version of MSF Agile in MSF v4.0 is quite clearly based on earlier, i.e. MSF v3.0 work, as is MSF CMMI.  It also looks like MSF CMMI in MSF v5.0 will continue to use many of the same constructs.

    In particular I think that MSF has a very strong team model.

    The new agile template in MSF v5.0 is, however, quite different from earlier versions of the process; so much in fact that I think it should have a different name — "MSF Scrum" would probably be a good name.

    (This would also leave open the option for the original MSF Agile to be updated to TFS2010).

    So, is there any chance of it being called "MSF Scrum" ?

  2. Aaron Bjork says:

    Thanks for the feedback.  We’ve shopped this decision around quite a bit… and while there were strong opinions on both sides we felt it best to adapt the MSF Agile template to be more consistent with the Agile community AND maintain the original name (including MSF).

    We did look into creating a pure Scrum template, but we got a lot of feedback from customers indicating demand for the template to support other methodologies (XP, etc) without being restricted to Scrum.  Building two Agile templates was just too expensive for this release.

    Our hope is that as your work with the template it becomes clear that you can practice Scrum, XP, and other Agile methods using the template.  We’ve written the guidance from the Scrum standpoint as it’s the dominant method in use today.

  3. Alfred Myers says:

    A late comment, but in the unlikely case somebody landing here hasn't seen yet, Microsoft and teamed up and delivered a Scrum template downloadable from

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