Define iteration paths (aka sprints)

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Newly created projects contain a single, root area that corresponds to the project name. Each project typically specifies a predefined set of iterations to help you get started tracking your work. All you need to do is specify the dates.

You add iteration paths under this root. To understand how the system uses area paths, see About area and iteration paths.


  • You must be a member of a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • You must be a member of a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • To create or modify areas or iterations, you must either be a member of the Project Administrators group, or your Create and order child nodes, Delete this node, and Edit this node permissions must be set to Allow for the area or iteration node that you want to modify.

    If you aren't a project administrator, get added as one or have someone provide you with explicit permissions to Edit project-level information.

For naming restrictions on area and iteration paths, see About areas and iterations, Naming restrictions.

Open Project Settings, Project configuration

From the web portal, open Project Settings.


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.

You define both areas and iterations for a project from the Project Settings>Work>Project configuration.

  1. Choose (1) Project Settings, expand Work if needed, and choose (2) Project configuration and then (3) Iterations.

    Project Settings>Work>Project Configuration

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

Add iterations and set iteration dates

From Iterations, you can add iterations that teams can then select for their use. You add iterations in the same way you add areas. For more information about working within a sprint cadence, see Scrum and sprint planning tools.

You add and modify area paths from the Work, Iterations page from the project admin or settings context.

For Scrum-based projects, you'll see the following set of sprints.

Project Settings Context, Work, Iterations page

  1. To schedule the start and end dates for each sprint your teams will use, Highlight the sprint and choose Set dates. Or, you can open the context menu for the iteration path and choose Edit.

    Choose the calendar icon to choose new dates.

    Work, Iterations page, scheduled set of sprints

  2. When you're finished, you'll have a set of sprints scheduled - like this:

    Work, Iterations page, scheduled set of sprints

    Your next step is to choose the sprints each team will use.

  1. Open the Iterations tab for the project context.

    For Scrum-based projects, you'll see these set of sprints.

    Example Iterations for a Team

    You can change the name, location within the tree hierarchy, or set dates for any sprint. Simply open it (double-click or press Enter key) and specify the info you want.

  2. Schedule the start and end dates for those sprints you plan to use.

    Define start and end dates for a sprint

    After you set the start and end dates for one iteration, the calendar tool automatically attempts to set the next set of dates, based on the same iteration length you specified for the first. For example, if you set a three week sprint for Sprint 1, then when you select the start date for Sprint 2, the calendar tool automatically determines the start and end dates based on the next three weeks. You can accept or change these dates.

  3. To add another sprint, select New child and name it what you want. Here, we call it Sprint 7.

    Iterations, defaults defined for Agile

    Your next step is to select the sprints each team will use.

Rename, move, or delete an iteration

When you rename an iteration, or move the node within the tree hierarchy, the system will automatically update the work items and queries that reference the existing path or paths.

  1. To rename an iteration path, choose the actions icon for the node, and select Edit.

    Open Work>Project Configuration

  2. In the dialog that opens, enter the new name.

    Open Work>Project Configuration

  3. To move the node within the hierarchy, change the Location field.

  4. To delete a node, choose the Delete option from the actions menu.


    When you delete an iteration node, the system automatically updates the existing work items with the node that you enter at the deletion prompt.

Chart progress by iteration

You can quickly generate queries to view the progress for those areas and iterations. As an example, you can visualize progress of work items assigned to sprints as shown in the following stacked bar chart.

Stacked bar chart by area

As you can see, iterations play a major role in supporting Agile tools and managing work items. You can learn more about working with these fields from these topics: