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Lesson 3: Using work items

When the Prelude project area was first created, several work items were automatically added as reminders to perform certain tasks to complete the setup of your project. This section guides you through finding and editing some of these automatically created work items.

About this task

In Rational Team Concert™, a work item is a generalized notion of a development task. Typical types of work items are defects, enhancements, and tasks. Work items are used as key indicators of project quality and project health along with build status and other indicators. Work items help the team track and coordinate their work.
As in a bug tracking system, work items are used for the following purposes:
  • To identify and describe activities
    • a bug report
    • a feature improvement
    • a feature extension
    • a simple task like cleaning the code, checking the dependencies
    • a customer requirement
  • To track a work item's discussion history
  • To attach documents and to link it to other artifacts as part of the discussion
You can also use work items to perform the following tasks:
  • Transfer tasks between the team members
  • Link work items with code changes so that you can navigate from code to work item or vice versa
  • Plan tasks within a development milestone or iteration
  • Inform the rest of the team what each user is working on
  • Justify your code changes, providing reasons why you are changing code
  • List the content of a new delivery, not just the code changes
  • Provide metrics pertaining to the health of the project

Finding Work Items

The first step is to find some interesting work items, like the ones that were created during the administration section. Jazz provides a query mechanism to find work items within a project area. The tutorial helps you create a simple query to get you going.


  1. From the Team Artifacts view, expand the Prelude project area.
  2. Right-click Work Items; then click New > Query.
  3. In the Work Item Query editor, in the Name field, enter Open Work Items.
  4. Click Simple Query.
  5. In the Status condition, select the Unresolved check box.
  6. Remove each of the other conditions by clicking the Remove Condition Remove Condition button buttons.

    The query looks like the following image:

    Unresolved check box selected

  7. Click Save.
  8. Click Run. The query results display several work items in the Work Items view.
    Note: Create a query in a similar fashion in the web interface by clicking Work Items > Create Query.

    Some of these work items might be missing if you were not able to go through the Accept a Team invitation process.

    The saved query is stored in the Project Area and displays in the Team Artifacts view under Prelude > Work Items > My Queries.

    Saved query in the Team Artifacts view

Editing Work Items

Now that you have located work items, you have completed one of the work items in the list: Define team members. You defined team members when you were logged in as yourself and created the project area and added the users. Edit this task and mark it as done.


  1. Double-click the work item titled Define team members. The work item opens in the Work Item editor.
  2. Because you are logged in as Chris, change the owner of this work item to be Chris.
  3. Mark this task as done by selecting Complete in the drop-down menu, located along the top of the editor.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Double-click the query Open Work Items to run it again. The work item you updated is not included in the query results because it is complete.

Lesson checkpoint

In this lesson, you learned the basics of work items and how to begin managing them.
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