Work from the Kanban board

You can use the backlog and the Kanban board to determine what's in progress, who's doing what, what needs to be done next, and what's been accomplished.

  1. If you don't have a backlog yet, create one now.

  2. Go to your backlog page and open the Kanban board.

    Open the Kanban board for the selected backlog 

    Your first 20 items appear in backlog priority order, so if you don't see a backlog item, it probably isn't in your top 20.  To change the maximum number, jump to Set max work items and work in progress limits.

    The Kanban board

  3. Move an item into the next column to change its state.

    The column color changes to indicate that the item will be moved to that column 
  4. Assign an item to someone. You can also set an estimate.

    Open the item, and then assign it and add an estimate 
  5. You can review progress over time by expanding the chart.

    Expand the chart on the board

    The cumulative flow diagram (CFD) shows up to 30 weeks of data. You can  configure the start date.
    Example CFD chart after a week

Customize your Kanban board

  1. If you’re not a team administrator, get added as one. Only team administrators can customize the Kanban board.

  2. Open the customization dialog.

    The Customize Columns dialog opens in a new window 

Set max work items and work in progress limits 

Manage the amount of work your team has in progress by setting WIP limits for each column.  

Set work in progress limits 
The Max work items that you set on the first and last columns restrict the number of items that will appear in those columns. The first column lists items in their stack ranked order. The last column displays those items that your team has most recently completed. 

You can see when a column has more items in it than its WIP limit allows.

    The work item limit won't prevent you from assigning more items than the limit, but the title and number changes color

Change the title of a column

If the title of a column doesn't reflect how your team works, you can change it. 

Column titles, item limits, and work item states are all customizeable

Add, move, or delete a column

You can add, move, and delete columns, also known as swim lanes.  A swim lane is a pseudo state or interim state within a workflow state. While you can track progress on the Kanban board with these pseudo states, you can't query for items that are in these states. 

  1. To add a column...

      Add a column 
    Then, give it a title and assign corresponding workflow states.

    Customize columns dialog showing a new column with a new title and the same work item state as the previous column
  2. You can also move columns (except the first and last columns).

    Move a column 

  3. To delete a column, first make sure that no work items are listed in the column. If there are,  move them to another column first and then delete the column.

    Delete a column 

Q & A

Q:Can I use the Kanban board with Features?

A:Yes. The Features Kanban board works just like the Kanban board for backlog items.

Q:Why are the column headings different?

A:These column headings are based on a team project that uses the Scrum process template. If your team project was created with a different process template, the headings could be different. Also, someone else on your team might have changed the column titles!

Q:Do you want to learn more about managing your work from industry experts?

A:Read the following whitepapers: Build and manage the product backlog and Estimating.

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