1. What is the purpose of performing daily builds in the MSF process model?

Microsoft follows daily builds for their projects. This process states that you compile every file and each one of them is combined to single executable program. These daily builds are then put through the smoke test. These daily builds catches the defects at early stages which avoids the problems with integration at later stages. This is done in combination of daily builds and smoke test. Daily builds is a way for better root cause analysis of the problem because it's easier to pinpoint the broken point in the product if it is tested on day to day basis than doing it once at the end of a module. Daily builds help in prioritizing tasks based on the risks. It improves the overall quality of the product. Also tracks the overall progress of the product.

2. What is Risk Management?

It takes care of both proactive and continuous risk assessment. Risks for any system are regularly assessed, mitigation strategies are prepared until they don't exist anymore or it has already occurred. Risk that has occurred is no more a risk. It becomes an issue. MSF gives certain steps to plan, create and execute mitigation strategies.

They are:

Identify the risk
Analyze the risk to prioritize them
Plan a schedule based on the priority
Track what is done to manage the risk didn't harm anything else and the risk has been taken care of. This status should be reported to the stakeholders from time to time.
Risk controlling strategy.
Note the lessons learnt from the risks that have been found out or even the ones which have become issues.

3. What is Readiness Management?

It is a measure of current state versus the desired state. It is to track how much have we progressed over the period of time.

It is a 4 step process in case of big projects


In case, of small projects, it's enough to assess the skills and then make changes while training.

4. Explain Project Management?

This helps is ensuring that the product gets delivered within project constraints like the time frame, budget etc. In MSF the responsibilities of the project manager are enclosed in project manager role cluster.

5. Explain the tasks that are performed during the planning phase?

Tasks during planning phase:

a. Creation of functional specifications.
b. Creation of the master plan about how do we go about in successful completion of the project.
c. Figure out the environment in which the product is to be deployed.
d. Scheduling the tasks to achieve a functional product by the end.
e. To get a sign-off from the stakeholders to ensure that the team is heading in the right direction before they actually start building the product.

6. What is the roles in the MSF Team Model? Explain Product management, Program management, Development, Release management and user experience?

MSF team model is based on 6 roles:

a. Product Management:
This team is responsible for identifying the requirement at business level. It also ensures that these needs are met from time to time. Goal of this team is to make sure that the customer is satisfied at all times.

b. Program Management:
This team manages the budget, decides the timelines, identifies the risks, and tracks the reporting status for the project. Goal of the project management team is to ensure that the project delivery is made within the project constraints.

c. Development:
This team is responsible for implementing the design and preparing the product for deployment. This team's goal is to create a product based on the product specifications.

d. Release Management:
This team tracks the releases based to ensure stability. It is responsible for successful deployment f the product. Efficient product deployment is the sole aim of this team.

e. User experience:
This team makes sure that the product meets the user's needs. It also collects and analyses user's requirements and prioritizes them and creates the way with which user training is t be conducted. The goal of this team is to understand users better and enhance their performance by training them the correct way.

f. Testing:
This team is responsible for product's stability. They ensure that the major defects are fixed before launching the product into the production environment. They design and develop the test strategy. The aim of this team is to find all the issues before the release.

7. Explain Envisioning phases of MSF process model?

This phase aims to create teams based on skills, experience, resources and budget. In this phase, we need to create the entire project structure, defining the goals, validations, vision and scope for the project. The definition of requirements, identification of stakeholders, risk assessment is all done here in this phase. This phase ends with a sign off from the stakeholders.

8. Explain Planning phases of MSF process model?

During this phase it is determined by the team about what is to be developed, how to create a feasible solution for it. Functional specs are created based on the analyzed requirements. After the analysis a design is to be created to provide the solution to the project. Plans are created in order to make the design work. Time estimates, cost estimates and deliverables are all figured out in this phase.

9. Explain Developing phases of MSF process model?

The created design is implemented in this phase by writing code. In this phase, it is verified that all the planned tasks, designs, specifications, requirements are implemented to achieve the desired result. This phase ends by making sure that all deliverables including the code are all handed over to the client.

10. Explain Stabilizing phases of MSF process model?

Various testing cycles like integration, load, and beta are done in this phase. The team is responsible for fixing up all the discovered issues in this phase. Issues are prioritized in order to stabilize the application. After this phase, the solution is ready for deployment.

Download Interview PDF

11. Explain Deploying phase of MSF process model?

The solution is deployed in this phase and is tested by the client for approval. Customer's approval and feedback decides the end of the project.

12. Do you know about Waterfall Model?

The task in one phase needs to be completed in order to move to the next phase. Waterfall model is beneficial only when the requirements are clearly defined and there are no chances for any changes in the requirements. It is easy to manage the progress of the project in terms of schedule, resources, and budget.

13. Can you explain Spiral Model?

This is most useful when the requirements are not clearly defined and there is a need of continuous refinement in the estimates. This is best suited for agile development of small projects. The changes take place on the basis of customers or other stakeholder's feedback at all stages in the project. This might become chaotic and make it difficult to track progress.

14. Do you know the purpose of a vision statement for the project during the envisioning phase?

The purpose f the vision statement is to have a mutual agreement between the customer and the team about the purpose of the project. This is to ensure that there would be no problems between the stakeholders in the basic understanding about why was the product needed and about the basic flow of the project.

15. Explain Trade-off triangle?

It is suggested that a project is a balance between following variables:

a. Resources
b. Schedule
c. Features

These variables are represented with the sides of the trade-off triangle. The trade-off triangle suggests that if any of the side changes in the triangle, then other sides (one or both) need to change in order to maintain balance.

16. Tell me about Project trade-off matrix?

It is a tool to manage project trade-offs. This is kind of a signed agreement with the customer to find the priorities of the variables while making trade-off decisions. This matrix allows categorizing the variables into 3 sections: fixed, chosen, adjustable. Fixed constraints are unchangeable, chosen are desirable priorities and the adjustable ones are to keep a balanced for fixed and chosen ones.