Work with multi-team ownership of backlog items

Last Update: 5/5/2017

Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

When you have several teams, your hierarchical views may show items that belong to other teams.

Your team's product backlog lists only those items whose area path matches those your team has subscribed to. For details, see Set team defaults. However, if you show parents, you'll see the parent epic of the features and backlog items, even if the epic or feature is owned by another team. Items that are owned by other teams appear with hollow-filled bars.

Team backlog is filtered based on area path ownership

Here's another example that shows the Epics backlog for the Fabrikam Fiber team. Drilling down, you can see all the backlog items and features, even though they belong to one of three different teams - Customer Service, Phone, and Web.

Drill-down of Epics showing features and backlog items owned by other teams

From these views, you can reparent items, both those that you own and those owned by other teams. However, you can't reorder items that another team owns.

This enables management teams to focus on high level features and epics, and development teams to focus on just those backlog items they're responsible to deliver.

To make this work for you, you'll need to add teams and set their area paths. For example, you can create a team structure similar to this one with two management and three development teams.

Conceptual image of backlogs and multi-team ownership

To learn more about hierarchical team and backlog structures, see Portfolio management.