Creating a Professional Scrum process in VSTS

Visual Studio Team Services’ customization capabilities are to a point now where I can write this blog post … as a rebuttal to any earlier post of my own. Since Microsoft is unwilling to keep their Scrum process aligned with the Scrum Guide (which honestly isn’t updated that often) then the community will have to do it ourselves. Maybe that was their master plan all along. :-)

Following the guidance here, I’ve documented my journey to create a Professional Scrum process.

First, I created an inherited process based on the Scrum template …

ProScrumProcess1

I named this inherited process “Professional Scrum” …

ProScrumProcess2

After setting Professional Scrum as the default process, I began customizing it. I started by disabling the Bug work item type, because the Product Backlog Item WIT works just fine) …

ProScrumProcess3

I customized the Product Backlog Item layout by hiding the Priority and Value Type fields …

ProScrumProcess4

Note: Ideally, I would have liked to remove these fields altogether, but that isn’t allowed today.

Next, I added two new states: Ready (which maps to the Proposed category) and Forecasted (which maps to the In Progress category) …

ReadyState

I disabled the Approved and Committed states, replacing them with Ready and Forecasted respectively …

States

Note: I could have created a similar state workflow for Epic and Feature, but didn’t. You could.

I made similar changes to the Epic and Feature work item type, hiding Target Date, Priority, Time Criticality, and Value Area fields …

ProScrumProcess7

I also hid the Priority and Activity fields from the Task WIT and Priority from the Impediment WIT. I then went to Backlog Levels and renamed the Backlog items level to Stories

ProScrumProcess8

Note: Although epics, features, and stories are all considered PBIs in Scrum, most teams I coach prefer to call the lowest level (“sprintable”) backlog items as [user] stories. Ideally, all backlog levels would just use the Product Backlog Item WIT and then we could ditch or ignore Epic and Feature WITs altogether.

I then created a new team project based on the Professional Scrum template and beheld the awesomeness, such as “Stories” instead of “Backlog Items” and the Bug WIT being unavailable …

ProScrumProcess9

“Forecasted” instead of “Committed” and a minimal Details section …

ProScrumProcess10

So, let’s revisit my checklist from my earlier post and see what’s possible now …

ProScrumProcess11

[Professional] Scrum on!

 

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