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CMMI process

Last Updated: 6/13/2016

Team Services | TFS 2015 | Previous versions

The CMMI process supports the following work item types (WITs) to plan and track work, tests, feedback, and code review. With different WITs you can track different types of work—such as product backlog items, tasks, bugs and more. These artifacts are created when you create a team project using the CMMI process. They are based on the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) process.

Agile process work item types

In addition to the WITs, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions. If you work from an on-premises TFS, you also have access to additional .

Feature availability:

From the cloud-based Team Services, you’ll always have access to the latest version of the Agile process, which you can also customize.

If you connect to an on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS), the latest version of the CMMI process uploads automatically when you install or upgrade to the latest version of TFS. You can customize team projects and use the Process Template Manager to upload and download process templates.

Additional artifacts, such as SQL Server reports and SharePoint dashboards, are only available when you connect to a team project from an on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS). Other resource requirements apply.

Plan and track work

Teams plan their project by capturing features and requirements. When teams work in sprints, they define tasks and link them to requirements. To gain insight into a rollup of requirements across teams, program managers link requirements to a feature. Blocking issues are tracked using issues. For details on using these WITs, see CMMI process work item types and workflow

The essential flow for getting started is as shown. To get started using Scrum or Kanban tools, see Get started with Agile tools to plan and track work.

Define storiesOrganize backlogManage bugsManage issues

Note: A work item is a database record that contains the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Work item types define the template of fields, workflow, and form for each type. Work items can be linked to each other to support tracking dependencies, roll up of work, and reports.

List work items

You can use shared work item queries to list work items based on their type, such as change requests, bugs, tasks, and requirements.

CMMI shared queries

Descriptions of predefined queries are listed later in this topic.

You can open a query from the work items page and then use the query editor to apply different filter criteria. Also, you can add queries to team dashboards.

Tip: Queries listed under the Current Iteration folder do not automatically update when a new iteration becomes current. The current iteration is based on the dates that you assign to your sprint schedules. You must manually update the iteration path of each query to have it point to the iteration path that corresponds to the current iteration. Or, you can edit the shared query to use the @CurrentIteration macro.

From Team Explorer, you can open any work item query in Excel to perform bulk edits.

Quick tips

If you are new to Team Foundation and shared queries, review these tips to learn how you can manage work more effectively:

  • You can find work items that are assigned to you by opening one of the "My" shared queries. To open a query, select it and choose Enter.
  • All valid users with standard access can create queries and folders under the My Queries area. To create queries and query folders under Shared Queries , you must have the Contribute permission set. For more information, see Set permissions on queries.
  • You can find work items that are neither resolved nor closed by using any of the Active or Open shared queries. For example, the Open Work Items query lists all work items, except for shared steps, that are not closed.
  • You can modify any query by adding criteria to focus on a product area, an iteration, or another field. To modify a query, open the query editor.
  • You can open any query in Excel or Project, where you can modify the query and publish your changes to the database for tracking work items.
  • You can visualize progress by creating a pie-chart, column chart, or other chart for flat-list queries.

Monitor progress

All processes—Agile, Scrum, and CMMI—support building status and trend charts and dashboards. In addition, several charts are automatically built based on the Agile tools you use. These charts display within the web portal.

Create light-weight charts

To get started, you can open a shared query and create a chart based on your tracking interests. Chart types include status—pie, bar, column, stacked bar, and pivot—and trend—stacked area, line, and area—charts.

Edit queryCreate chartManage bugs

Power BI reports (Team Services)

If you connect to Visual Studio Team Services, then you can use Power BI to create charts and reports.

SQL Server reports (TFS)

If you connect to an on-premises TFS, you can access the following CMMI process reports. For these reports to be useful, teams must perform certain activities, such as define build processes, link work items, and update status or remaining work.

To access these reports, your team project collection and the team project must be configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. If you need to add reporting services or update reports to the latest versions, see Add reports to a team project.

SharePoint portal dashboards (TFS)

If you connect to an on-premises TFS, you can access CMMI process dashboards displayed through SharePoint. These dashboards display project data, support investigation tasks, and help teams to perform common tasks quickly. The following dashboards support the display of web access parts for listing work items and reports that were built in the Analysis Services cube.

To use Dashboards your team project must have a project portal configured and the project portal must point to a SharePoint site.

Before you start tracking work, you must have a team project. To create one hosted in the cloud, see Sign up for Visual Studio Team Services. To create one hosted on an on-premises TFS, see Create a team project.

If you have a team project, start tracking work:

For more information on Agile tools:

Additional CMMI guidance

The situations and working practices of development teams vary widely, and most companies will have their own well-established processes. For these reasons, the guidance given here does not attempt to prescribe a development process in full. Instead, we describe just the activities that are relevant to making best use of the CMMI process.

  • Background to CMMI : Provides an overview of CMMI and the six capability levels that are intrinsic to the model.

  • Project management : Provides guidance to help you better understand how to manage, plan, and coordinate the development and maintenance of software products working with the CMMI model.

  • Engineering : Addresses the value-added activities for discovering the information that is required to design and build software products

Using the CMMI template and guidance can help you achieve the aims of CMMI if you use it as part of a process improvement program. You should adapt this guidance to your own situation, which will depend on the type and history of the product that you are developing, the project's scale, the background of the team members, and accepted practices in your organization.

This guidance was developed in partnership with David Anderson. For more information, see the following Web page: David J Anderson & Associates.

CMMI process predefined queries

Query for items assigned to you

You can find the work items that are assigned to you by using one of the shared queries that the following table describes.

Shared queryDescription
My Test CasesLists all test cases that are not closed and that are assigned to the team member who is running the query. Test cases are sorted by priority and then ID.
My Work ItemsLists all work items, excluding shared steps, that are not closed and that are assigned to the team member who is running the query. Work items are sorted by rank, priority, type, and ID.

Development and test queries

Team members can use the shared queries that are described in the following table to track the status of development and test tasks and active and resolved bugs.

Shared queryDescription
Active BugsLists all active bugs and sorts them by rank, priority, and severity.
Development TasksLists all tasks whose Discipline is set to Development. Tasks are sorted by ID.
My Test CasesLists all test cases that are not closed and that are assigned to the team member who is running the query. Test cases are sorted by priority and then ID.
Open TasksLists all tasks that are not closed, sorted by rank, priority, and then ID.
Open Test CasesLists all test cases that are not closed, sorted by priority and then ID.
Resolved BugsLists all resolved bugs that are defined for the team project, sorted by rank, priority, and severity.
Test TasksLists all tasks whose Discipline is set to Test, sorted by ID.

Backlog management queries

Product owners can use the shared queries that are described in the following table to track the status of requirements and untriaged work.

Shared queryDescription
Customer RequirementsLists all requirements, sorted by ID, that have been identified as Scenario or Quality of Service work items.
Product RequirementsLists all requirements, sorted by ID, that have been identified as Functional, Operational, Security, Safety, or a Feature.
Open RequirementsLists all requirements that are not closed, sorted by iteration ID, priority, and then work item ID.
Open Requirements without Test CasesLists all requirements that are not closed and that do not have a Tested By link to a test case, sorted by work item ID.
Open Work ItemsLists all work items except shared steps that are not closed. Work items are sorted by rank, priority, type, and then ID.
Proposed Work ItemsLists all proposed work items, sorted by rank, priority, iteration, area, triage, and then work item ID.
ReviewsLists all reviews, sorted by work item ID.
Untriaged Work ItemsLists all requirements, tasks, change requests, bugs, and issues that have not been closed or triaged. The Triage field for these work items is set to Pending, More Info, or Info Received.

Work items are sorted by state, triage, rank, priority, iteration, and area.
Work BreakdownLists all requirements that are not closed and their child requirements or tasks.
Work Items With Summary ValuesLists all tasks that have child tasks and that contain non-zero values for the Remaining Work or Completed Work fields. This query is designed to find tasks that report work effort that is already accounted for in their child tasks. For the hours to be counted only once, summary tasks should not be assigned any hours.

For more information, see Address inaccuracies published for summary values.

Change management queries

Product owners can use the shared queries that are described in the following table to track change requests and dependencies that have been identified between change requests and requirements.

Shared queryDescription
Change RequestsLists all change requests, sorted by ID.
Open Change Requests with RequirementsLists change requests that are not closed and their linked requirements, sorted by ID. Only change requests that are linked to a requirement with a link type of Affects appears in the list.
Requirements with Open Change RequestsLists requirements and the change requests that are not closed and that depend on them, sorted by ID. Only requirements that are linked to a change request with a link type of Affected By are listed.

Troubleshooting queries

Product owners can use the shared queries that are described in the following table to troubleshoot issues and risks to the product schedule.

Shared queryLists
Blocked Work ItemsLists all work items where the Blocked field is set to Yes.

Only requirements, tasks, bugs, issues, and change requests can be blocked.
Corrective Action StatusLists all tasks whose Task Type is set to Corrective Action.
Mitigation ActionsLists all tasks whose Task Type is set to Mitigation Action.
Open IssuesLists all issues that are not closed.

The Issues workbook references this query.
RisksLists all risks, sorted by ID.

Workbooks (TFS)

Feature availability: Workbooks are only available when you connect to an on-premises TFS that's been configured with a SharePoint portal.

You can use the following Excel workbooks to review open issues and to rank and assign untriaged work items. Each workbook references a shared query.

Because these queries support workbooks, if you change these queries, it will affect those workbooks that use them.

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