RTC allows to organize and track work using work items. However, out of the box, there is very few support to be able to coordinate work across multiple work item. It is possible to use links to create a relationship between work items. However, these relationships don’t have an executable semantic implemented. For example marking a task as dependent on another task does not automate anything. You can still work on both tasks and close them, regardless of the relationship.
It is possible to use the API and methods described in this blog to add more automation. Examples are follow up actions and pre-conditions that look at work items and their relationships when saving them. Some of the examples published here actually look at work item relationships. However, the examples are fairly simplistic and don’t show the full potential.
Greg Hodgkinson created a more complex RTC extension to coordinate work across multiple work items which I found out when he answered to a jazz.net forum question I was following. I think his blog A Solution For Tracking and Monitoring Multi-Stream Processes Using Rational Team Concert is very interesting and an inspiration so I would suggest to read it. Currently there is no code published, because this was done for a customer, however, Greg plans to post about this in more detail in the future and might share snippets. Even if not, often seeing what others have done and how they did it helps developing something similar.
Gregs explanation of the use case and the approach is explained here: A Solution For Tracking and Monitoring Multi-Stream Processes Using Rational Team Concert