Kanban board features and epics

Last Update: 5/5/2017

Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

If you use Kanban to track progress on your backlog, you can also use Kanban boards to track epics and features.

And, just as with child task checklists for backlog items, you can quickly define and track the progress of child items for your features or epics. Here we see several stories defined for features, both in progress and those completed.

Web portal, Features Kanban board with several user stories defined


Feature availability: Child checklists for feature and epic Kanban boards are supported from Team Services and TFS 2017.

Add items

Add new items to a feature or epic through the item's actions icon Action menu. For descriptions of fields used to support features and epics, see Define features and epics.

Web portal, Feature Kanban board, Open the context menu of a feature to add a story

Checklist controls and keyboard shortcuts

Keys Function
Home Select the first card
Arrow Select the next card
TAB Select the context menu
ARROW + ENTER/SPACE Select action
Enter Open card work item

If you have a number of items to add, simply keep typing your task titles and click Enter.

If you have details you want to add about to a work item, hover over the item and press Enter.

If you're new to working with the Kanban board, see Kanban basics

For additional guidance on working with checklist on a Kanban board, see Add task checklists. You can perform the same operations for the features and epics Kanban boards as you do with the Kanban board for the product backlog. This includes:

  • Mark an item as done
  • Reorder and reparent work items
  • Assign work items to sprints

To customize the columns, swimlanes, or cards for each Kanban board, make sure you first select the board and then click the gear icon to open the Settings dialog. See these topics for details:

Kanban board controls

Control Function
Backlog Switch to backlog view
Board Switch to Kanban board view
Search filter Filter by keyword or tag
Kanban filter icon Filter by field
Live updates icon Enable live updates
Settings icon Customize the board and configure team settings:
Cards | Card reordering | Columns | Swimlanes | CFD chart | Backlogs | Working days | Working with bugs
full screen icon / exit full screen icon Enter or exit full screen mode

Enter ? to open the Kanban board keyboard shortcuts. See also Keyboard shortcuts.


Feature availability: Global keyboard shortcuts are available from Team Services and the web portal for TFS 2015.2 or later version.

Kanban keyboard shortcuts

Enable live updates


Feature availability: This feature is supported from Team Services and TFS 2017 and later versions.

Enable live updates to automatically refresh your Kanban board when changes occur. With live updates enabled, you no longer have to press F5 to see the latest changes.

Kanban board, live updates icon

As one team member updates the status of a work item, other team members will see those updates in real time as they occur.

Live update

REST API resources

To programmatically create work items, see the Work API reference.