Chapter 11. Administering and Customizing Work Items

Whether you are building a house or developing a computer application, certain things need to be accomplished. Most people use to-do lists to define what needs to be done on the project and who needs to do it. Every project manager tracks his to-do list differently. Some use applications, such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project. Others develop in-house tools, or buy third-party products to help with the information workload. Still others use Post-it notes on their desk. Sometimes all a project needs is a small Excel spreadsheet to manage it, while other times a detailed Microsoft Project is required. The fact is, there is no need to use a wrecking ball when all you need is a small hammer.

One of the problems with using, say, Microsoft Excel to track the requirements of a development project is providing the information from the spreadsheet to all the members of the team, and keeping the spreadsheet updated with the latest information. Sure, you can share out the spreadsheet on a file share, or possibly make use of Windows SharePoint Services, but you may still run into conflicts with keeping the file updated. With very complicated projects, team members may have great difficulty figuring out what they are supposed to be working on.

There is no good way to tie requirements from that spreadsheet back to the source code that solves that requirement. There is no good automated way to alert testers that a bug they found has ...

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