Track progress by creating status and trend query-based charts

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

You can quickly view the status of work in progress by charting the results of a flat-list query. You can create several types of charts—such as pie, column, or trend—for the same query. Charts support viewing a count of work items or a sum of values for select numeric fields, such as Remaining Work or Original Estimate.

Note

For examples of queries based on numeric fields, see Query by numeric fields. For information on creating charts that track test progress and results, see Track test status.

For example, the following image illustrates two different charts created from the same flat-list query. The pie chart groups the 19 bugs by state, and the bar chart groups the bugs by assignment and their current status.

Active bug charts added to dashboards

For example, the following image illustrates four different charts created from the same flat-list query. The pie chart groups the 146 active bugs by priority, and the bar chart groups the bugs by team and their triage status. The last two chart show two different trend views of the active bugs over the last two weeks.

A view of 4 charts for a flat-list query

Prerequisites

By default, users with Basic access or higher can create charts from a flat list query. Users with Stakeholder access can't view or create charts from the Queries page, however, they can view charts added to a team dashboard. For details, see About access levels.

  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • To create a chart, 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 a chart to a team dashboard, you must be a member of the team, be a team administrator, or be a member of the Project Administrators security group.
  • You can add charts to multiple team dashboards and get access to the widget catalog, which is another way to add charts to a dashboard.

Note

Users with Stakeholder access for a public project have full access to query chart 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.
  • To create a chart, 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 a chart to a team dashboard, you must be a member of the team, be a team administrator, or be a member of the Project Administrators security group.
  • You can add charts to multiple team dashboards and get access to the widget catalog, which is another way to add charts to a dashboard.
  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • To create a chart, 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 a chart to a team dashboard, you must be a member of the team, be a team administrator, or be a member of the Project Administrators security group.
  • You can pin charts to a team homepage, and with TFS 2015.1 and later versions, you can add charts to multiple team dashboards and get access to the widget catalog
  • You must connect to a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one.
  • To create a chart, 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 learn more about default groups, see About permissions and groups.

Create a query-based chart

  1. From Queries, open the chart editor for a flat list query. You must belong to the Contributors group to create charts. Stakeholders can view charts but not create them.

    Charts, New chart button

    Web portal, Queries page, Chart tab, New chart link

  2. Select the chart type and field for grouping values. When you use pie, bar, and column charts, select a single field to view a count of work items.

    Charts, New chart button

    Web portal, Queries page, Chart tab, Configure Chart dialog, Configure a Pie chart

    If you don't see the field you want in the Group by drop-down list, add the field as a column to the query and save the query. Also, the Aggregration options depend on the fields used in the query or those selected from the Column Options.

    You can group by any field except date-time and free-form text fields. For example:

    • To group by work assignments, include the Assigned To in the query or column options
    • To group by sprints or iterations, include the Iteration Path in the query or column options
    • To group by team, include the Area Path or Node Name in the query or column options
    • To group by a custom field, include it in a query clause or column options.

    If you receive an error message when you close the chart editor, you need to request Basic access.

  3. To sort the results, choose Value or Label as the sort option and then Ascending or Descending.

    To change a color, simply choose a color from the Series set of color pickers.

    Charts, color series picker

    To change a color, simply choose a color on the chart and pick a new color from the color picker.

Charts automatically update when you edit the query or refresh the query results.

Stacked bar chart

A stacked bar chart lets you track progress against two field values. Node Name will display the last leaf within the hierarchy of area paths. Use this when you want to show data across teams.

Configure chart dialog, Stacked bar chart n

Web portal, Queries page, Chart tab, Configure Chart dialog, Stacked bar chart

Trend chart

Trend charts let you view progress over time. You can select a rolling period ranging from the last week to the last year (earlier versions of TFS may have limited selections).

Configure chart dialog, Stacked bar chart

Web portal, Queries page, Chart tab, Configure Chart dialog, Stacked area trend chart

Trend data is extracted from the work tracking data store. Like most data stores, the schema of the relational database is designed and optimized for the online transactional processing of data. As the tool or plug-in performs an activity, it writes the latest information to the operational store. Therefore, data in the operational store is constantly changing and being updated, and all data is current.

Burndown chart

Choose the Sum operator for Remaining Work to view a burndown chart of tasks.

Configure chart dialog, Remaining work for past 4 weeks

Web portal, Queries page, Chart tab, Configure Chart dialog,Trend chart for the past 4 weeks

Add a chart to a team dashboard

To add a chart to your team's home page, you must be a team administrator or have permissions to edit a dashboard (default settings). You can only add charts defined for shared queries.

Choose the  actions icon for the chart you want to add, and select Add to dashboard.

Chart context menu, Add to dashboard option

In the dialog that opens, select the team dashboard to add the chart to.

Select a dashboard dialog

Chart context menu, add to a team dashboard

To add other types of charts, such as test results and build summary charts, see Add widgets and chart to a dashboard.

Note

For TFS 2013 and TFS 2015, you can pin charts to the team homepage. For TFS 2015.1 and later versions, you can add charts to multiple team dashboards and get access to the widget catalog.

Add chart widget to a dashboard

If you've already defined your flat list query, you can add and configure a chart to a team dashboard using the Chart for work items widget.

  1. From the web portal, open the team dashboard you want to add the chart to.

  2. To add widgets to the dashboard, choose  Edit. The widget catalog will automatically open. Add all the widgets that you want and drag their tiles into the sequence you want.

    If you don't see these icons, then you need to be added as a team administrator or get permissions to edit dashboards.

  3. Choose the Chart for work items widget and then choose Add.

    Web portal, Dashboards page, Widget catalog, Chart for work items widget

  4. Choose the widget's  gear icon to open the Configuration dialog.

    Configuration dialog for chart work items widget

  5. Give the chart a title, select the flat list query on which the chart is based, and choose the chart type.

    Based on your chart type, specify values for the remaining fields. Change a chart color simply by choosing another color from those shown.

    Note

    All rules for configuring charts described previously in this article apply to configuring the chart for work items widget.

  6. After you save your changes, you'll see the new chart has been added to the dashboard.

    Chart of work items widget, configure dialog

  7. Drag the tile anywhere on the dashboard to put it where you want it.

  8. When you're finished with your changes, choose Done Editing to exit dashboard edit mode.

The widget requires TFS 2015.2 or a later version. You add it to a team dashboard from the widget catalog.

  1. From the web portal, open the team dashboard you want to add the chart to.

  2. To add widgets to the dashboard, choose  Edit. The widget catalog will automatically open. Add all the widgets that you want and drag their tiles into the sequence you want.

    If you don't see these icons, then you need to be added as a team administrator or a member of the Project Administrators group.

  3. Choose the Chart for work items widget and then choose Add.

    Web portal, Dashboards page, Widget catalog, Chart for work items widget

  4. Choose the widget's  gear icon to open the configuration dialog.

    Web portal, Dashboards page, Widget catalog, Chart for work items widget, Configuration dialog

  5. Give the chart a title, select the flat list query on which the chart is based, and choose the chart type.

    Based on your chart type, specify values for the remaining fields. Change a chart color simply by choosing another color from those shown.

    Note

    All rules for configuring charts described previously in this article apply to configuring the chart for work items widget.

  6. After you save your changes, you'll see the new chart has been added to the dashboard.

    Chart of work items widget, configure dialog

  7. Drag the tile anywhere on the dashboard to put it where you want it.

  8. When you're finished with your changes, choose Exit edit-dashboard-mode icon to exit dashboard editing.

Now you know how to create status and trend charts for work items. A few things to keep in mind...

  • To create similar charts for tests, see Track your test results
  • Charts you create for queries that are saved under Shared Queries are viewable by all team members and can be added to team dashboards or pinned to a team homepage
  • Charts that you create for queries under your My Queries folder are visible only to you
  • You can copy and email the URL of any chart page to share it with a team member
  • For additional examples of charts created from numeric fields, see Query by a numeric field.

Also, from the web portal, you can view the following charts:

Note

The images you see from your web portal may differ from the images you see in this article. These differences result from updates made to your web app, options that you or your admin have enabled, and which process was chosen when creating your project—Agile, Basic, Scrum, or CMMI.

Fields that show up in the chart editor

For fields to appear in the chart editor, you must add the field to either the query filter criteria or a displayed column.

You can't select fields for groupings that aren't supported, such as ID, Title, Tags, date-time fields, Description, Repro Steps, and other HTML and long text fields.

Charts and the display of areas and iterations

When you select Area Path or Iteration Path, only the leaf node appears in the chart. The leaf node is the last node of the full path. For example, Phone is the leaf node of FabrikamFiber/Fabrikam Website/Phone. If your query contains a mixed level of leaf nodes, your chart might not reflect expected results.

Use Node Name, the area path leaf node, to see if that improves your results.

Charts display in browsers that support Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). This includes Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on Mac. Charts have not been optimized for mobile or touch displays.

Why some charts don't show all the field values in the results

When a chart contains more than seven items within the data series, values in the eight-plus items are consolidated into a set labeled "other"?

Other category groups data beyond 7 set series

Widgets and the Analytics Service

The Analytics service, which is in preview, provides a number of additional widgets based on the Analytics Service.

Query-based charts versus Excel-generated PivotCharts

Query-based charts generate data from the work item tracking data store and therefore displays the most recent data. Excel PivotCharts access data published to the Analysis Services cube, which is refreshed every two hours by default.