Is project based team work becoming a logistical nightmare?

I have had a number of interesting  discussions and questions this week regarding the facilitation of project based team working. From my recent Institution visits a number of institutions are now using tools such as Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project server within the teaching curriculum. They are predominantly using these applications to allow students to manage and monitor the status/progress of work on both individual and team based projects. Microsoft Project is a excellent tool however it doesn't plan development lifecycles or team activity or monitor output of individuals or as a team so I would like to suggest the use of  Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010.


Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Services  is the collaboration platform at the core of Microsoft’s application lifecycle management solution. Team Foundation Server 2010 automates the software delivery process and gives the students the tools they need to manage software development projects throughout the IT life cycle.

What more important is that is FREE if your a MSDNAA subscriber

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Team Foundation Server 2010 enables everyone on the team to collaborate more effectively, be more agile and deliver better quality software while building and sharing institutional knowledge and allowing you the academic to see the status and progress and activity/commitment of each of the team members. This is facilitated by the use of project artifacts and data from work item tracking, source control, builds, and testing tools which are stored in a data warehouse and powerful reporting and dashboards provide historical trending, full traceability and real-time visibility into quality and progress against business intent.

Creativity Unleashed

Designed from the ground up as a collaboration platform to automate the software development process. Let Team Foundation Server 2010 manage your software development process and facilitate collaboration so that your teams are freed up from mundane non-coding tasks and empowered to unleash their creativity.

Simplicity Through Integration

Tools, processes and project artifacts come together to simplify the collaboration of people across various functional disciplines, helping them work better together and be more productive.

Quality Code Ensured

Monitor quality and progress in real time. Ensure that defects and regressions are discovered at the earliest possible moment with powerful features like build automation and gated check-ins.


The collaboration platform at the core of Microsoft’s application lifecycle management solution.

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 provides workflow automation and integrated processes, tools and project artifacts to simplify the collaboration of people across functional disciplines. The central repository enables rich collaboration in the context of the tasks the team is working on.

Top Ten Reasons why to use Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

1. Streamline The Flow of Data Across your student projects.
Project artifacts are stored in a central repository that facilitates in-context collaboration to reduce waste in hand-over time between tasks and streamlines the development process. Team members can instead focus on delivering value over transitioning information between roles. In addition, seamless support for Eclipse extends these collaboration benefits to heterogenous environments.
4. Reduce Risk with Real-time Visibility
Powerful reporting and dashboards provide historical trending and real-time visibility into overall project health. Real-time metrics give you early warnings of potential problems so you can be proactive and make data-driven decisions and course corrections.
7. End-to-end Traceability
Define, query and report on custom relationships between requirements, work items and test cases. Full traceability lets you track progress and quality back to business goals and customer requirements.

2. Lightweight Agile Planning Tools
The new Microsoft® Excel Agile Planning Workbook makes it easy for teams to adopt agile software development methodologies like SCRUM. Use it to create and manage user stories and product backlog, estimate the team's velocity, and break the project down into iterations. The Iteration Backlog enables you to plan iterations and track progress.

5. Project and Portfolio Management
Integration with Microsoft Project and Office Project Server enables business stake holders and project managers to gain insight into the health of inflight projects, understand how they support the business needs and help identify ways to improve existing processes.
8. Simplified Installation for Smaller Teams

Smaller teams and individual developers can choose the new Basic Install option to leverage the power of Team Foundation Server 2010 without the footprint of the full installation.

3. Understand Parallel Development
Reduce the complexity in branching and merging with powerful new visualization tools. Understand the scope, organization and maintenance of your source code and easily identify, track and manage changes across branches.
6. Prevent Broken Builds
The new gated check-in feature helps teams working in the same branch to prevent costly and time consuming build breaks by testing code in isolation before it goes into the full repository.
9. Flexible Build Automation

Windows Workflow-based builds with powerful features like build queuing and build agent pooling enable teams to easily customize, manage and scale out their build environments.

10. Enterprise Scalability and experience

64-bit server support and new project collection isolation features let large teams scale Team Foundation Server 2010 installations to meet their demands giving students experience of real world applications, tools and services.

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