Kanban board features and epics

Azure Boards | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

If you use Kanban to track progress on your backlog, you can also use Kanban boards to track epics and features.

And, just as with child task checklists for backlog items, you can quickly define and track the progress of child items for your features or epics. Here we see several stories defined for features, both in progress and those completed.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • How to add epics and features using your portfolio backlogs
  • Keyboard shortcuts for working with the Kanban board

For information on managing features and epics as a list and examples for features and epics, see Define features and epics.

Note

Epic portfolio backlogs are supported in TFS 2015 and later versions. You can add them manually as described in Add a portfolio backlog level.

Web portal, Features Kanban board with several user stories defined

Note

Child checklists for feature and epic Kanban boards are supported from TFS 2017 and later versions.

Prerequisites

  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • You must be added to a project as a member of the Contributors or Project Administrators security group. To get added, Add users to a project or team.
  • To add work items and exercise all board features, you must be granted Basic access or higher. For details, see About access levels.
  • To view or modify work items, you must have your View work items in this node and Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow. By default, the Contributors group has this permission set. To learn more, see Set permissions and access for work tracking.
  • Users with Stakeholder access for a private project can't exercise these board features: add work items, drag-and-drop work items to update status, update fields displayed on cards. They can add tasks and change task status.
  • Users with Stakeholder access for a public project have full access to board features just like users with Basic access. For details, see About access levels.
  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • You must be added to a project as a member of the Contributors or Project Administrators security group. To get added, Add users to a project or team.
  • To add work items and exercise all board features, you must be granted Basic access or higher. For details, see About access levels.
  • To view or modify work items, you must have your View work items in this node and Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow. By default, the Contributors group has this permission set. To learn more, see Set permissions and access for work tracking.
  • Users with Stakeholder access can't exercise these board features: add work items, drag-and-drop work items to update status, or update fields displayed on cards. They can add tasks and change task status.
  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • You must be added to a project as a member of the Contributors or Project Administrators security group. To get added, Add users to a project or team.
  • To add work items and exercise all board features, you must be granted Basic access or higher. For details, see About access levels.
  • To view or modify work items, you must have your View work items in this node and Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow. By default, the Contributors group has this permission set. To learn more, see Set permissions and access for work tracking.
  • Users with Stakeholder access can't exercise these board features: add work items, drag-and-drop work items to update status or move to another sprint, update fields displayed on cards. They can add tasks and change task status.

Open your Kanban board from the web portal

Your Kanban board is one of two types of boards available to you. For an overview of the features supported on each backlog and board, see Backlogs, boards, and plans. To switch to the product backlog, choose Stories backlog. And, to switch to the taskboard, choose Sprints and then choose Taskboard.

  1. (1) Check that you have selected the right project, (2) choose Boards>Boards, and then (3) select the correct team from the team selector menu.

    Open your Kanban board

    To choose another team's board, open the selector and select a different team or choose the home-icon Browse all team boards option. Or, you can enter a keyword in the search box to filter the list of team backlogs for the project.

    Choose another team's board

    Tip

    Choose the  star icon to favorite a team board. Favorited artifacts ( favorited icon) appear at the top of the team selector list.

  2. Select Features or Epics from the backlog selector menu .

    Choose portfolio backlog level, Features or Epics

  1. To view a portfolio backlog, open your (1) project from a web browser and choose (2) Work, (3) Backlogs, (4) Features or Epics, and then (5) Board.

    Open Features Kanban board

    If you don't see Work, your screen size may be reduced. Click the three dots ( ), then choose Work, Backlogs, and then Board.

    Open Work when screen size is reduced

  2. To choose another team, open the project/team selector and select a different team or choose the Browse option.

    Choose another team

  3. Your Kanban board for the selected portfolio backlog displays.

    Kanban board, Agile template

  1. To view a portfolio backlog, open your (1) project from a web browser and choose (2) Work, (3) Backlogs, (4) Features or Epics, and then (5) Board.

    Open Features Kanban board

    If you don't see Work, your screen size may be reduced. Click the three dots ( ), then choose Work, Backlogs, and then Board.

    Open Work when screen size is reduced

  2. To choose another team, open the project/team selector and select a different team or choose the Browse option.

    Choose another team from the project menu

  3. Your Kanban board for the selected portfolio backlog displays.

    Kanban board, Agile template

Add epics or features

Add new items to a feature or epic through the item's actions icon Action menu. For descriptions of fields used to support features and epics, see Define features and epics.

Web portal, Feature Kanban board, Open the context menu of a feature to add a story

If you have a number of items to add, simply keep typing your task titles and click Enter. If you have details you want to add about to a work item, hover over the item and press Enter.

If you're new to working with the Kanban board, see Kanban basics

For additional guidance on working with a checklist on a Kanban board, see Add task checklists. You can perform the same operations for the features and epics Kanban boards as you do with the Kanban board for the product backlog. This includes:

  • Mark an item as done
  • Reorder and reparent work items

To customize the columns, swimlanes, or cards for each Kanban board, make sure you first select the board and then choose the  or  gear icon to open the Settings dialog. See these topics for details:

REST API resources

To programmatically interact with Kanban board and other team settings, see the REST API, Boards reference.