We help teams get productive, cut waste, and deliver great software.

Scrum Training & Coaching

Want to be more Agile? Looking for an Agile transformation? Need Scrum training or someone to help your Scrum teams improve their game? We can help. We offer three different Scrum courses. We also can embed with your teams to help them develop their Agile & Scrum "muscle memory".

Ever get the feeling that one or more of your teams just isn't "clicking" and kind of needs a therapist? Do you suspect there's a general malaise in your development organization? We can help with that, too.

Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio ALM, & DevOps Consulting

Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio ALM (VS ALM) can help your teams communicate more efficiently and be more productive. It can also help you with your ALM and DevOps automation concerns through automated builds, automated Release Management, automated testing, and more. We've been doing this for years and we can help.

Development & QA Best Practices

Software development doesn't have to be painful and software testing doesn't have to be a magical black box. We can help your developers learn and adopt the skills to help them to build high-quality, maintainable code. We can help your QA testers plan and manage their work to help ensure quality in your final product.

We'll help everyone learn to work together so that quality becomes something you think about every day rather than something you think about at the last second.

  • Scrum: Don’t Lick the Cookie

    I was reminded by a friend’s tweet this week about a piece of¬†advice I give in my Scrum talks — “Don’t Lick the Cookie”. ¬†This is my way of saying, when you’re doing Scrum Sprint Planning, don’t assign tasks. ¬†If you exit your Sprint Planning meeting with a bunch of PBIs and Tasks and those […]

  • Microsoft Test Manager is pretty much done. What’s missing and what do we do now?

    Ok.¬† Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) isn‚Äôt going away but you might have noticed that it‚Äôs kind of been put out to pasture.¬† There were some good features ‚Äď some core features ‚Äď in MTM that were kind of helpful.¬† So what do you we do now?¬† If you‚Äôre on Team Foundation Server 2015 (TFS2015) what‚Äôs […]

  • .NET Rocks Episode: “The Scourge of Multitasking”

    Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell invited me on their podcast a few weeks ago to talk about “The Scourge of Multitasking” and that episode just dropped this morning. ¬†The conversation covered a lot of ground. ¬†We started off with how multitasking can crush your team’s productivity, talked about burnout, talked about focus, what “Done” actually […]

  • TFS Test Hub: What Does It All Mean?

    Ok. ¬†So if you want to do QA testing —¬†“manual testing” in Microsoftspeak¬†— with¬†Team Foundation Server (TFS) or Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), you’re going to spend a lot of time in the Test Hub. ¬†The vast majority of QA/manual testing features have moved to the web interface as of TFS2015 and the Test Hub […]

  • New Pluralsight Course: DevOps Skills with Visual Studio & TFS

    It’s been a long time coming and my latest Pluralsight course is finally out!¬† DevOps Skills for Developers¬†with Visual Studio & Team Foundation Server (TFS)! TL;DR — DevOps using Visual Studio 2015 and Team Foundation Server 2015 ‚Äď How do you do it and why you should care? This course will change your focus from […]

  • Enable Verbose Debug Mode for TFS Build vNext

    Here’s a¬†“hidden in plain sight” quick tip: how to turn on verbose debugging mode for your Team Foundation Server vNext Build. The short answer is that you need to set the ‘system.debug’ variable to true for your build. ¬†You can set this to true for a single instance of the build or you can change […]

  • Edit a Connection String from a TFS vNext Build

    In my last post, I talked about how to create an ASP.NET Web Application that’s easy to deploy from your Team Foundation Server vNext Build (TFS Build vNext). ¬†Well, part of the pain of deploying an ASP.NET Web Application (ASP.NET MVC or ASP.NET Web Forms) from a build is dealing with database connection strings. ¬†So […]

  • An ASP.NET MVC Site That’s Easy to Deploy from a TFS Build

    By this point, you’ve probably heard that Team Foundation Server 2015 has a completely new build system. ¬†As part of it, it organizese and compiles the code slightly differently¬†than the old XAML-based TFS Build system. ¬†First off, when you run a vNext build on a build server, you got four folders: a, b, s, and […]

  • Create a TFS Team Project via the web

    So all the hype and heat seems to be with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) lately. ¬†All the¬†newest and coolest features show up in the cloud-based version of Team Foundation Server first. ¬†Well, there’s still plenty of cool stuff in the on-premise version of TFS2015, too. But sometimes these features can be a little bit […]

  • TfsUtility: Import / Export Build & Release Definitions + more

    I’ve been doing a bunch of work with the new version of Build and Release Management in Team Foundation Server¬†2015 (TFS2015) lately and discovered a handful of things that I wish that I could do from the command line. ¬†Specifically, I wished that I could import and export my build definitions and release definitions. ¬†Well,¬†a¬†couple […]

  • Scrum Master Tip: Hang Back

    I taught a Professional Scrum Foundations for Teams (PSF) class this week.¬† A core part of the PSF is a series of compressed Scrum Sprints where the students work together to build simple websites.¬† One of the scrum masters this week’s class had fantastic technical skills and was the team’s technical lead in “real life”.¬† […]

  • Handling Passwords in Visual Studio / TFS Releases & Builds

    Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) have¬†these really handy features that let you define DevOps release pipelines for your applications. ¬†To get to it, go to the web portal for your Team Project and click the Releases tab. Whether you use Releases (aka. “Release Management”) in TFS/VSTS or whether you use […]