Team Foundation Service Preview – Get Started with Agile Planning Tools

Team Foundation Service Preview – Get Started with Agile Planning Tools

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UPDATE June 11, 2012 - This blog post series has been updated by our new beginner's guide hosted here.


This blog post is part of the Beginner’s Guide series with the goal to get you productive fast.

Here we walk quickly through the entire cycle of Agile planning: Create a backlog, plan a sprint, set capacity for your team, and viewing a task board for the daily standup.

Note that these steps are based on the Scrum process template and will vary with other templates.

Go to your Home page to set the dates for your iterations.

Under Administration, click Configure schedule and iterations.


You can edit sprint names, add new sprints, set your sprint schedule, and more. For now, let’s just set the dates for the first sprint. Click Sprint 1 and then click Set dates.


Set dates for your first sprint

Enter a start and end date for your sprint.



Click Save and Close

Click Close on the Iterations window.

On the Home page and, under Activities, click View backlog.
Add a new backlog item.


Just type a title and click Add.


Your item is saved to the backlog. Add more if you like. To reprioritize, you drag them up and down.


Move a backlog item to the current sprint.

Simply drag the item to the sprint.

Now select the current sprint.

Click on Sprint 1. You’ll notice that your backlog item now has a + sign next to it.

Create a task.

Click the + sign next to the backlog item and the task dialog opens. To get started, let’s just provide Title, Assigned To, and Remaining Work.



When you are finished, click Save and Close.

Now, your sprint backlog looks like this, showing the new task and the work details pane.


Set Capacity for your team.

In the backlog section, in the current sprint, click the Capacity tab. Here, you can set capacity, activities, and days out of office for vacations and holidays. As you set capacity, activity, and days off, graphical information about hours and capacity is automatically generated in the pane on the right.


In the work details pane on the right, you notice three colors. This is what they mean:



Click Save Changes when you are finished.

Review the board.

Click the board tab. To show work as started, simply will drag it over to IN PROGRESS.



You can also add new tasks by clicking the + sign.


Make changes to tasks directly from the board.

You can change remaining hours…


…and you can change owners, right on the board.


Done! You’ve added items to your backlog, put them in a sprint, created tasks and team capacity, and started work.

Now you can click the backlog tab, create your backlog, and get working on it.

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  • How can we setup capacity so that it's not fixed per hour/per day....we have resources that come in and out of the sprint (2 weeks) and we can't alot them into working each day...sometime it's the last friday of the sprint...or just these 3 specific days (like security review from outside firm). Thanks!

  • On the capacity tab (Step 8 above), you can press the "+" sign next to a person, and add specific days off. That way, only the days remaining are the work days. You can do this for the entire team, or for a specific person. The tools then do not count those days towards capacity.

  • So how do I see that in a calendar view? Like we only have the resource for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday? And not Monday/Tuesday?

  • After you click on the "+" sign, then each date field has a calendar control that you can pick dates from. However, you are always specifying date ranges, so you'd have to specify days off of Mon-Tue for each week of the sprint. It's not really optimized (yet) for that type of scenario. So its not real pretty, but it is possible.

  • How do I change the work day schedule. Say for example, I want to moonlight 7 days a week on my startup? I don't see anything there to change from a standard work week.

  • When I add a task using the + Task button on the Home page, how can I specify to which backlog item it relates ?

  • Let's try this again. I'm looking for a way to edit the working schedule. That is if I want to specify that weekends are including in working days, I could do so. Right now, the system defaults to a 5 day week. If that's not enabled in the preview, will it be available in a future release?

  • OK. I understand. That feature (the ability to edit working days)  is possible in the on-premise version of TFS11, but is not yet available in the hosted version. We do plan to add that feature.

  • Is it possible to download this template so that we can install on TFS on-premise ?

  • You can download the template, but it won't work with TFS 2010, because the template uses new settings.

  • how can I add steps to a test case work item?


  • How can I import backlog items into TFS Preview Backlog?

  • The agile is self managed, so I expect when I create a task it should assign to me by default? is this missed or it was on intent?

  • @M.Radwan, that is a great question It is absolutely our intent that we don't auto-assign tasks when they are created. Since we don't want to encourage people feeling they need to pre-assign all tasks upfront when doing sprint planning. However, if you are on the taskboard, and the board is filtered by a person, and then you create a task from the taskboard ... in that situation, we *do* preassign it to whoever the person is filtered by, because we assume what is desired.

    I'm explaining all of this, because i want you to understand why we chose to do it the way we did ... so that you can give feedback if you think our reasoning is wrong. We want to build the best product for you, so let me know if you think our thinking is wrong, and why.



  • Is there any way to import backlog items from an existing TFS project?

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