Thursday, December 18, 2008


For DHS-ICE I've setup a .NET solution with a TFS Process template I've created called "MSF for SLM". Now developers/managers can make improvements to the default settings, documentation, policies and workflow used in setting up new Team Projects in TFS without a steep learning curve in learning new tools. What's needed is Visual Studio, connectivity/access to the TFS server and the TFS Power Tools addin. Earlier this year I did a similar project task of setting up an enterprise-wide TFS process template for a publicly-traded company in the Chicago metro area. I fully expect that this federal agency will get the same added value potential by having this process template in place that'll do their methodology out-of-the-box and get work started more quickly and efficiently in the future. A TFS process template provides the full potential of having a ERP/CRM system for an IT organization all integrated in one platform.

DHS-ICE uses the System Lifecycle Management (SLM) methodology for all their IT work. See for more on ICE's methodology. DHS-ICE uses Microsoft tools/software extensively across the enterprise. This Process Template is the means for marrying this methodology with the enterprise tools and its potential to transform the organization is huge. Its fully making it possible for any technical team at DHS-ICE to fully integrate all their processes/code/documentation in a reliable, stable, scaleable, customizable platform in order to be fully compliant with SLM.

I sent out the following instructions to the rest of the technical team involved.

You can access/modify the SLM process template for TFS by running Visual Studio Team Suite 2008 on a machine that has installed TFS Power Tools.
1. Connect to the TFS server - i.e. (hint: IP and port masked for this public posting)
2. Navigate to $/SharepointArchitecture/ProcessTemplates_TFS under Source Control.
3. Work with the ProcessTemplates_TFS solution.
4. Use your local workspace folder for the "MSF for DHS ICE System Lifecycle Management - v1.0" subdirectory of this solution as your starting point for uploads using the Process Template Manager. Hint: You get to the Process Template Manager by right-clicking on the server node in Team Explorer and then selecting "Team Foundation Server Settings" -> "Process Template Manager" from the context menu.

See or to learn more about TFS process templates. I'm quickly seeing that CIO(s), IT leaders and the people paying their bills everywhere are getting excited about the opportunities that a TFS Process Template provides in being able to finally allow them to really fully manage and integrate all their IT projects and processes. As these leaders look at alternatives they quickly realize what a no-brainer it is to go with TFS because no other product exists from any dependable, strong vendor that is robust enough to manage/run everything in an IT organization's business that will integrate well with current techonologies. A big reason why TFS can succeed in this is because of its Process Template(s) capabilities. The difficult part is finding an IT architect with the right mix of skills/experience to help get them started on this process.

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