Review team activities to support useful reports

Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Note: Azure DevOps Server was previously named Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.


Feature availability: You can only add a report server to an on-premises TFS. If you're using Azure DevOps, adding a report server isn't a supported option, instead, you can use PowerBI.

This is the fourth task in the four-task sequence to add reports to your team project. To generate useful reports, team members must perform certain tasks. this article summarizes those tasks.

Add a report server Upload reports Grant permissions Review team activities

Now that you've uploaded reports, how do you use them to track progress, gain insight, and improve processes?

First, make sure your team is performing the activities that create the data that these reports use. Your team is probably performing most of these activities already.

Here's a summary of the reports that TFS provides and the team activities that are associated with them. Over time, you can use these reports to see trends and identify which practices and processes require more attention to deliver desired results.

Monitor code quality

Build reports track the quality of software under development. By defining tests to run automatically as part of each build definition and instrumenting tests to gather code coverage data, you can gain insight about the quality of the builds, tests, and code.

Build and test activities
  1. Configure a build system
  2. Get started with CI/CD
  3. Run tests in your build process
  4. (Optional) Rate completed builds to populate the Build Quality dimension.
Build reports


Build reports are only applicable for XAML builds, which are deprecated for TFS 2018 and later versions. If your build process isn't based on XAML builds, this report and the TFS Warehouse for builds won't yield any meaningful data.

Sample build success over time report

Sample build summary report

Monitor progress

Project management reports provide insight into how much work the team is tackling within a sprint or release, and the rate of their progress. By linking work items and updating specific fields as work is performed, you can track the progress of individual stories and be able to more accurately estimate future activities.

Work item tracking activities
  1. Create the backlog.
    • Create product backlog items and specify the Effort (Scrum).
    • Create user stories and specify the Story Points (Agile).
    • Create requirements and specify the Size (CMMI).
  2. Work in sprints. Assign backlog items to sprints, create tasks and link them to parent backlog items, and assign to a team member.
  3. Update Remaining Work for tasks. For Agile and CMMI team projects, update Completed Work as well.
    The only report that references Original Estimate is Status on All Iterations.
  4. Create test cases and bugs, link them to their parent backlog item, and update their State.
  5. (Optional) Assign work items to areas to filter reports.
Project management (Scrum) reports Project management (Agile and CMMI) reports

Sample stories overview report
Sample stories overview report

Monitor test plans and bug tracking

Test planning reports support monitoring the test progress and coverage of backlog items or user stories. Bug tracking reports illustrate the team's capacity to find and resolve bugs.

Test planning and bug tracking activities
  1. Define test plans and test cases, and update their State as work progresses.
  2. Mark the results of each validation step in manual tests as either passed or failed.
  3. Create bugs, specify the Priority and Severity, assign to a team member, and update the State.
  4. (Optional) Assign test cases and bugs to areas and iterations to filter reports.
Bug and test reports

Sample test plan progress report
Sample test plan progress report

Q & A

Q: Do reports handle stories and substories or tasks and subtasks?

A: Yes, you can subdivide stories or backlog items as well as tasks, creating a nested hierarchy of both backlog items and tasks. You can nest items several levels deep. If you subdivide a task into subtasks, specify hours only for the subtasks. These hours are rolled up as summary values for the parent task and their parent backlog item. To correct reports you believe are in error, see Address inaccuracies published for summary values.

Q: Which reports depend on linking work items?

A: The overview and progress reports depend on linking tasks, test cases, and bugs to backlog items. You must link these items using the parent-child link for tasks and bugs and the Tested By link for test cases.

Q: Are these reports the same as the charts that appear in the web portal?

A: While some reports do display similar information, such as sprint burndown and velocity or status on all iterations, these reports are formatted differently and support additional filters.

Q: Do you want to create additional product areas or release milestones?

A: See Modify areas or iterations.

Q: Do you want to bulk edit work items to assign them to an area, iteration, team member, or priority?

A: See Bulk modify work items.

Q: Do you want to add a field to track additional data?

A: See Add or modify a work item field to support reporting.