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The Scrum process supports the following work item types (WITs) to plan and track work, tests, feedback, and code review. With different WITs you can track different types of work—such as product backlog items, tasks, bugs, and more. These artifacts are created when you create a project using the Scrum process. They are based on Scrum principles and values.
In addition to the WITs, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions. If you work from an on-premises TFS, you also have access to additional SQL Server reports and SharePoint dashboards.
You can customize the work tracking system for your project based on the Scrum process by creating and customizing an inherited process and applying that process to your project. To learn more, see Inheritance process model.
The latest version of the Scrum process uploads automatically when you install or upgrade to the latest version of TFS. You can customize projects and use the Process Template Manager to upload and download process templates.
The following WITs are available as follows: Epic, TFS 2015 and later versions; Shared Parameters, TFS 2013.2 and later versions; and Test Plan and Test Suite, TFS 2013.3 and later versions.
In addition to WITs, reports, and dashboards, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions.
Plan and track work with Scrum
You build your project plan by creating a backlog of work items that represent the features, requirements, user stories, or other work to perform. You track bugs, tasks, and blocking issues using the bug, task, and impediment WITs. To support portfolio management, teams create features and epics to view a roll up of their product backlog items within or across teams. For details about using Scrum WITs, see Scrum process work item types and workflow.
The essential flow for getting started is as shown. To get started using Scrum or Kanban tools, see Get started with Agile tools to plan and track work.
Click on one of the following images to go to the linked article.
A work item is a database record that contains the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Work item types define the template of fields, workflow, and form for each type. Work items can be linked to each other to support tracking dependencies, roll up of work, and reports.
Scrum work item types and workflow provides more details about using these WITs.
List work items
To list work items for a current sprint or the product backlog, use the shared queries that the Scrum process provides.
Descriptions of predefined queries are listed later in this article.
You can open a query from the work items page and then use the query editor to apply different filter criteria. Also, you can add queries to team dashboards. From Team Explorer, you can open any work item query in Excel to perform bulk edits.
Queries listed under the Current Iteration folder do not automatically update when a new iteration becomes current. The current iteration is based on the dates that you assign to your sprint schedules. You must manually update the iteration path of each query to have it point to the iteration path that corresponds to the current iteration. Or, you can edit the shared query to use the @CurrentIteration macro.
Quick tips on shared queries
If you are new to Azure Boards and TFS and shared queries, review these tips to learn how you can manage work more effectively:
- To find work items that are assigned to you, add @Me as the value for the Assigned To field in one of the query clauses.
- All valid users with standard access can create queries and folders under the My Queries area. To create queries and query folders under Shared Queries, you must have the Contribute permission set. For more information, see Set permissions on queries.
- You can modify any query by adding criteria to focus on a product area, an iteration, or another field. To modify a query, open the query editor.
- You can open any query in Excel or Project, where you can update the fields of one or more work items and publish your changes to the database for tracking work items.
- You can visualize status or progress by creating a pie-chart, column chart, or trend chart for flat-list queries.
All processes—Agile, Scrum, and CMMI—support building status and trend charts and dashboards. In addition, several charts are automatically built based on the Agile tools you use. These charts display within the web portal.
Scrum process and light-weight charts
To get started, you can open a shared query and create a chart based on your tracking interests. Chart types include status—pie, bar, column, stacked bar, and pivot—and trend—stacked area, line, and area—charts.
Analytics widgets and Power BI reports
To learn more, see What is the Analytics Service?
Scrum process and SQL Server reports
If your project collection and the project are configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services, you'll have access to a number of Scrum reports. For these reports to be useful, teams must perform certain activities, such as define build processes, link work items, and update status or remaining work.
If you need to add reporting services or update reports to the latest versions, see Add reports to a project.
SharePoint portal dashboards
You can access the Release dashboard displayed through the SharePoint project portal. This dashboard displays project data, support investigation tasks, and help teams to perform common tasks quickly.
To access this dashboard, your project must have a project portal configured and the project portal must point to a SharePoint site.
Before you start tracking work, you must have a project. To create one, see Create a project.
If you have a project, start tracking work:
- Add work items to manage a project - to gain more familiarity with the work item form features
- Create a backlog - to develop your product backlog
- Plan a sprint - to start working in Scrum
- Kanban - to start working in Kanban
- Excel or Project - to create a work breakdown structure
For more information on Agile tools:
Scrum process versions
As updates are made to the Scrum process template, the version number is updated. The following table provides a mapping of the versioning applied as updates are made to the TFS server. For Azure Boards, the latest version is always used. Starting with TFS 2012, the
version element was added to the process template to support versioning of the templates. This element specifies a major and minor version. Prior to this change, the version was specified within the process template name.
|TFS version||Scrum process name||Major version|
|TFS 2013||Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum||7|
|TFS 2012||Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2.0||2|
For a summary of updates made to process templates, see Changes made to process templates.
Scrum process predefined queries
Your product owner can plan and track product backlog items and bugs in the product backlog by using the Product Backlog query. You can find work items that are assigned to the current sprint by using the shared queries that are listed under the Current Sprint folder. These queries find work items that are assigned to a specified iteration or sprint. As you plan additional sprints, you can modify these queries to specify the latest sprint and save them to additional folders that you create, such as Sprint 2 or Sprint 3.
|Blocked Tasks||Lists all tasks in the current sprint that have been marked as Blocked.|
|Open Impediments||Lists all open impediment work items in the current sprint.|
|Sprint Backlog||Lists all product backlog items, bugs, and their linked tasks that your team has committed to complete in the current sprint.|
|Test Cases||Lists all test cases in the current sprint and sorts them by priority.|
|Unfinished Work||Lists all product backlog items, bugs, and their linked tasks that have not been marked as Done in the current sprint.|
|Work in Progress||Lists all tasks in the current sprint that are marked as In Progress.|
|Feedback||Lists all feedback responses that are in an Active state.|
|Product Backlog||Lists all product backlog items and bugs that are assigned to the root iteration. Product backlog items and bugs are sorted by backlog priority.|
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