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Microsoft TFS

This course will be retired in 252 days. If you have questions, please contact us.

This Agile training course with Steve Caseley covers how to use Microsoft's Team Foundation Server as a tool to support the delivery of Agile projects....
This Agile training course with Steve Caseley covers how to use Microsoft's Team Foundation Server as a tool to support the delivery of Agile projects.

Recommended skills:
  • Agile/Scrum Understanding

Recommended equipment:
  • Team Foundation Server on premises or Office365 installation
  • Standalone TFS (in lieu of server based install for learning purposes only)

Related certifications:
  • Scrum Master

Related job functions:
  • Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Project Team Member
  • Project Manager

This course focuses on the actual use of TFS based on the Agile roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team Leader. This course will review how TFS supports the Agile principles for Backlog Management, Sprint Management, and Agile Burndown charts, as well as the Agile development techniques such as continuous integration, automated testing, pair programming and refactoring.

This training has been approved for Category A PDUs. For a listing of how many PDUs are earned for this training, please visit our PMI R.E.P. FAQs on our Forum.

PMI® is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
 show less
1. Introduction (14 min)
2. Agile Overview Part 1 (20 min)
3. Agile Overview Part 2 (18 min)
4. TFS Overview (20 min)
5. TFS Administration (21 min)
6. Product Backlog (25 min)
7. Iteration Planning (23 min)
8. Daily Tracking (20 min)
9. Work Item Wrapup (23 min)
10. Reports and Queries (19 min)
11. Requirements Definition (20 min)
12. Version Control (23 min)
13. Builds (17 min)
14. Build and Code Quality (14 min)
15. Code Analysis (17 min)
16. Test Planning (17 min)
17. Test Execution (18 min)
18. Test Results (16 min)
19. System Administration (22 min)
20. TFS Report Card (14 min)



Hi, I'm Steve Caseley from CBT Nuggets, and welcome to this introductory Nugget of the series on team foundation server, or, probably more appropriately titled, Being Agile with Team Foundation Server. This series is not focused on every switch, every command, every setting, of TFS.


Instead, this Nugget series is focused on how you can be a Agile, how you can follow the Agile principles using the tool called TFS. To kick that off, a very, very quick overview of what TFS is-- Team Foundation Server-- the features and functions provided that, and then we'll talk about the relationship between TFS and being Agile.


Do you need TFS to be Agile? No. Can you be Agile without TFS? Yes. But we'll delve into more details on that. We're very quickly touch on the difference between TFS in the cloud and TFS on premise, to ensure that we've got a clear definition of how you're going to implement this in your organization.


And finally, and I think most importantly, we're going to talk about what this series isn't going to cover, and this series isn't a deep dive into TFS. This isn't a TFS admin guide-- this is a guide on how to be Agile using TFS. And to kick us off, the discussion is, what is TFS?


I really wish, I really do wish I had good solid one-sentence answer to what TFS is, besides the name team foundation server. If you look at the Microsoft website itself, they describe TFS is "a collaborative platform at the core of Microsoft's life cycle management solution.


TFS supports Agile development practices, multiple IDEs and platforms, locally or in the cloud, and gives you the tools you need to effectively manage software development projects through its life cycle." Now that's a pretty broad, pretty sweeping definition of what TFS really is.


But the core of it is, TFS is the systems development environment. It has the tools to support projects doing development, and if I zero in just a little bit, I would zero in and say what TFS primarily is, it's a built server. So it's going to take all of your individual code modules, run it through the build process, do the compiles, do the links, do the assembles, use all of those words, depending on which programming language you're using.


And it's going to build it into working code. It's also a very robust and very complete version management system, which I would say is an intrinsic prerequisite to being able to do a build server. It has to be equal to do version control, and manage all of the components.


And finally, it is very robust end-testing facility. But on top of all of that, it is also the management environment, which is what's going to allow us to do the Agile support and the Agile management within it. One of the reasons I find TFS to be so difficult to explain, is it's actually part of an overall layered Microsoft product group.


At the very base is SQL server. All of the code modules, all of the verging, all of the test cases, everything has to be stored somewhere, and it's all stored inside SQL Server. So it's very much meta-data style environment-- end runs, SQL Server, TFS ain't going to happen, folks, without SQL running in the background.


And although the rest of these are not truly core components to allow TFS to run, my expectation is, or my experience is, in most organizations using the TFS, they're also using SharePoint. So there's also the repository in place so that you have effective management of all of your project artifacts.


And I'm not talking the version management of what TFS in terms of the code, but it's the repository for all of the project artifacts, and all of the project documents, so that we have everything stored in a common location. And we'll see how TFS will come into play when we're talking about managing release plans, and managing stories, and managing a whole lot of the artifacts that our project needs.


And then we have TFS as part of the layering. And although really not part of this scope of this particular Nugget series, there is another layered Microsoft product called Project Server for those doing traditional project delivery. Project Server is a companion product to Microsoft Project, and in some organizations, you will have this complete layer happening, where you have projects being delivered in Project Server, you have projects being delivered as part of TFS.


And as a matter of fact, for those of you who take this Nugget series and get a real flavor or feeling that, hey, this TFS is pretty cool, I like this, I think I'm going to go to the boss and try to get them to buy this, but you're already using Project Server-- the good news is, there is built-in integration between TFS and Project Server.


So it's actually very easy to put the two of these into you common environment. And lately Microsoft has really been combining all of these together, and typically refer to this large, layered environment as Visual Studio. So that's TFS. So where there's TFS fit into this concept the delivering an Agile project?


Well, it fits in a couple of ways. Number one, Microsoft ships TFS with the series of templates. And there are two templates built into TFS very relevant to this Nugget series-- one is the Agile template itself, which is new in this release of TFS, so that's the 2012 release of TFS has the Agile template in it, and also there is a Scrum template that has been shipping with TFS for, I don't know how many years now.


But for a number of years. So A, TFS provides built in support for being Agile, and it has awesome tool support. So the things that we need to be Agile-- build management, test management, configuration management, is built into TFS. So it's just an awesome tool to help us be Agile.


And it's very, very flexible. If you want to do it this way, if you want to do it that way, if you want to be nimble, if you want to be iterative, if you want to do all of those things that Agile prides itself on being-- the good news is, TFS does all of that.


And you can also be 100% Agile without any TFS, which is really what we're going to focus on next. And the bottom line is, you don't TFS to be Agile, you don't need to be Agile with TFS. They're really, totally separate individual situations, but the good news, as I just said, is TFS does an awesome job of supporting Agile, but it also does an awesome job of supporting traditional waterfall development.


TFS was around long before-- well, long before-- but TFS was certainly around before Agile and Scrum came to the forefront. And it was there as a traditional systems development environment to help projects deliver. TFS also ships with these templates that I just referred to, with the CMMI template.


So again, if you want to follow the CMMI delivery practices, TFS is going to support you to do that. There is a Scrum template, there is an Agile template. Bottom line is, how you use TFS is up to you, and how you be Agile is up to you. In this Nugget series, I'm going to combine the Agile principles, I'm going to combine it with TFS, and show you how you can truly, effectively deliver Agile projects using this tool called TFS.


And we'll talk more about this in the module four. I wanted to get this elephant into the room, or elephant into the room, or recognize that there's an elephant in the room as soon as possible, is what's the difference between TFS 365 and a true on-premise installation TFS on our own servers, on our own equipment?


And actually, even as we're doing this, TFS 365 isn't what it's being called anymore. It's now being called Visual Studio Online. As with all of the other Microsoft offerings-- whether it's Office, whether it's SharePoint-- there is a Microsoft service in the cloud that supports TFS.


Bottom line is, absolutely from the viewpoint this Nugget series, it doesn't matter. The functionality of TFS in the cloud, on premise, is identical. There, the elephant's taken care of. I don't care-- TFS is TFS is TFS is TFS. Functionality is equivalent.


Now there are subtle differences. But for the purpose of where we're going-- delivering Agile projects using TFS-- it's independent. Elephant-- gone. Go away. Don't come back, elephant. So you're saying, so how do I make my decision? The decision has nothing to do with delivering Agile using TFS.


The decision is a corporate IT infrastructure security networking decision. We can support Agile delivery either way. So one more time-- elephant, get out of the room. So before we talk about what this Nugget series is not going to cover, I do want to spend just a moment with you-- and it's only going to be just a moment, because we certainly are going to go through all of the details of what TFS is throughout this Nugget series-- is what is TFS?


First and foremost, for the purpose of Agile support, it's a project management support environment Very specific for Agile, but as we saw through other discussions, it's also there for Scrum, it's there for CMMI, it's there fore traditional. It's very much a support environment for project management, but it's not Microsoft Project, it's not Microsoft Project Server, but it has fundamentals.


So if you and some of my other Nugget series where we talk about PMI, PMP prep, and all of the core competencies of being and effective project manager, I would say TFS doesn't absolutely endorse and support all of the PMI, PMP project management activities, but it certainly does have a pretty darn good skeleton of support there.


And you'll see it absolutely has everything we need to be just awesome Agile. It has a very extensive workflow process, which I believe feeds in just perfectly to being Agile. We need to have a story. We need to have the story estimated. We need to have the story assigned to a sprint.


The story needs to have a definition of done. With workflow management in TFS, we can do the workflow management to ensure that we can't get a story assigned to a sprint, until it's been estimated. We're going to validate that the story can't be developed until the definition of done.


So again, some of the features and functions we have in TFS that's going to help us be really Agile is workflow management. We talked about this one already. We have version control, which I believe feeds directly into build automation. So this is going to support the Agile development techniques.


Absolutely, we have a high-quality test management. We have the ability to create test cases. We have the ability to execute test cases. We have the ability to automate test cases, and that automation is one of the key features that we're going to exploit heavily in using TFS in an Agile environment, is automated test cases to validate that our automated builds did not break anything.


That the code is still 100% functional every time we do a check-in. And because it's got all of this awesome support in it to support the effective delivery, it has built-in intrinsic quality management components as part of the tool set itself. And just to make sure that you're taking the right series, because I wouldn't want you to sit through this entire series and say, Steve didn't cover TFS and this.


I'm not covering TFS. This is not to TFS administration Nugget series. This is not a deep dive into TFS. This is how to be Agile using TFS. Were absolutely not going to talk about SQL. We're not going to talk about SharePoint. We're not going to talk about TFS administration.


We're not even going to talk about various Visual Studio development activities. This is going to be a user manual on TFS for being Agile. So if you're expecting a TFS admin, if you're expecting a deep dive, if you're expecting to know anything and everything and the full nuances of TFS, this is the wrong Nugget series for you.


If you're interested in that, let us know. CBT Nuggets would be very happy to put together that deep dive TFS admin series for you, but this one is focused exclusively on how to deliver Agile projects using TFS. So to wrap up this introductory Nugget on being Agile using TFS, we quickly talked about what TFS is.


TFS is a systems development environment, that provides full support for project management, for build management, for configuration management, for version control, and it does it in a way that's nimble enough and flexible enough to allow us to be Agile.


And then we talked about the fact that we can be Agile with TFS and we can be Agile without TFS. We can use TFS to be non-Agile-- traditional-- as well as being Agile. So it's very important that you understand-- TFS is not an exclusive Agile tool, nor do you have to have TFS a has to be Agile.


And then we talked very quickly about the fact that we have cloud versions and on-premise versions of TFS. Don't care. Pick one, work with IT, get whatever you want in place, but for the purposes of this Nugget series, we don't care. And then we concluded with the fact that this Nugget is not a deep dive into TFS.


It's user's manual on delivering Agile with TFS. This concludes our introductory Nugget for in Agile with team foundation server. I hope this module has been informative for you, and thank you very much for viewing.

Agile Overview Part 1

Agile Overview Part 2

TFS Overview

TFS Administration

Product Backlog

Iteration Planning

Daily Tracking

Work Item Wrapup

Reports and Queries

Requirements Definition

Version Control


Build and Code Quality

Code Analysis

Test Planning

Test Execution

Test Results

System Administration

TFS Report Card

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Steve Caseley
Nugget trainer since 2004