Set team defaults

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Each team has access to a number of Agile tools as described in About teams and Agile tools. Each tool references the team's default area path(s). Several tools reference the team's default and active iteration paths or sprints. Most teams choose one area path and several iteration paths to support their work tracking activities. However, to support other scenarios, it's possible for teams to choose several area paths to appear on their backlogs and boards.

Prior to setting team defaults, add the teams you want and schedule your shared sprint schedule. Optionally, add area paths you want to use to group work items.

Backlog iteration versus default iteration

Teams can set a default iteration different from the backlog iteration. The backlog iteration determines which items appear on the team's backlogs and boards. And, the default iteration determines what value is assigned to work items created from the team context.

All work items that you create from your team context are automatically assigned both the team's default area path and default iteration path.

For TFS 2015 and earlier versions, the default iteration is the same as the backlog iteration. The one value selected both filters items that appear on the team's backlogs and boards, and is assigned to work items created from the team context.

Open team settings

You set team defaults from team settings. If you're not a team administrator, get added as one. Only team or project administrators can change team settings.

From a web browser, open the web portal administrative context for your team.

Note

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 VSTS organization. To learn how to use the web portal effectively, see Navigation Basics.

For on-premises TFS users, choose Previous Navigation for guidance.

You define both areas and iterations from Project Settings>Work>Team configuration. You can quickly navigate to it from a team work tracking backlog, board, or dashboard.

  1. Open a backlog or board for a team and choose the team profile icon. Then choose Team Settings.

    Here we open the Board for the Web team and from there the team profile.

    Work Backlog or Board, choose team profile icon

  2. Choose Iterations and areas.

    Team Profile, choose Iterations and area

  3. If you need to switch the team context, use the team selector within the breadcrumbs.

    Team Configuration, Team breadcrumb

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

Set team default area path(s)

All work items assigned to the area paths selected for a team appear on the backlogs and boards for that team. You can select one or more area paths and optionally include their sub-area paths. Choose to include sub-area paths when you want to support rollup views of work performed across several teams or areas.

All work items assigned to the area paths selected for a team appear on the backlogs and boards for that team. You can select a single area path, and optionally include their sub-area paths. Choose to include sub-area paths when you want to support rollup views of work performed across several teams or areas.

The default area path determines the default area path assigned to work items that are created from the team context.

Important

Work items that appear on more then one team's Kanban board can yield query results that don't meet your expectations. Because each team can customize the Kanban board columns and swimlanes, the values assigned to work items which appear on different boards may not be the same. The primary work around for this issue is to maintain single ownership of work items by team area path.

  1. Open the Work>Areas admin page for the team context.

    Here, we navigate to the Web team.

    Work, Area page for team

  2. Choose the area path(s) to be active for each team.

    Work, Iterations page for team

    In this instance, we choose to activate all three sub-area paths for the project. This allows the management team to track progress across all three teams.

    Multiple area paths assigned to team, VSTS platform

  3. When you've finished, refresh the product backlog page for the team, and you'll see those work items assigned to the team. Add Area Path to the columns shown to see the assignments made to work items.

    Backlog view of default team

  1. Open the Areas admin page for the team context.

    Here, we navigate to the Web team. The checked box indicates the area paths selected for the team. To exclude sub-areas, select the option from the area path context menu.

    Work, Area page forWeb  team, VSTS platform

  2. Refresh the product backlog page for the team, and you'll see only those work items assigned to the Fabrikam Fiber\Web area path.

    Backlog for Web  team

Select team sprints and default iteration path

You define sprints for the project and then select them to be active for each team. You assign the default iteration to use when creating new work items.

  1. Open Project settings>Work>Team Configuration>Iterations for a team.

    Here, we navigate to the Fabrikam Fiber Team.

    Project settings>Work>Team Configuration>Iterations page

  2. Backlog iteration. Only work items assigned to an iteration equal to or under this backlog iteration appear in the team's backlogs and boards.

    Work, Iterations page for team, set team backlog iteration for backlogs and boards

    Also, all work items added through a team's backlog or board are assigned the backlog iteration.

  3. Default iteration. The default iteration defines the iteration used when a work item is created from the team dashboard (new work item widget) and queries page. You can use an explicit value or use @CurrentIteration to assign new work items to the team's current iteration. This is the same macro used in queries to list work items assigned to the currently active iteration assigned to the team.

    For example, you might want all new work items to be added to a future iteration path which you use to triage and assign to specific sprints at periodic intervals.

    Work, Iterations page for team, set team default for new work items

  4. Active sprints. Add an iteration for each sprint backlog you want active for the team. Add each sprint, one by one, by selecting it from the menu.

    Work, Iterations page for team, select sprints

    When you're done, you should see a list of sprints, similar to the following.

    Work, Iterations page for team, activates sprint list

    If you don't see the sprints you need, or the dates aren't set, you can add or edit iterations for the project, provided you have the required permissions. To learn more, see Define iteration paths (aka sprints).

  5. To see the newly activated sprint backlogs, refresh your team's product backlog page.

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