4. Adjust work to fit sprint capacity

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After you've defined all the tasks for all the sprint backlog items, you'll want to check whether your team is at or over capacity. If under capacity, you can consider adding more items onto the sprint. If over capacity, you'll want to remove items out of the backlog.

Next, check whether any team member is under, at, or over capacity. Or, if someone hasn't even been assigned any work. Use the capacity bars to make these determinations. If you haven't yet set capacity for your team, do that now.

Over capacity

Use this article to learn how to:

  • Adjust your sprint plan if your team is over or under capacity
  • Load balance work across your team
  • Quickly reassign tasks to another team member

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 or modify work items, you must be granted Stakeholder 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.

Note

Users with Stakeholder access for a public project have full access to backlog and 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 or modify work items, you must be granted Stakeholder 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.

Open a Sprint backlog for a team

  1. From your web browser, open the sprint backlog for your team. (1) Check that you have selected the right project, (2) choose Boards>Sprints, (3) select the correct team from the team selector menu, and lastly (4), choose Backlog.

    Open Work, Sprints, for a team

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

    Choose another team

  2. To choose a different sprint than the one shown, open the sprint selector and choose the sprint you want.

    Choose another sprint

    The system lists only those sprints that have been selected for the current team focus. If you don't see the sprints you want listed, then choose New Sprint from the menu, and then choose Select existing iteration. For details, see Define iteration paths (aka sprints).

  1. From your web browser, open your team's product backlog. (1) Select the team from the project/team selector, choose (2) Work, (3) Backlogs, and then (4) the product backlog, which is Backlog items (for Scrum), Stories (for Agile), or Requirements (for CMMI).

    Open the Boards>Backlogs page

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

    Choose another team

    The set of sprints selected for your team appears in the left pane. If you don't see any sprints listed, you can add sprints or select existing sprints for your team's use. To learn how, see Define sprints.

  2. Choose the sprint you want to plan.

    Choose another sprint

    The system lists only those sprints that have been selected for the current team focus. If you don't see the sprints you want listed, then see Define iteration paths (aka sprints).

Check your team capacity

To view capacity charts, you'll want to turn Work details on for a sprint.

Turn work details on

Turn work details on

Team over capacity: move items out of the sprint

If your team's over capacity, you can move items from the sprint backlog back to the product backlog. This will reset the Iteration Path to the default set for your team. Or, you can move the item into the next sprint your team will work in. All the tasks that you've defined for that item will move with the backlog items.

Here we select two items at the bottom of the sprint backlog, open the  action icon for one of the items, choose Move to iteration, and then select Backlog.

Move work items to backlog

Tip

Optionally, you can open the Planning pane and drag a work item to the backlog or another sprint which will reassign all child tasks to the same iteration path. See Assign work to a sprint. Also, you can multi-select several items and drag them to the backlog or another sprint. Users with Stakeholder access can't drag-and-drop work items.

Here we select the last item in the sprint backlog and drag it to the product backlog.

Drag items back to product backlog

Tip

Dragging a backlog item to the backlog or another sprint reassigns all child tasks to the same iteration path. Also, you can multi-select several items and drag them to the backlog or another sprint. Users with Stakeholder access can't drag-and-drop work items.

Load balance work across the team

To quickly reassign tasks, drag the task onto the new assignee's capacity bar.

For example, here we reassign work from Raisa Pokrovskaya to Christie Church.

Reassign work, drag and drop task onto an assignee

As you reassign tasks, capacity bars automatically update.

Capacity bars adjusted

Reassign tasks

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