Using The Iteration Backlog Workbook with the Scrum Template

Our group has switched over from the MSF for Agile to the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template. We really like the Scrum process template. Particularly now that we’ve fixed the work items so we can resolve bugs and task: Marking Tasks and Bugs as “Done” During a Check-in. However, there is one piece we really miss from our days using the MSF for Agile process template: the Iteration Backlog workbook. In particular, we really miss the capacity page.

So in this blog post, I’ll show you how you can modify Iteration Backlog workbook to work with the Scrum process template.

If you plan to use your modified workbook on more than one team project, you should start by read my previous blog post: Customizing the Iteration Backlog Workbook. This will ensure that any changes you make are “portable.” Otherwise, your modified workbook will be tightly bound to a single team project.

Note: For information on the Product Planning workbook, see my other post: Using the Product Planning Workbook with the Scrum Template.

Modifying the Sprint Backlog Query

The Iteration Backlog workbook needs a few more columns than are provided in the Sprint Backlog query. You’ll see the following message when you click on the Settings worksheet (or any of the other worksheets):

One or more required fields filters are not present in the BurndownData pivot table: Area
Path, Iteration Path, Completed Work.

  1. Modify the Sprint Backlog query to include the Area Path and Iteration Path columns

Fixing the Lack of Completed Work

The Scrum work items don’t have completed work, which is something I don’t miss as a user of this process template. However, the burndown worksheet requires this field. Furthermore, there is validation code that requires this field be present in order for the workbook to be functional.

The easiest “solution” to this problem is to hide the burndown worksheet from this workbook (removing it requires a lot more changes). After all, the Sprint Burndown report in the Scrump process template is really nice. I’m going to take that approach:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor

  2. In the Project window, expand the Modules folder

  3. Double-click UtilityModule to open this file

  4. Remove the following line from the AreRequiredFieldsPresent subroutine:
    AddIfFieldNotPresent list, FIELD_COMPLETED_WORK

  5. Click Burndown in the Project window

  6. Click Visible in the Properties window and select 2 – xlSheetVeryHidden, as shown here:


That’s basically it. Now the Iteration Backlog, Settings, and Capacity worksheets should behave correctly. If there’s enough interest in getting the Burndown worksheet to work with Scrum, I'll address that in a future post.