Organize your backlog, map child work items to parents

VSTS | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

After you've added features or epics to your portfolio backlog, you can quickly organize your backlog by mapping backlog items to them. With features and epics, you can quickly add and group items into a hierarchy, drill up or down within the hierarchy, reorder and reparent items, and filter hierarchical views.

In this topic you'll learn how to:

  • Open your product backlog or portfolio backlog
  • View the tree hierarchy
  • Group backlog items using the Mapping pane
  • Reparent items using drag-and-drop or the Change parent option
  • Open your product backlog or portfolio backlog
  • View the tree hierarchy
  • Group backlog items using the Mapping pane
  • Reparent items using drag-and-drop

Note

The epic portfolio backlog is supported in TFS 2015 and later versions.

Prerequisites

  • You must be a member of the Contributors group or be granted Stakeholder access to add, modify, or remove work items
  • Or, you must have your View work items in this node, and your Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow.

To learn more, see Set permissions and access for work tracking.

Open your backlog from the web portal

From your web browser, open your product backlog from the Work hub, Backlogs page.

Note

The New Navigation feature, which provides a vertical navigation experience, is in preview for VSTS. Go here to enable it. When you enable New Navigation, you automatically enable several new Agile tool features described in this blog post, New Work Hubs. For on-premises TFS users, choose Horizontal Navigation for guidance.

  1. (1) Check that you have selected the right project, (2) choose Work>Backlogs, and then (3) select the correct team from the team selector menu.

    Open Work, Backlogs, for a team

    To choose another team, open the selector and select a different team or choose the home-icon Browse all sprints option. Or, you can enter a keyword in the search box to filter the list of team backlogs for the project.

    Choose another team

    Tip

    Choose the star icon to favorite a team backlog. Favorited artifacts ( favorited icon) appear at the top of the team selector list.

  2. Check that you have selected Backlog items (for Scrum), Stories (for Agile), or Requirements (for CMMI) as the backlog level.

    Choose product backlog level, Backlog items, Stories, or Requirements

  3. (Optional) To choose which columns should display and in what order, choose the actions icon and select Column options. To learn more, see Change column options.

    Open Column Options

The New Navigation feature isn't supported on the TFS platform at this time. Choose the Horizontal Navigation tab for guidance.

Note

The images you see from your web portal may differ from the images you see in this topic. 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 team project—Agile, Scrum, or CMMI.

Show parents and expand the tree hierarchy

  1. To view Parents or a tree hierarchy, choose the view options icon and slide Parents to On.

    New Navigation, Work>Backlogs hub, Open view options and choose Parents ON

    The hierarchical view displays. From this view, you can reparent items by drag and drop, moving a child item to a new parent.

    Hierarchical view, agile hubs

  2. Use the expand expand icon and collapse collapse icon icons to expand or collapse one level of the hierarchy.

    Hierarchical view, expand and collapse icons, agile hubs

The New Navigation feature isn't supported on the TFS platform at this time. Choose the Horizontal Navigation tab for guidance.

Map items to group them under a feature or epic

If you've already created your backlog, and now you want to organize it, you can do that most easily by mapping child items to parents.

  1. Choose the view options icon and select Mapping.

    New Navigation, Work>Backlogs hub, Open view options and choose Parents ON

    The Mapping pane displays immediately.

  2. Find Unparented backlog items which will appear at the end of the parented set of backlog items. Parents must be turned on in view options.

    Map unparented items to a feature

  3. To map features to epics, select the Features backlog from the backlog selector. The Epics Mapping pane will automatically display.

The New Navigation feature isn't supported on the TFS platform at this time. Choose the Horizontal Navigation tab for guidance.

Change parent (re-parent) and reorder items

When you need to change the order or grouping, simply drag the item to its new location.

You can re-parent an item using the mapping pane, or simply drag it within the hierarchy to change its parent.

Reparent or reorder work items on a backlog

You can only re-parent backlog items under other features, and features under other epics.

Also, to change an item's priority within a group, you can drag the item up or down within its hierarchical group. This works the same as when you moved items into priority order on your product backlog.

Change parent of multiple backlog items

From the product backlog you can multi-select several work items and choose Change parent… to link the items to a parent work item item.

Change parent of several backlog items