View and add work items using the Work Items page

Azure Boards | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | Visual Studio 2019

View work items that you created or are assigned to you. The Work Items page provides several personalized pivots and filter functions to streamline listing work items. Use this page to quickly find work items defined across teams within a project.

Note

The Work Items page is currently available from Azure DevOps Services, Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1, and Visual Studio 2019 RC1.

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.
  • To create new tags to add to work items, you must have Basic access or higher and have the project-level Create new tag definition permissions set to Allow. By default, the Contributors group has this permission set. Even if the permission is explicitly set for a Stakeholder, they won't have permission to add new tags, as they are prohibited through their access level.
  • 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.
  • To create new tags to add to work items, you must have Basic access or higher and have the project-level Create new tag definition permissions set to Allow. By default, the Contributors group has this permission set. Even if the permission is explicitly set for a Stakeholder, they won't have permission to add new tags, as they are prohibited through their access level.

Open Work Items

You can start viewing and adding work items once you connect to a project.

(1) Check that you have selected the right project, then (2) choose Boards>Work Items.

Open Boards>Work Items

Note

The new Work Items experience is available when you connect to a GitHub repository. If you connect to a TFVC repository, you'll continue to see the legacy query-focused experience.

Note

Depending on the process chosen when the project was created—Agile, Scrum, or CMMI—the types of work items you can create will differ. For example, backlog items may be called user stories (Agile), product backlog items (Scrum), or requirements (CMMI). All three are similar: they describe the customer value to deliver and the work to be performed.

For an overview of all three processes, see Choose a process.

View work items

Using the drop-down menu, you can focus on relevant items inside a project using one of seven pivots. Additionally, you can filter and sort each pivot view. You can also use an Azure DevOps CLI command to view details about a work item.

Boards>Work Items view
  • Assigned to me: lists all work items assigned to you in the project in the order they were last updated. To open or update a work item, simply click its title.
  • Following: lists work items that you're following.
  • Mentioned: lists work items in which you've been mentioned in the last 30 days.
  • My activity: lists work items that you've recently viewed or updated.
  • Recently updated: lists work items recently updated in the project.
  • Recently completed: lists work items completed or closed in the project.
  • Recently created: lists work items created within the last 30 days in the project.

Add a work item

Adding a work item is just one click away. Simply choose the work item type from the New Work Item drop down menu. You can also use an Azure DevOps CLI command to add a new work item.

For example, here we choose User Story.

Boards>Work Items, Add a work item

Enter a title and then save the work item. Before you can change the State from its initial default, you must save it.

Agile process, User story work item form

You can add tags to any work item to filter backlogs, queries, and work item lists. Users with Basic access can create new tags by default, users with Stakeholder access can only add existing tags.

Filter to create personal views

You can filter each work item pivot view by typing a keyword or using one or more of the fields provided, such as work item type (Types), State, Area Path, and Tags. The page remembers the filters you set for each pivot, supporting personalized views across all pivots.

Boards>Work Items, Filter to show Bugs

Add columns and sort by a column

From the web portal, you can sort your view by one of the column fields that you select from the Column Options dialog. For details, see Change column options.

Capture comments in the Discussion section

Use the Discussion section to add and review comments made about the work being performed.

Discussion section within a work item form

The rich text editor tool bar displays below the text entry area when you click your cursor within each text box that can be formatted.

Discussion section, New Rich Text Editor toolbar

Mention someone, a group, work item, or pull request ( ,  , or pull-request id icon)

Choose one of these icons — ,  , or pull-request id icon— to open a menu of recent entries you've made to mention someone, link to a work item, or link to a pull request. Or, you can simply type @, #, or ! to open the same menu.

Discussion section, @mention drop-down menu

Note

This latest version of the rich text editor requires Azure DevOps Server 2019 Update 1 or later version.

Type a name, or enter a number and the menu list will filter to match your entry. Choose the entry you want to add. You can bring a group into the discussion by typing @ and the group name, such as a team or security group.

Edit or delete a comment

If you need to edit or delete any of your discussion comments, choose  Edit or choose the  actions icon and then choose Delete.

Discussion section, Edit, Delete actions

Note

The edit/delete feature requires Azure DevOps Server 2019 Update 1 or later version.

After updating the comment, choose Update. To delete the comment, you'll need to confirm that you want to delete it.

A full audit trail of all edited and deleted comments is maintained in the History tab on the work item form.

Add a reaction to a comment

You can add one or more reactions to any comment. Choose a smiley icon at the upper-right corner of any comment or choose from the icons at the bottom of a comment next to any existing reactions. To remove your reaction, click the reaction on the bottom of your comment. The following shows an example of the experience of adding a reaction, as well as the display of reactions on a comment.

Add reactions to a comment

Copy selected items to the clipboard or email them

To select several items in a sequence, hold down the shift key from a web portal page. To select several non-sequential items, use the Ctrl key. Then, you can use Ctrl+c to copy the selected items to a clipboard. Or, you can open the context menu for the selected work items, click ( actions icon), and then select an option from the menu.

Boards>Work Items, Following view, Select work items, context menu

Open a view as a query

From the web portal, you can open any view, filtered view, or selected set of work items as a query. Simply choose Open in Queries or the Open selected items in Queries option from the context menu.

Queries provide additional features that you can use, including:

  • Edit one or more fields of several work items
  • Add or remove tags from several work items
  • Change the work item type
  • Delete work items
  • Apply work item templates
  • And more

For details, see Bulk modify work items. To learn more about queries, see Use the query editor to list and manage queries.

Work Items page controls

Use the following three controls to manage your views in the web portal.

Control Function
View options View/hide completed items
Filter Turn filtering On/Off
full screen icon / exit full screen icon Enter or exit full screen mode

Note

You can create and manage work items from the command line or scripts using the Azure DevOps CLI.