Get started using your Kanban board

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

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.

Prerequisites

  • You must connect to a team project. If you don't have a team project yet, create one in VSTS.
  • You must be a member of the Contributors group or be granted Stakeholder access to add or modify 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.
  • If you haven't been added to a team project or team, get added now.

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

  • You must connect to a team project. If you don't have a team project yet, create one in an on-premises TFS.
  • You must be a member of the Contributors group or be granted Stakeholder access to add or modify 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.
  • If you haven't been added to a team project or team, get added now.

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

Add a Kanban board

Each Kanban board is associated with a team and a work item type. For the Agile process, the three boards are Stories, Features, and Epics.

When you add a team, you add a number of team assets which a team admin can configure to support the way the team works. To add a set of Kanban boards to support a new team, add a team.

To add a board to support an additional portfolio backlog, see Customize your backlogs or boards.

To add a board to support an additional portfolio backlog, see Add a portfolio backlog level.

Open your Kanban board from the web portal

To view your Kanban board, open your team project from a web browser and click Work>Backlogs, and then click Board.

Kanban board, Agile template

TFS 2015, Kanban board, Agile template

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

Open Work hub when screen size is reduced

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

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 status 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

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. 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.

Note

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 the current iteration or other sprint of interest. If no sprints appear, see Schedule sprints.

Open the backlog