Delivering Work Items

Okay, I know it’s been awhile since I jumped in the fray here, but here you go ….:-)

An update on what I’ve been doing… I’ve spent this year executing project management activities for the work item tracking features in Team Foundation Server. We’re turning this carrier into the wind now, readying for a lunch later this year. That’s allowed me to reflect on what we’ve done and begin to make plans for our next release. I’m out visiting people evaluating the Beta and talking to others beginning their adoption planning. To be honest, we’ve left a lot of features on the table in this first version. Some of you will find things that are unnacceptable and others have brilliant ideas for what we should do next. I’d like to use this weblog as a forum, an intellectual commons even (yikes), to discuss what must be in the next release. I’ll seed things with reports of what I’m hearing. I hope some of you will help me sharpen my observations or tell me I need a hearing aid.

This week I’m in Atlanta. Yesterday I attended one of the first local Visual Studio 2005 events to be hosted by our field sales team. There were almost one hundred people at our conference center in Alpharetta. 

Some smart guys from a major power company based here got me thinking about how work items are delivered to developers. In Team Foundation we rely on a query to communicate the list of work in someone’s queue. You have to run a query to see your work items. Their point to me was what if you could just sync to your sources and have all the Work Items embedded in the code show up in a list in the Task window. In their scenario the source code contains links to work items. The code attributions come from collaborators (lead, reviewer, or tester). Collaborators describe details in a work item (bug, task, or suggestion) and then leave the link to it in the source file. We have the pieces for this scenario already in Visual Studio: support for attributed code, a task window, and now with Team Foundation we have the linking infrastructure. I’m intrigued and will think about how we might do this sooner then later. Keep you posted. Let me know what you think.