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Scrum for Team System v3 Beta 2 – Scrum Masters Workbench

Update to date info is now avilable at: Process Guidance 

This post will give you a quick overview of the new Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS) project setup utility entitled: Scrum Masters Workbench (SMW) and how it is used with the forthcoming Scrum for Team System version 3 (SfTS)process template.

The new SfTS process template offers the ability to support practically any type of TFS project team configuration. This ranges from a simple single team project to multiple teams working in multiple work streams at differing cadences on multiple releases and much, much more!

Obviously, this means that project setup can be a little overwhelming when using the standard Visual Studio tools*. In fact this is exactly the feedback reported by our Beta 1 testers.

* Formally known as Team Explorer and now included in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate edition.

The SfTS Beta 2 template is imminent and to be released to a much wider audience than the Beta 1 edition. So we have produced a new project setup utility to help project administrators get new projects up and running with the minimum of hassle. The setup utility is a component of the SMW.


The “Project Setup” mode within the SMW gives you a visual representation of the project iteration path structure and [when connected to a SfTS v3 based project] the new project life cycle work items; * Release, Sprint and Team Sprint.


* See Simon Bennett’s blog for more information on the new project life cycle work items

SfTSv3 projects contain no pre-defined work item instances (unlike SfTS v2 projects). So to get you started the utility offers two setup modes; “Quick Setup” and “Advanced”.

Quick Setup Mode:


This mode gives you a limited set of options so that you need only enter the bear minimum of configuration data:

  • Project Start Date
  • Project End Date
  • Team Name
  • Team Capacity (hours of effort available per sprint)
  • Sprint Length (in days)

The project structure generated from this mode follows a single; Release, Work Stream, Sprint and Team pattern.

Quick Setup Project Structure

Quick Setup Project Structure

Advanced Mode:

This setup option is intended to help the project administrators of larger, multi-team projects.



image image image

It offers the ability to specify multiple Releases, Work Streams and Teams. Project structures created using this mode can be very complex:


Additional Setup Options:

Once the initial project setup is complete, you can tweak and adjust the various nodes as required. Right-clicking on a node gives you a context menu of further options:


  • New Associated Item (SfTS v3 projects only)

    This option is available from nodes that match the iteration path depth of a life cycle work item but do not have an associated item. See Life Cycle Work Items and the Iteration Path below for more information on node branch depth.

  • Edit Associated Item (SfTS v3 projects only)

    Opens the edit dialog for the associated work item. Note: This is also accomplished by clicking the node name link.

  • Show Descendents Only

    Filters the visible nodes to the selected node and it’s children only.

  • Add Child

    Adds a new iteration path child node to the selected item. If this is a SfTS v3 project and the new child node matches a life cycle work item depth, this will also create a new associated item.

  • Rename

    Allows you to change the name of the node. Note: Changing an iteration path node name will affect all the child nodes (and associated work items). So make sure you save any work item changes prior to using this option.

  • Delete

    Deletes the selected node and all it’s descendents. Note: This action will affect all existing work items that are associated with the deleted node and it’s child nodes. Make sure you save all work item changes prior to using this mode.

Life Cycle Work Items and the Iteration Path:

In SfTSv3 projects, life cycle work items have a strict dependency on iteration path nodes at set branch depths. This association is required in order to ensure that both the reporting and event service features of the template can work correctly.

  • Release Work Items (Level 2)
    Must be associated to iteration path nodes at the level two branch depth.


  • Sprint Work Items (Level 4)

    Must be association to iteration path nodes at the forth level depth.


  • Team Sprint Work Items (Level 5)

    Must be association to iteration path nodes at the fifth level depth.



The SMW beta release will be made available for download alongside the SfTS v3 Beta 2 template. Watch the forums for more information.


Crispin Parker,
Senior Practice Consultant,
EMC Consulting.

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Crispin Parker's Blog said:

This post relates to Team Foundation Server, Scrum for Team System and the Scrum Masters Workbench. One

January 20, 2010 3:00 PM

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