Saturday, July 23, 2005

Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Software Project Management

Visual Studio Team System

Building Work Item Lists in Microsoft Excel

Project managers typically use Microsoft Excel to store lists of issues, work items, or even to schedule work. The Visual Studio Project Management tools provide a Microsoft Excel add-in that ties a list object in the spreadsheet to the work item database. The work item database is a where all work items such as bugs, risks, and tasks are stored.

Consider a scenario where a project manager creates a spreadsheet that includes the top 10 risks. As the project manager makes changes to the assignment, priority, and other fields on those risks, team members receive the updated information in their work item queues. The project manager no longer needs to query for status on the work item, but can pull that information directly from the work item database into the spreadsheet.

There are two ways to create a work item list. From the Portfolio Explorer (a view of the project in the Visual Studio IDE) a project manager can select a work item query or the documents node and create a new data-bound spreadsheet. The new spreadsheet will contain a work item list that is populated with the data from the query.

The project manager can also create a work item list from within Excel using the add-in to select a project and import work items.
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