Tasks for the team lead on a Team Data Science Process team

This article describes the tasks that a team lead completes for their data science team. The team lead's objective is to establish a collaborative team environment that standardizes on the Team Data Science Process (TDSP). The TDSP is designed to help improve collaboration and team learning.

The TDSP is an agile, iterative data science methodology to efficiently deliver predictive analytics solutions and intelligent applications. The process distills the best practices and structures from Microsoft and the industry. The goal is successful implementation of data science initiatives and fully realizing the benefits of their analytics programs. For an outline of the personnel roles and associated tasks for a data science team standardizing on the TDSP, see Team Data Science Process roles and tasks.

A team lead manages a team consisting of several data scientists in the data science unit of an enterprise. Depending on the data science unit's size and structure, the group manager and the team lead might be the same person, or they could delegate their tasks to surrogates. But the tasks themselves do not change.

The following diagram shows the workflow for the tasks the team lead completes to set up a team environment:

Team lead task workflow

  1. Create a team project in the group's organization in Azure DevOps.

  2. Rename the default team repository to TeamUtilities.

  3. Create a new TeamTemplate repository in the team project.

  4. Import the contents of the group's GroupUtilities and GroupProjectTemplate repositories into the TeamUtilities and TeamTemplate repositories.

  5. Set up security control by adding team members and configuring their permissions.

  6. If required, create team data and analytics resources:

    • Add team-specific utilities to the TeamUtilities repository.
    • Create Azure file storage to store data assets that can be useful for the entire team.
    • Mount the Azure file storage to the team lead's Data Science Virtual Machine (DSVM) and add data assets to it.

The following tutorial walks through the steps in detail.


This article uses Azure DevOps and a DSVM to set up a TDSP team environment, because that is how to implement TDSP at Microsoft. If your team uses other code hosting or development platforms, the team lead tasks are the same, but the way to complete them may be different.


This tutorial assumes that the following resources and permissions have been set up by your group manager:

  • The Azure DevOps organization for your data unit
  • GroupProjectTemplate and GroupUtilities repositories, populated with the contents of the Microsoft TDSP team's ProjectTemplate and Utilities repositories
  • Permissions on your organization account for you to create projects and repositories for your team

To be able to clone repositories and modify their content on your local machine or DSVM, or set up Azure file storage and mount it to your DSVM, you need the following:

  • An Azure subscription.
  • Git installed on your machine. If you're using a DSVM, Git is pre-installed. Otherwise, see the Platforms and tools appendix.
  • If you want to use a DSVM, the Windows or Linux DSVM created and configured in Azure. For more information and instructions, see the Data Science Virtual Machine Documentation.
  • For a Windows DSVM, Git Credential Manager (GCM) installed on your machine. In the README.md file, scroll down to the Download and Install section and select the latest installer. Download the .exe installer from the installer page and run it.
  • For a Linux DSVM, an SSH public key set up on your DSVM and added in Azure DevOps. For more information and instructions, see the Create SSH public key section in the Platforms and tools appendix.

Create a team project and repositories

In this section, you create the following resources in your group's Azure DevOps organization:

  • The MyTeam project in Azure DevOps
  • The TeamTemplate repository
  • The TeamUtilities repository

The names specified for the repositories and directories in this tutorial assume that you want to establish a separate project for your own team within your larger data science organization. However, the entire group can choose to work under a single project created by the group manager or organization administrator. Then, all the data science teams create repositories under this single project. This scenario might be valid for:

  • A small data science group that doesn't have multiple data science teams.
  • A larger data science group with multiple data science teams that nevertheless wants to optimize inter-team collaboration with activities such as group-level sprint planning.

If teams choose to have their team-specific repositories under a single group project, the team leads should create the repositories with names like <TeamName>Template and <TeamName>Utilities. For instance: TeamATemplate and TeamAUtilities.

In any case, team leads need to let their team members know which template and utilities repositories to set up and clone. Project leads should follow the project lead tasks for a data science team to create project repositories, whether under separate projects or a single project.

Create the MyTeam project

To create a separate project for your team:

  1. In your web browser, go to your group's Azure DevOps organization home page at URL https://<server name>/<organization name>, and select New project.

    Select New project

  2. In the Create project dialog, enter your team name, such as MyTeam, under Project name, and then select Advanced.

  3. Under Version control, select Git, and under Work item process, select Agile. Then select Create.

    Create project

The team project Summary page opens, with page URL https://<server name>/<organization name>/<team name>.

Rename the MyTeam default repository to TeamUtilities

  1. On the MyTeam project Summary page, under What service would you like to start with?, select Repos.

    Select Repos

  2. On the MyTeam repo page, select the MyTeam repository at the top of the page, and then select Manage repositories from the dropdown.

    Select Manage repositories

  3. On the Project Settings page, select the ... next to the MyTeam repository, and then select Rename repository.

    Select Rename repository

  4. In the Rename the MyTeam repository popup, enter TeamUtilities, and then select Rename.

Create the TeamTemplate repository

  1. On the Project Settings page, select New repository.

    Select New repository

    Or, select Repos from the left navigation of the MyTeam project Summary page, select a repository at the top of the page, and then select New repository from the dropdown.

  2. In the Create a new repository dialog, make sure Git is selected under Type. Enter TeamTemplate under Repository name, and then select Create.

    Create repository

  3. Confirm that you can see the two repositories TeamUtilities and TeamTemplate on your project settings page.

    Two team repositories

Import the contents of the group common repositories

To populate your team repositories with the contents of the group common repositories set up by your group manager:

  1. From your MyTeam project home page, select Repos in the left navigation. If you get a message that the MyTeam template is not found, select the link in Otherwise, navigate to your default TeamTemplate repository.

    The default TeamTemplate repository opens.

  2. On the TeamTemplate is empty page, select Import.

    Select Import

  3. In the Import a Git repository dialog, select Git as the Source type, and enter the URL for your group common template repository under Clone URL. The URL is https://<server name>/<organization name>/_git/<repository name>. For example: https://dev.azure.com/DataScienceUnit/GroupCommon/_git/GroupProjectTemplate.

  4. Select Import. The contents of your group template repository are imported into your team template repository.

    Import group common template repository

  5. At the top of your project's Repos page, drop down and select the TeamUtilities repository.

  6. Repeat the import process to import the contents of your group common utilities repository, for example GroupUtilities, into your TeamUtilities repository.

Each of your two team repositories now contains the files from the corresponding group common repository.

Customize the contents of the team repositories

If you want to customize the contents of your team repositories to meet your team's specific needs, you can do that now. You can modify files, change the directory structure, or add files and folders.

To modify, upload, or create files or folders directly in Azure DevOps:

  1. On the MyTeam project Summary page, select Repos.

  2. At the top of the page, select the repository you want to customize.

  3. In the repo directory structure, navigate to the folder or file you want to change.

    • To create new folders or files, select the arrow next to New.

      Create New file

    • To upload files, select Upload file(s).

      Upload files

    • To edit existing files, navigate to the file and then select Edit.

      Edit a file

  4. After adding or editing files, select Commit.

    Commit changes

To work with repositories on your local machine or DSVM, you first copy or clone the repositories to your local machine, and then commit and push your changes up to the shared team repositories,

To clone repositories:

  1. On the MyTeam project Summary page, select Repos, and at the top of the page, select the repository you want to clone.

  2. On the repo page, select Clone at upper right.

  3. In the Clone repository dialog, under Command line, select HTTPS for an HTTP connection or SSH for an SSH connection, and copy the clone URL to your clipboard.

    Copy clone URL

  4. On your local machine, create the following directories:

    • For Windows: C:\GitRepos\MyTeam
    • For Linux, $home/GitRepos/MyTeam
  5. Change to the directory you created.

  6. In Git Bash, run the command git clone <clone URL>, where <clone URL> is the URL you copied from the Clone dialog.

    For example, use one of the following commands to clone the TeamUtilities repository to the MyTeam directory on your local machine.

    HTTPS connection:

    git clone https://DataScienceUnit@dev.azure.com/DataScienceUnit/MyTeam/_git/TeamUtilities

    SSH connection:

    git clone git@ssh.dev.azure.com:v3/DataScienceUnit/MyTeam/TeamUtilities

After making whatever changes you want in the local clone of your repository, commit and push the changes to the shared team repositories.

Run the following Git Bash commands from your local GitRepos\MyTeam\TeamTemplate or GitRepos\MyTeam\TeamUtilities directory.

git add .
git commit -m "push from local"
git push


If this is the first time you commit to a Git repository, you may need to configure global parameters user.name and user.email before you run the git commit command. Run the following two commands:

git config --global user.name <your name>

git config --global user.email <your email address>

If you're committing to several Git repositories, use the same name and email address for all of them. Using the same name and email address is convenient when building Power BI dashboards to track your Git activities in multiple repositories.

Add team members and configure permissions

To add members to the team:

  1. In Azure DevOps, from the MyTeam project home page, select Project settings from the left navigation.

  2. From the Project Settings left navigation, select Teams, then on the Teams page, select the MyTeam Team.

    Configure Teams

  3. On the Team Profile page, select Add.

    Add to MyTeam Team

  4. In the Add users and groups dialog, search for and select members to add to the group, and then select Save changes.

    Add users and groups

To configure permissions for team members:

  1. From the Project Settings left navigation, select Permissions.

  2. On the Permissions page, select the group you want to add members to.

  3. On the page for that group, select Members, and then select Add.

  4. In the Invite members popup, search for and select members to add to the group, and then select Save.

    Grant permissions to members

Create team data and analytics resources

This step is optional, but sharing data and analytics resources with your entire team has performance and cost benefits. Team members can execute their projects on the shared resources, save on budgets, and collaborate more efficiently. You can create Azure file storage and mount it on your DSVM to share with team members.

For information about sharing other resources with your team, such as Azure HDInsight Spark clusters, see Platforms and tools. That topic provides guidance from a data science perspective on selecting resources that are appropriate for your needs, and links to product pages and other relevant and useful tutorials.


To avoid transmitting data across data centers, which might be slow and costly, make sure that your Azure resource group, storage account, and DSVM are all hosted in the same Azure region.

Create Azure file storage

  1. Run the following script to create Azure file storage for data assets that are useful for your entire team. The script prompts you for your Azure subscription information, so have that ready to enter.

    • On a Windows machine, run the script from the PowerShell command prompt:

      wget "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/Azure-MachineLearning-DataScience/master/Misc/TDSP/CreateFileShare.ps1" -outfile "CreateFileShare.ps1"
    • On a Linux machine, run the script from the Linux shell:

      wget "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/Azure-MachineLearning-DataScience/master/Misc/TDSP/CreateFileShare.sh"
      bash CreateFileShare.sh
  2. Log in to your Microsoft Azure account when prompted, and select the subscription you want to use.

  3. Select the storage account to use, or create a new one under your selected subscription. You can use lowercase characters, numbers, and hyphens for the Azure file storage name.

  4. To facilitate mounting and sharing the storage, press Enter or enter Y to save the Azure file storage information into a text file in your current directory. You can check in this text file to your TeamTemplate repository, ideally under Docs\DataDictionaries, so all projects in your team can access it. You also need the file information to mount your Azure file storage to your Azure DSVM in the next section.

Mount Azure file storage on your local machine or DSVM

  1. To mount your Azure file storage to your local machine or DSVM, use the following script.

    • On a Windows machine, run the script from the PowerShell command prompt:

      wget "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/Azure-MachineLearning-DataScience/master/Misc/TDSP/AttachFileShare.ps1" -outfile "AttachFileShare.ps1"
    • On a Linux machine, run the script from the Linux shell:

      wget "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/Azure-MachineLearning-DataScience/master/Misc/TDSP/AttachFileShare.sh"
      bash AttachFileShare.sh
  2. Press Enter or enter Y to continue, if you saved an Azure file storage information file in the previous step. Enter the complete path and name of the file you created.

    If you don't have an Azure file storage information file, enter n, and follow the instructions to enter your subscription, Azure storage account, and Azure file storage information.

  3. Enter the name of a local or TDSP drive to mount the file share on. The screen displays a list of existing drive names. Provide a drive name that doesn't already exist.

  4. Confirm that the new drive and storage is successfully mounted on your machine.


This article is maintained by Microsoft. It was originally written by the following contributors.

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Next steps

Here are links to detailed descriptions of the other roles and tasks defined by the Team Data Science Process: