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Iteration signoff work item

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

When creating this process template for the government, did you consider creating a signoff work item for all the required approvals prior to a deployment for each iteration? In our shop, we need signoff from the following roles before a TFS build can be initiated to a staging or production platform: Information Assurance, Quality Assurance, Project Management, and Code Review Auditors. Do you think this is a common need or are other Government shops performing this control in some other manner?

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Jason,

No, we did not consider this in the initial cut of the template.  This was due to the majority of our government customers (Federal/DOD/Intel/SIs) using a separtae deployment process usually managed by the operations group.  It would not be all that hard to create the form to do what you want and you could even copy an existing work item to do so.  However, I also know that many of our customers look at this deployment to staging/production as a Change Request/Support Ticket process in which case the work items exist. :)  That may be an option?

Thanks

Brian

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Brian,

I just feel like I'm missing something very obvious here because it seems that approvals are required when working on government projects. I see that TFS 2012 is putting some attributes on Iterations like start and end dates, but it seems that there should be other attributes like approvals at this level as well. If a Release Manager gets a task to deploy some code to a production platform, how can he be sure that all the appropriate approvals are in place before taking action? Is the onus of him to check that everything is signed off before deployment? Can't the process be baked-into the process template? Why aren't others doing this? How would an auditor see that all the appropriate gates have been passed before a product is delivered?

thanks,

Jason Camp

Jul 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Jason,

Sorry to take so long getting back to you on this.

It is hard to design and build a "one size fits all" process template--especially when you do it on your own time :)--and this was my attempt at getting something that was 90% ort better.  Maybe I succeeded, maybe not.  The beauty of the process template is that it can be customized and extended for your specific needs.  From what you describe, I would probably modify the Change Request work item or build a Release work item that incorporates the appropriate workflow and signoffs. 

The other reason I did not include this in the overall process, is that many of our customers have either separate tools/process for deployment and consider it out side the purview of the application team.  With our push into DevOps in the VS/TFS 2012 release, this is something that I can revisit as I update the GovDev template to work on TFS 2012.

Thanks

Brian 

Oct 26, 2012 at 5:36 PM

We are a government shop and we are moving to the Ops Team Release manager paradigm. Currently (and before TFS implementation), an application/approval process (using hard copy forms) was established to document the signatures and approvals to be sure quality gates were properly met before release. My plan as the TFS Admin is to digitize this process using a custom work item, using filters on assigned to fields and approval fields as well as project alerts to make this a more streamlined and repeatable process. One of the beauties of this methodology is that when the work items involved in the release have been properly linked with other work items and changesets, the actual source files, test results, and documentation becomes artifcats in the release approval documentation.

I haven't started this yet, but plan to in a month or so. I will try to keep this thread posted as to my progress. Hopefully this can be a collaborative effort.

Thanks

Oct 27, 2013 at 3:51 PM
jzserai,

Now that I have started back up on active development for GovDev (see latest discussion item response), I am game to see if this is something to add to the Product Backlog. Have you done much with the concept?

Thanks

Brian
Oct 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM
My gosh, has it been a year?

Wow! No, unfortunately, I haven't had time to make this a priority. But we are in the planning stages of a deeper implementation of TFS and this will be a part of that phase.

However, I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you and anyone else here to make this a reality. let me know how I can contribute.

Thanks