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.

    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.

    Example CFD chart after a week 

Update your work in progress limits

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

  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 
  3. Set the limits.

    Changing the default limit 

    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.

  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 
  3. Set the title.

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

Add a column

If you want to capture more details of your workflow in the Kanban board, you can add a column.

  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 
  3. Add the column.

    Creating a new column for the Kanban board 
  4. Give it a title and assign it to a corresponding work item state.

    Customize columns dialog showing a new column with a new title and the same work item state as the previous column 

Q & A

Q:Can I use the Kanban board with features?

A:Yes, there's a Kanban board for features, too. It works just like the Kanban board for backlog items.

Q:Why aren't all of my completed items in the done column?

A:The done column displays 20 completed items, with the ones you completed most recently at the top.

Q:Can I change the order of the columns?

A:Yes, if you're a team administrator you can move columns (except the first and last columns) in the customization dialog.

Customize columns dialog showing a new column with a new title and the same work item state as the previous column 

Q:Can I delete a column?

A:Yes, unless there are work items in that column. In that case, you'll have to move them to another column first.

Delete columns that you don't want 

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: Building and Managing the Product Backlog and Estimating.

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