A Scrum Process Template for TFS

Brian Harry

Since TFS 2005, we have delivered two process templates with TFS: MSF Agile and MSF for CMMI.  Our goal with MSF Agile was to create a relatively simple process template for teams doing Agile software development.  We designed it to enable a wide range of iterative development processes without too much process control.  In doing so, it doesn’t match any existing process directly but rather is pretty flexible to adapt to your process.

Over the past couple of years, Scrum has evolved as an extremely popular iterative development process and we’ve been getting feedback that our Agile template feels unnatural for teams trying to do Scrum.  For example, it uses different terminology like Iteration rather than Sprint, User Story rather than “Product Backlog item”, etc.

Today we are releasing a Beta of a new TFS process template specifically optimized for Scrum projects – Team Foundation Server Scrum v1.0 Beta.  You can also find it on our Process Templates and Tools page on MSDN.

To demonstrate some of the differences between our new Scrum process template and the existing MSF Agile process template, let’s look at the list of work item types in the two templates:

TFS Scrum v1.0 WITs

MSF Agile v5.0 WITs

Product Backlog Item

User Story







Test Case

Test Case

Shared Steps

Shared Steps



As you can see, the new Scrum work item types match the standard Scrum terminology.

You can also see the difference in the state transition models for the new template:

Product Backlog Item and Bug Work Items


Task Work Item


Impediment Work Item


Both the states and the terminology are different and match the Scrum process.

We’ve also built some new reports designed to highlight the key Scrum tracking metrics:

  • Release Burndown – Indicates how quickly the team is completing work and delivering Product Backlog Items. 
  • Velocity – Indicates the amount of effort the team is completing in each sprint.
  • Sprint Burndown – Indicates the team’s progress towards completing its work for a sprint

Release Burndown 


Sprint Burndown - In Progress

Our goal has been to make our Scrum template “truly Scrum” so that if you pick up a book on Scrum or take a class on Scrum and then try out the TFS Scrum process template it will all make sense to you and correspond to everything you’ve learned.  Of course it’s still completely customizable – so if you want to start with a stock Scrum process and tune it to your needs, you can do that too!

We’re working on the process guidance to go along with this new template.  We’ll have it done before we release the final version of the template and I’ll update you as soon as it’s available.

As always, please let me know you if have any feedback.



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