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Scrum process

Last Updated: 9/26/2016

Team Services | TFS "15" | TFS 2015 | Previous versions

The Scrum process supports the following work item types (WITs) to plan and track work, tests, feedback, and code review. With different WITs you can track different types of work—such as product backlog items, tasks, bugs, and more. These artifacts are created when you create a team project using the Scrum process. They are based on Scrum principles and values.

Agile process work item types

In addition to the WITs, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions. If you work from an on-premises TFS, you also have access to additional SQL Server reports and SharePoint dashboards.

Feature availability:

From the cloud-based Team Services, you’ll always have access to the latest version of the Scrum process, which you can also customize.

If you connect to an on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS), the latest version of the Scrum process uploads automatically when you install or upgrade to the latest version of TFS. You can customize team projects and use the Process Template Manager to upload and download process templates.

Select artifacts, such as SQL Server reports and SharePoint dashboards, are only available when you connect to a team project from an on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS). Other resource requirements apply.

In addition to WITs, reports, and dashboards, teams have access to a set of shared work item queries to track information, analyze progress, and make decisions.

Plan and track work with Scrum

You build your project plan by creating a backlog of work items that represent the features, requirements, user stories, or other work to perform. You track bugs, tasks, and blocking issues using the bug, task, and impediment WITs. To support portfolio management, teams create features and epics to view a roll up of their product backlog items within or across teams. For details about using Scrum WITs, see Scrum process work item types and workflow.

The essential flow for getting started is as shown. To get started using Scrum or Kanban tools, see Get started with Agile tools to plan and track work.

Define storiesOrganize backlogManage bugsManage issues

Note: A work item is a database record that contains the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Work item types define the template of fields, workflow, and form for each type. Work items can be linked to each other to support tracking dependencies, roll up of work, and reports.

Scrum work item types and workflow provides more details about using these WITs.

List work items

To list work items for a current sprint or the product backlog, use the shared queries that the Scrum process provides.

Shared queries (Scrum process)

Descriptions of predefined queries are listed later in this topic.

You can open a query from the work items page and then use the query editor to apply different filter criteria. Also, you can add queries to team dashboards. From Team Explorer, you can open any work item query in Excel to perform bulk edits.

Tip: Queries listed under the Current Iteration folder do not automatically update when a new iteration becomes current. The current iteration is based on the dates that you assign to your sprint schedules. You must manually update the iteration path of each query to have it point to the iteration path that corresponds to the current iteration. Or, you can edit the shared query to use the @CurrentIteration macro.

Quick tips on shared queries

If you are new to Team Services or TFS and shared queries, review these tips to learn how you can manage work more effectively:

  • To find work items that are assigned to you, add @Me as the value for the Assigned To field in one of the query clauses.
  • All valid users with standard access can create queries and folders under the My Queries area. To create queries and query folders under Shared Queries , you must have the Contribute permission set. For more information, see Set permissions on queries.
  • You can modify any query by adding criteria to focus on a product area, an iteration, or another field. To modify a query, open the query editor.
  • You can open any query in Excel or Project, where you can modify the query and publish your changes to the database for tracking work items.
  • You can visualize progress by creating a pie-chart, column chart, or other chart for flat-list queries.

Monitor progress

All processes—Agile, Scrum, and CMMI—support building status and trend charts and dashboards. In addition, several charts are automatically built based on the Agile tools you use. These charts display within the web portal.

Scrum process and light-weight charts

To get started, you can open a shared query and create a chart based on your tracking interests. Chart types include status—pie, bar, column, stacked bar, and pivot—and trend—stacked area, line, and area—charts.

Edit queryCreate chartManage bugs

Power BI reports (Team Services)

If you connect to Visual Studio Team Services, then you can use Power BI to create charts and reports.

Scrum process and SQL Server reports (TFS)

If you connect to an on-premises TFS, you can access the following Scrum process reports. For these reports to be useful, teams must perform certain activities, such as define build processes, link work items, and update status or remaining work.

To access these reports, your team project collection and the team project must be configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. If you need to add reporting services or update reports to the latest versions, see Add reports to a team project.

SharePoint portal dashboards (TFS)

If you connect to an on-premises TFS, you can access the Release dashboard displayed through the SharePoint project portal. This dashboard displays project data, support investigation tasks, and help teams to perform common tasks quickly.

To access this dashboard, your team project must have a project portal configured and the project portal must point to a SharePoint site.

Before you start tracking work, you must have a team project. To create one hosted in the cloud, see Sign up for Visual Studio Team Services. To create one hosted on an on-premises TFS, see Create a team project.

If you have a team project, start tracking work:

For more information on Agile tools:

Scrum process predefined queries

Your product owner can plan and track product backlog items and bugs in the product backlog by using the Product Backlog query. You can find work items that are assigned to the current sprint by using the shared queries that are listed under the Current Sprint folder. These queries find work items that are assigned to a specified iteration or sprint. As you plan additional sprints, you can modify these queries to specify the latest sprint and save them to additional folders that you create, such as Sprint 2 or Sprint 3.

The project administrator for each team project defines area and iteration paths for that project so that the team can track progress by those designations.

Shared queriesDescription
Blocked TasksLists all tasks in the current sprint that have been marked as Blocked.
Open ImpedimentsLists all open impediment work items in the current sprint.
Sprint BacklogLists all product backlog items, bugs, and their linked tasks that your team has committed to complete in the current sprint.
Test CasesLists all test cases in the current sprint and sorts them by priority.
Unfinished WorkLists all product backlog items, bugs, and their linked tasks that have not been marked as Done in the current sprint.
Work in ProgressLists all tasks in the current sprint that are marked as In Progress.
FeedbackLists all feedback responses that are in an Active state.
Product BacklogLists all product backlog items and bugs that are assigned to the root iteration. Product backlog items and bugs are sorted by backlog priority.

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