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Sven Hubert

Sven Hubert

Visualize Backlog in Team Foundation Server

Montag, 02. November 2009

[This blog post has been written by our partner Ive Verstappen – see below for details about the author]

Although the scrum template for Team Foundation Server is a good way to organise your work, a lot of teams often miss a way to visualize the sprint backlog.

A sprint backlog should be easy to change and administer. A team-member, scrum-master or project stakeholder should be able to check the status of the sprint easily. A flat list of items may not be an ideal solution for this demand.

There are some tools available to visualize backlog, among one of them is the Scrumdashboard which is presented in this post.

The Scrumdashboard solves a lot of problems which a team faces to administer a scrum-project. The tasks can be assigned by simply dragging them to the correct column (e.g. dragging a task from “Not Done” to “In Progress” automatically changes the state of the task to “In Progress” and assignes it to the yourself.)

In the upper part of the screen, the “basic controls” are shown. You can choose your project and sprint. The choices which are available to you depend on the same rights as all the Team Foundation Server projects.

After choosing a sprint and pressing “load”, you automatically see the sprint-burndown, the sprint-goal and the sprint backlog in the low-part of the screen.

All the sprint backlog items are shown by product backlog item. You immediately can see in which state all the sprint backlog items are. (in this case, most items are in the state “ready for test”, and some are “done”.)

This tool is really valuable because it gives you a good overview of a project in 5 seconds. All the important information is compressed in one screen.

This tool is also great to give to customers and project stakeholders. The team-explorer will prove to be too “technical”. A project stakeholder only wants to check whether everything is going fine. This screen provides a correct non-biased overview in 5 seconds. Once a project stakeholder understands how to read a sprint-burndown (which is not rocket-science anyway), he will be able to check-out how a team is doing by himself. He will feel “in control” of a project.

This dashboard could prevent surprises during sprint reviews and get constant project-by-in from project stakeholders.

You can download Scrumdashboard for free from Codeplex.

About the Author

  Ive Verstappen
ist Geschäftsführer und Software Consultant bei der belgischen Firma BIT IT Consultancy.Schwerpunktthemen: 

  • Agile Entwicklungsprozesse (Scrum)
  • Projektmanagement
  • Prozessberatung

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