Filter your Kanban board

VSTS | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

Depending on the size of your team and the number of stories in progress, your Kanban board can get a bit crowded. With filtering, you can selectively choose what cards display to focus on what's of interest in the moment. With parent work item filters, you can focus on one or more select features or epics.

Filter options VSTS TFS 2015 TFS 2017
Filter by keyword and tags checkmark checkmark checkmark
Filter by select field values checkmark checkmark
Filter by parent work items checkmark checkmark

Filter your Kanban board using keywords and tags

To filter the Kanban board, first customize the board settings so that the cards display the fields or tags that contain keywords that you want to filter on. Otherwise, the keywords you enter will filter work items based on title.

For example, to filter by Assign To, Iteration Path, or Work Item Type—or the contents of any other field—you add those fields to show on the cards. For details, see Customize cards.

Kanban board, customize card fields

The filter function displays work items based on any visible/displayed column or field, including tags, based on the keyword that you enter.

For example, here we filter the backlog to only show items that include 'Web' in any one of the displayed column fields.

Kanban board, Filter using keyword search

Tip

Type f to move your cursor to the filter box. To move the focus up or down within a column, enter the Up/Down arrow up/down arrows.
For more tips, see Keyboard shortcuts.

If you want to filter for a specific work item ID, you must choose to show IDs on the cards.

The filter criteria ignores the following characters when the field value starts with the character: {, (, [, !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, ~, `, ', ".

Filter your Kanban board using select field values

Note

Feature availability: Filter by select fields is available from VSTS and TFS 2017 and later versions.

You can filter by select field values using the Kanban board for your product backlog (Stories, Product Backlog Items, or Requirements) or a portfolio backlog (Features or Epics).

To start filtering, click the Kanban filter icon Kanban board filter icon.

Enable kanban field-based filtering

Choose one or more values from the multi-select drop-down menu for each field. The values for these fields are populated as follows:

  • Assigned To: All users who are currently assigned to work items on the board plus Unassigned
  • Iteration: All Iteration Paths activated for the current team
  • Work item type: Work item types defined for the Requirements Category (product backlog) or Features or Epic categories (feature or epic portfolio backlogs)
  • Tags: All tags assigned to work items on the board
  • Parent Work Items: All features defined for the team, or all epics defined for the team when viewing the Features board (The Parent Work Items field doesn't appear when viewing the Epic or top-level Kanban board)

For example, here we filter for all items assigned to Jamal and Raisa.

Kanban board, Filter on assignment field

Filters remain in place until you explicitly clear them by clicking Clear filters. When you refresh your Kanban board or log in from another browser, filters remain set to your previous values.

Once the board is filtered, you can click the filter icon to hide the drop downs and view the applied filters on the board. The filter icon also turns opaque to signify a filtered board.

Filter your Kanban board by specifying parent work items

Note

Feature availability: The Filter by parent feature is available from VSTS and TFS 2017 and later versions.

You can use the Filter by parent feature to filter by select parent work items using the Kanban board for your product backlog (Stories, Product Backlog Items, or Requirements) or a portfolio backlog (Features).

You can use this feature only when you've created features or epics and linked them to user stories or features, respectively. A quick and easy way to create the links is to map them using drag-and-drop. Mapping creates parent-child links between the work items.

Note

The Filter by parent feature doesn't support filtering of parent work items of the same work item type. For example, you can't filter the Stories backlog by specifying user stories that are parents of nested user stories.

To start filtering, click the Kanban filter icon Kanban board filter icon. Choose one or more values from the multi-select drop-down menu for the Parent Work Item. These values are derived from the Features you've defined.

Here, we choose two features on which to filter the board.

Kanban board, Filter on parent work items

The final board displays just those stories linked as child work items to the selected features.

Filter logic

Cards are filtered based on the assignments made in the following order and logic:

  1. Assigned to: Show all cards that are assigned to user 1 OR user 2
    AND
  2. Iteration: Show all cards that are assigned to Iteration 1 OR Iteration 2
    AND
  3. Work Item type: Show all cards that are work item type 1 OR work item type 2
    AND
  4. Tags: Show all cards that have tag 1 AND or OR tags 2, based on your selection of AND | OR.
    AND
  5. Parent Work Items: Show all cards that have Parent Work Item 1 OR Parent Work Item 2.