Using Process Guidance


Process guidance is HTML content that documents the process to be followed by team members working on a team project. Team project work items, reports, and queries can all change during the life cycle of a team project, and be different between team projects. Process guidance provides details about a team project, such as how to complete work item fields, examples of healthy and unhealthy reports, and descriptions of the queries. Process guidance also provides details about the process to follow on a team project, such as roles to assume, and activities to complete.

How Process Guidance Works

Process guidance is a collection of HTML Web pages that are stored on the project portal for a team project. Because the content is stored on the project portal, each team project can potentially use a different process and have different process guidance.

You can find and display process guidance from the project portal, Team Explorer, Microsoft Excel work item lists, and Microsoft Project plans.

Furthermore, process guidance can be customized; so as new reports are added, or as work item fields are changed, the HTML content can be updated to reflect the changes and provide correct guidance to the team.

Process Guidance for Team Project Items

In a team project, there are reports, work items, queries, and work products (documents and templates). Process guidance provides explanations for all of these to help the team coordinate efforts and to follow their process. The following table explains what process guidance details are provided for each team project item.

  • Reports
    Process guidance explains the different data series available in each report and shows healthy and unhealthy examples of each report.
  • Work items
    Process guidance explains each work item in terms of what states are available and what they mean. It also explains valid state transitions and which reasons to use. Finally, it explains each work item field.
  • Queries
    Process guidance provides a brief explanation of each work item query you can run on the team project.
  • Work products (documents and templates)
    Process guidance explains the purpose of each work product, shows a sample, and provides a link to the work product template.

Process Guidance for the Team Process

Process guidance content also describes the team process using a consistent conceptual framework. The framework consists of content items that each represents a distinct piece of the process. Each content item has its own page on which it is viewed. The following table describes each content item in process guidance.

  • Overview
    Introduces key concepts about the process such as the cycles and iterations, principles, and mindsets.
  • Role
    Describes the responsibilities one or more team members will assume on the team project. For example, developer is a role that multiple team members will assume. You can filter the process guidance by role to see details about which parts of the process apply to your role.
  • Workstream
    A workstream is a collection of related activities that have a common purpose or role. For example, the Fix a Bug workstream involves many activities such as Reproduce the Bug, Locate the Cause of a Bug, and Code the Fix for a Bug.
  • Activity
    An activity is one or more steps that must be completed. Each activity has entry criteria and exit criteria. When the entry criteria are met, the activity can begin. When the exit criteria are met, the activity is completed.
  • How To’s
    A how to is a procedure of steps to complete a task in the tools. For example, How To: Reassign a Bug explains how to reassign a bug to another individual using Team Foundation.

The content items cross-reference each other to provide relevant contextual details. For example, when you view an activity, it displays which roles are responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. When you view a role, you see the workstreams in which that role is responsible. The framework is designed to piece together details to help you find the information you need to keep moving on your work.

Note   The process guidance framework can also be customized. Depending on which process you are using you may see different content items.



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