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Getting the balance right for when and how many team projects to create has always been a bit of a balance.  On large initiatives, there are often teams who work toward a common system.  These teams often have quite a bit of autonomy, but need to roll up to some higher level initiative.  In TFS 2010, people were often tempted to create separate Team Projects for each of the sub-teams and then do some magic with reporting and cross-team queries to get the consolidated view.  My recommendation was always to use Areas as a means of separating work across the team, but that always resulted in a large number of queries that need to be maintained and just seemed confusing.  When doing anything you had to remember to filter the query or view by Area in order to get correct results.

Along with the awesome web access portal that comes in TFS 2012 (which I will cover details of in another post) the product group has introduced the concept of Teams.  A team is a sub-group within a TFS 2012 Team Project which allows us to more easily divide work along team boundaries.

Technically, a Team is defined by an Area Path and a TFS Group, both of which could be done in TFS 2012.  However, by allowing for creation of a ‘Team’ in TFS 2012, the web portal is able to do a bunch of ‘magic’ for us.  We can view the project site (backlog, taskboard, etc) for the the team, we can assign items to the team and we can view the burndown for the team.  Basically, all the stuff that we had to prepare manually we now get created and managed for us with a nice UI.

When you create a Team Project in TFS 2012, a ‘Default’ team is created with the same name as the Team Project.  So, if you only have 1 team working on the project, you are set.  If you want to divide the work into additional teams, you can create teams by using the Team Web Client.

Teams are created using the ‘Administer Server’ icon in the top right of the web site.


You can select the team site by using the team chooser:


Once you have selected a team, the Product Backlog, TaskBoard, Burndown Charts, etc. are all filtered to that team.

NOTE: You always have the ability to choose the ‘Default’ team to see items for the entire project.

PS: It’s been a long while since I shared on this blog.  To help with that I’m in a blogging challenge with some other developer and agilist friends.  Please check out their blogs as well:

Steve Rogalsky:

Dylan Smith:

Tyler Doerkson:

David Alpert:

Dave White:


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Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 8:20 PM | Back to top

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