Start using your Kanban board

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Your Kanban board turns your backlog into an interactive signboard, providing a visual flow of work. As work progresses from idea to completion, you update the items on the board. Each column represents a work stage, and each card represents a backlog item, user story, or bug at that stage of work.

Kanban board

User stories and bugs correspond to types of work items. You use work items to share information, assign work to team members, update status, track dependencies, and more.

Prerequisites

  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • If you haven't been added to a project or team, get added now.
  • You must be a member of the Contributors group and granted Basic access or be granted Stakeholder access to add or modify work items. Or, you must have your View work items in this node, and your Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow.

Note

Users with Stakeholder access for a public project have full access to backlog and board features the same as those granted to users with Basic access. To learn more, see [About access levels

  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • If you haven't been added to a project or team, get added now.
  • You must be a member of the Contributors group or be granted Stakeholder access to add or modify work items. Or, you must have your View work items in this node, and your Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow.

To learn more, see Set permissions and access for work tracking.

Add a Kanban board

Each Kanban board is associated with a team and a work item type. For the Agile process, the three boards are Stories, Features, and Epics.

When you add a team, you add a number of team assets which a team admin can configure to support the way the team works. To add a set of Kanban boards to support a new team, add a team.

To add a board to support an additional portfolio backlog, see Customize your backlogs or boards.

To add a board to support an additional portfolio backlog, see Add a portfolio backlog level.

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 Task board, choose Sprints and then choose Taskboard.

Note

Choose Previous navigation when you see a top-level blue bar. Choose New navigation if you see a vertical sidebar or if you enabled the New Navigation preview feature. The vertical sidebar, along with other navigational features, is enabled when the New Navigation preview feature has been enabled for the signed-in user or the organization. To learn how to use the web portal effectively, see Web portal navigation.

For on-premises TFS, choose Previous Navigation for guidance.

  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. Check that you have selected Backlog items (for Scrum), Stories (for Agile), or Requirements (for CMMI) as the backlog level.

    Choose product backlog level, Backlog items, Stories, or Requirements

New navigation isn't supported on TFS at this time. Choose Previous navigation for guidance.

Add work items

  1. To add a work item, simply choose the plus sign, enter a title, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

To add a work item, simply choose the plus sign, enter a title, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

Add a new item on Kanban board, new nav

The system automatically saves the work item with the title you entered. You can add as many work items you want using this method.

New navigation isn't supported on TFS at this time. Choose Previous navigation for guidance.

To add details to any work item, choose the title. Or, you can directly modify any field that displays. For example, you can reassign a work item by choosing the Assigned To field. For a description of each field, see Create your backlog, Add details and estimates.

To customize the set of fields displayed on the card, see Customize cards.

Update status via drag-and-drop

As work completes in one stage, update the status of an item by dragging and dropping it to a downstream stage.

Kanban board, Agile template, update status of work item

Update fields from the card

You can quickly update a field or reassign ownership directly from the board. If the field you want to update isn't showing, then customize the card to show it.

Kanban, assign items

Invite others to work on your Kanban board

All members of a project will be able to view and contribute to your Kanban board. To invite users to start contributing, copy the URL of your Kanban board and email it to those you want to invite to your project.

Browser URL for the Kanban board

To add users to your project, see Add users to a project

Try this next

To get the full power of the Kanban board working for you, you'll want to configure it to map the flow of work and set WIP limits for your team. To configure the Kanban board, you must be added as a team administrator or be a member of the Project Administrators group. If you're the organization owner or creator of the project, then you'll have these permissions.