Using Work Items


Team Foundation has work item tracking features designed to assist enterprise software development teams to manage their work and software defect tracking. In Team Foundation, a work item tracks this work, and can be one of the individual tasks required to complete a project, a bug that needs to be fixed, a customer scenario that the project needs to address, or any other piece of work in a project that needs to be tracked in a database. The types of work items available in any given project can be customized by your team to meet your project development requirements using a work item type definition.  However, all work items contain the following common elements:

  • Fields that contain information about the work item.
  • Rules for each field. For example, the values that are supported in a field.
  • A work item form that controls how the work item fields are displayed.
  • A simple state-transition model that allows work item type authors to define required fields and values at different points during the work item’s life cycle.

All work items also have the following common characteristics:

  • Share a set of common system fields.
  • Track comprehensive history of changes to the work item.

Support links to other work items, file attachments, or any other work product in Team Foundation.

Team Foundation stores work items and work item type definitions in a work item database, organized under team projects on a single Team Foundation Server. A work item type is scoped to a team project. Each team project contains the work item type definitions used by that team project, so although two team projects might start with the same work item type definition, over time, they might diverge as project administrators change the definitions to suit the requirements of each team project. A change in one team project’s work item type definition does not affect the other.

When you create a project, you select a development process for the team project. The development process you choose determines the collection of work item types that are loaded as part of the team project creation.


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