Get started using your Kanban board

VSTS | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017

Your Kanban board turns your backlog into an interactive signboard, providing a visual flow of work. As work progresses from idea to completion, you update the items on the board. Each column represents a work stage, and each card represents a backlog item, user story, or bug at that stage of work.

User stories and bugs correspond to types of work items. You use work items to share information, assign work to team members, update status, track dependencies, and more.


  • You must have a team project. If you don't have an account or team project yet, create one in VSTS.
  • To contribute to the Kanban board, you must be a member of the Contributors group. If you don't have access to the team project, ask the account owner or project administrator to add you.
  • To configure the Kanban board, you must be added as a team administrator or be a member of the Project Administrators group. If you're the account owner or creator of the team project, then you'll have these permissions.

Open your Kanban board from the web portal

  1. To view your Kanban board, click Work>Backlogs, and then click Board.

    Kanban board, Agile template

    The web browser URL follows this pattern:

    • VSTS: https://{account name}{project name}/_backlogs\board
    • On-premises TFS: http://serverName:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection/projectName/_backlogs\board

      You can use this URL to quickly open the team project, substituting the {account name} and {project name} with your specific account and project name (remove braces).

  2. If you don't see the Work hub, your screen size may be reduced. Click the three dots (elipses), then click Work, Backlogs, and then Board.

    Open Work hub when screen size is reduced

  3. If you don't see the team or team project you want, click the VSTS icon VSTS icon to browse all team projects and teams.


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 VSTS or your on-premises TFS. However, the basic functionality available to you remains the same unless explicitly mentioned.

Add work items

  1. To add a work item, simply click the plus sign (plus icon) and enter a title for the item, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

    Kanban board, Agile template, add a work item

    The system automatically saves the work item with the title you entered. You can add as many work items you want using this method.

  2. To add details to any work item, click the title. Or, you can directly modify any field that displays. For example, you can reassign a work item by clicking the Assigned To field.

Update the status of work items via drag-and-drop

As work completes in one stage, update the status of an item by dragging and dropping it to a downstream stage.

Kanban board, Agile template, update status of work item

Update fields from the card

Also, you can quickly update a field or reassign ownership directly from the board.

Kanban, assign items

If the field you want to update isn't showing, then customize the card to show it.

Invite others to work on your Kanban board

All members of a team project will be able to view and contribute to your Kanban board. To invite users to start contributing, copy the URL of your Kanban board and email it to those you want to invite to your project.

Browser URL for the Kanban board

To add users to your team project, see Add users to a team project

Try this next

To get the full power of the Kanban board working for you, you'll want to configure it to map the flow of work and set WIP limits for your team.

If you're new to VSTS or TFS and want to understand what you can customize, see Customize your work tracking experience.


Your Kanban board is one of two types of boards available to you. For an overview of the features supported on each backlog and board, see Backlogs, boards, and plans. To switch to the product backlog, click Backlog. And, to switch to the Task board, click on the current iteration or other sprint of interest. If no sprints appear, see Schedule sprints.