SEP TeamWorks and Visual Learning

December 19, 2013

SEP TeamWorks is a tool that lets you view, edit, and create work items for Team Foundation Server 2008, 2010, and 2012. Let me tell you why I like it in my Agile toolkit.

  • First, the flow of TeamWorks. Post-its embody the dexterous feel of the lean/agile work environment: they’re bite-sized quanta, easily movable, that stick around as long as they are needed, and no longer. But we live and work in the connected flow of the internet, not the antiquated isolation of pencil and paper tickets, and it’s only natural for us to want to get our work off of paper and into the digital sphere. TeamWorks makes that seamless jump from paper to the connected world.
  • So? TFS is already available in the connected world. But it’s not very visual. Vision is very important; it’s our fastest processing system and most people (65%) are visual learners. Small, colorful Post-it tickets make important information quickly identifiable, and TeamWorks takes that response to natural human visual abilities and needs to the digital realm.
  • If you aren’t excited by the ability to keep all your post-it work flow online; if you’re not empowered by the lightning-fast ability to visualize the current work-in-progress, maybe you will go for my next favorite feature of TeamWorks. It’s customizable. You can set up queries that are useful to you; see only your projects, your change requests or tasks, your bugs. Or you can view recently changed, active or blocked items from all of your development team. Make the Kanban board come to you!
  • TeamWorks is visually customizable also. Change your background color, ticket color, size, contents of each ticket; whatever each team member needs to do her best work. You can go for my choice of black background with bright tickets, or make your own white background with soothing pastels. A company that uses consistent colors for bugs, tasks, change requests, etc. makes it easy for their people to change teams and come up to speed on a new project pretty quickly.

If you are already using Microsoft Team Foundation Server, SEP TeamWorks will work right out of the box.