If I have a story with multiple tasks for different users, is there a good process flow when a task is dependent on previous tasks to ensure subsequent assigned users are aware that they now have a task ready to be worked on?

Assume that all tasks are already assigned to appropriate users.

Basically when the developer finishes their coding and checks in, there is another task following it for a different user to do some additional work.

Looking for something where the 2nd user will simply not see their task until the dependent task is done.

My one thought is:

  1. A status for the 2nd TFS task that is "Not Ready" and a TODO query that excludes these.
  2. As a matter of process, if a developer completes a task, they should look at the story to see if there is a task following it, and if it is "Not Ready" change it to "New".
  3. Users will use the TODO query to review tasks they have to complete, and the task changing from "Not Ready" to "New" will cause it to show up in their query.

Can I rely on ordering of tasks to be consistent within a story? I.e. so it is clear when completing a task, which one is clearly "next" without setting specific dates. (We usually don't set dates to tasks, and plan by assigning to sprints.) I've never noticed if tasks have a consistent ordering within a story in the absence of any priorities, or if it is just a bucket with arbitrary ordering.

Any pitfalls to this?

Obviously the one thing not ideal is it depends on a human process as a matter of habit. I'm not extremely concerned about that, but certainly not ideal.

Open to ideas for other processes to accomplish the same.

I'd rather avoid custom scripting behaviors in TFS, and just stick with customization via configuration.

To clarify, this is TFS within Visual Studio Online.

  • What version of TFS are you using? 2015 on-premise? – Patrick Sep 15 '15 at 19:42
  • @Patrick TFS within VS Online – AaronLS Sep 15 '15 at 20:04
  • Are all tasks completed in a linear fashion, or are they sometimes done in parallel? In other words, is it possible for more than one person to be working on the same story at the same time? – 17 of 26 Sep 16 '15 at 14:24
  • @17of26 No, within a story, the tasks are sequential. – AaronLS Sep 16 '15 at 16:28

Given that the tasks are sequential, you can leverage parent-child work item links.

Have one parent work item that represents the story. That work item can have child tasks each assigned to the person responsible for doing them.

Then the parent work item can be assigned to whomever is currently working on their task. When they finish, they can mark their task as done and assign the parent item to the next person in line. When the last person finishes, they can mark the parent work item as done.

  • A predecessor/successor relation ship would work well too. – RubberDuck Aug 12 '16 at 16:42

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