Visual Studio Team System Review

It lets us know how much work is being done by the team and when the work will be approximately​ finished

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are managing campaign boards, sprint planning with product backlog, sprint backlog, and velocity and capacity of the development team. Also, the bar and chart graphics, which assist in tracking the day-to-day project status (most important).

How has it helped my organization?

Here in the organization, we use Chrome, with development. Also, when we are planning on sprint, for example, it's too easy to put the requirement needs above the product, and a product on that feels very good to write features too easily, and to share with the development team. Pretty quick and fast, by only writing the duration and assessment criteria and also uploading the make-ups related with the deliverables, the thing we have work with, and it also improves the communication because everybody sees the requirements. It is posted in the inbox and shares brainstorming ideas to 35 people, and how the requirement would be implemented. It's very easy to know the status of the funds of the project because the protocol will be accessible to the tools remotely and easily. He/she will review the bar down chart and know how much work is being done by the team and when the work will be approximately finished.

In the engineering area, we use an engineering process because they realize the campaign board will be very useful for consulting the deliverables of the engineering process because we develop elevators, cabinets, and also casétas used in electrical plants here in Mexico. Comisión Federal de Electricidad is our electricity plant. Our customers customize the products for us and we are introducing new product families. It's important to follow and manage the deliverables in time.

What needs improvement?

Many important features that are useful for an organization but I feel that even if it is improved, some of the features are not necessary.

I know the tools. I train people here by using these tools. Today, the software development team and some engineers in production are going to be using the tool. Yet I feel it is necessary to involve more time and practice with the tool here in the company.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using that software for approximately six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It crashed many times, because in engineering there are a lot of phases.

For example, the first phase will be preparing the document specifications about the product while the second phase is preparing the design, at the same time the third phase is preparing the prototype and the fourth is doing the product implementation.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had technical support for about two months and we really like it, and they're great, too, but it's not necessary. But the response of the tech support is so far pretty good. However, I think in Mexico, for Latinos, the support is not good customer service support because the tech support was elevated to India (another country). I feel that here in Latin America it's necessary to improve the service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used the first solution in Southern Peru at Cooper Corporations. My new company in located in Lima, Peru. They needed to version in the source code control in Visual Studio. As a part of our consulting services, because I worked at a consulting company, I proposed to implement a version control tool, like Visual Studio Team Services. The thinking thing at that time, the product was changing or Visual Studio paid for the short server after that. I also recommended to use the tool because the project managers would also track the progressive work of the team and also the team would track activities we easily had in the tool. I mean, it's very important to follow or keep it in the mining company, too. For that reason, I recommended the tool.

How was the initial setup?

The tool is not complex. It's medium, because there are a lot of new features that Microsoft delivered about three months ago. But it's easy for me to use the majority of features, as I feel there are new features that I am learning how to use and improve in the company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I chose IBM Rational Team Concert because I worked in partner consulting. The tool was recommended and it was good, but I felt that it consumed a lot of our resources. It's not too easy to configure, but it managed the majority of things which Visual Studio Team Services performs. It's a very competitive tool, but it's expensive and also it consumes a lot of power.

What other advice do I have?

In regards to Latin America, there is a misunderstanding about application and data management versus software development lifecycle. There is too much confusion here. It is important to clarify what the difference is between the application and system management which it covers from requirements to delivering applications, including the bulk activities.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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