Managing the Agile Backlog

The following work items can be assigned to an agile team and added to that team's backlog as stories, depending on the agile methodology the team is using:

Tasks or issues can be assigned to the team (and subsequently added to the team backlog) from anywhere in Workfront. For example, a single team might be assigned work assignments from multiple projects.

Viewing and Understanding the Backlog

Viewing the Backlog

The backlog displays only stories and issues that belong to projects in a Current status or a status that equates Current.

  1. Click People in the Global Navigation bar.
  2. Click the Teams tab, then select the agile team from the drop-down list for which you want to view the backlog.
  3. Click the Backlog tab. Tasks are displayed in the Stories tab, and issues are displayed in the Issues tab.

Understanding Columns and Tabs


The following columns are available on the Backlog tab on both the Stories and Issues subtabs by default when Backlog is selected in the View drop-down menu:

Order: The order of stories on the backlog is important only when the Kanban board is configured to add stories automatically (as described in "Configuring Stories to Be Automatically Added from the Backlog (Kanban Teams Only)") in "Configuring Agile Teams."). When configured in this way, stories are added to the Kanban board in the order listed on the backlog.

Name: The name of the task or issue.

Parent: Displays the name of the immediate parent task or parent project of the story. If the story is a subtask or an issue logged against a task, the parent task is displayed. If the story is a main task or an issue logged against the project, the parent project is displayed.

Estimate: Displays a number that represents story points or hours, depending on the settings for the agile team. 
For more information, see "Configuring Whether Stories Are Estimated in Points or Hours" in "Creating and Managing Agile Teams."

Ready: A flag that usually indicates that the story is ready for an iteration. This flag can have varying meanings for different teams.


Unplanned: Displays only those stories that are not already part of an iteration.
For information about how to add a story to an iteration, see "Creating an Iteration."

All: Displays all stories on the backlog, whether they are already part of an iteration or not.

Changing the Filter, View, and Grouping

As with other lists and reports within Workfront, you can change how information appears in the backlog by selecting various options in the Filter, View, and Grouping drop-down menus. 

The following Filter, View, and Grouping options are selected on the backlog by default (these options can be changed or modified to meet the needs of the team):

Filter: All

View: Backlog

Grouping: Nothing

For more information about Filters, Views, and Groupings within Workfront, see "Reporting Elements: View, Filter, Grouping."

NOTE Changing the Filter, View, or Grouping of the agile backlog does not affect the information that is displayed when displaying the backlog on the Kanban agile story board, as described in "Displaying the Backlog on the Kanban Story Board" in "Using the Kanban Agile Story Board."

Creating and Managing Stories on the Backlog

Reordering Stories

You can reorder stories in the backlog list by using the drag-and-drop method.

  1. Navigate to the agile backlog where you want to reorder stories.
  2. In the View drop-down menu, select the Backlog view or a custom view that contains the Order column.
  3. Select one or more stories, then drag the stories to the order where you want them to appear in the backlog.

Breaking Down Stories

Because stories in a backlog vary in size, users can break them down into workable sizes for an iteration. Breaking a story down creates subtasks on the task that the story represents, and replaces the original task in the backlog. You can have a parent task or its subtasks assigned to an agile team, but you cannot have both assigned to a team simultaneously.

NOTE Consider the following limitations when breaking down stories:

  • Only stories that represent tasks can be broken down. You cannot break down stories that represent issues.
  • Stories can be broken down only if they are associated with a project.

To break down a story:

  1. Navigate to the backlog that contains the story you want to break down.
  2. Select the story you want to break down, then click Breakdown Story.
    The Breakdown Story dialog box is displayed.
  3. Specify a name for the story, and estimate, and select whether the story is ready.
  4. Click Add Story to create another story from the original story.
  5. Click Save

Editing Stories

You can edit stories directly from the Stories or Issues tabs on the Backlog as you would edit any tasks or issues within a project in bulk, as described in "Editing Tasks in Bulk" in "Editing Tasks" and "Editing Issues in Bulk" in "Editing Issues."

Creating New Stories on the Backlog

You can create new stories on the backlog by creating the story directly from the backlog, or by assigning an existing task or issue to an agile team.

Creating a Story from the Backlog

When you create a story from the backlog, the story is created as a task or issue within a project. You cannot create a story from the backlog as an issue. 

To create a story from the backlog:

  1. Click People in the Global Navigation bar.
  2. Click the Teams tab, then select the agile team from the drop-down list for which you want to view the backlog.
  3. Click the Backlog tab.backlog_list.png
  4. Do either of the following, depending on whether you want to create a task or an issue:
    • To create a task: Click the Stories tab. 
    • To Create an issue: Click the Issues tab.
  5. Click New Story or New Issue.
  6. Specify the following information:
    Story Name: Specify a name for the story.
    Description: (Optional) Specify a description for the story.
    Ready: Select whether the story is ready to be added to an iteration. This setting is informational only. Stories can be added to an iteration regardless of the status of this setting.
    Estimate: Specify a point or hourly estimate for the story. Estimates affect the burndown chart. The burndown chart for an iteration is accurate only if each story contains an accurate estimate. (If you provide a point estimate, you must have already designated in the team settings how many hours each point represents.)
    Parent Project: Begin typing the name of the project where this story will be created, then click the name when it appears in the drop-down list.
    The status of the project must be set to Current. If the status of the project is anything but Current, it is not displayed in the drop-down menu.
    Parent Task: (Optional) Begin typing the name of the parent task that this story is subordinate to, then click the name when it appears in the drop-down list.
    Custom Forms: (Optional) Select any custom forms that you want to add to this story.
  7. Click Save Story.

Assigning a Task or Issue to an Agile Team

You can assign a task or issue to an agile team. After it is assigned, the task or issue appears as a new story on the team backlog. For more information about viewing the backlog, see "Viewing the Backlog."

To assign a task or issue to an agile team:

  1. Navigate to the Project that contains the task that you want to re-assign.
  2. Select the task or issue in the list.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Click Assignments.
  5. (Optional) Delete any existing assignees.
  6. Click Add Assignee.
  7. Begin typing the name of the agile team who you want to be assigned to the task or issue, then click the team name when it appears in the drop-down list.
  8. Click Save Changes.
    The task or issue is now available on the team backlog. For information about how to view the backlog, see "Viewing the Backlog."

Moving Stories from the Backlog to an Iteration or Kanban Board

  1. Navigate to the backlog of the agile team.
  2. Select the stories you want to move to an iteration or Kanban board, then click More > Move to.
    If moving the story to a Kanban board, the Move Story to the Kanban Board is displayed.
    If moving the story to an iteration, the Move Story to an Iteration dialog box is displayed.
  3. Do either of the following:
    • For Scrum teams: In the Select Iteration field, select the iteration where you want to move the stories.
    • For Kanban teams: In the Select Kanban Board field, select your team Kanban board. (Kanban teams can have only one Kanban board.)
  4. Click Move Story.

Moving Existing Stories to the Backlog

If you decide that your team is not yet ready to work on a story, you can move the story to the backlog.

For more information, see "Moving an Agile Story."

Exporting Stories from the Backlog

You can export one or more stories (including tasks and issues) directly from the backlog.

You export stories from the backlog in the same way that you export other data in Workfront, as described in "Exporting Data."

This article last updated on 2018-08-02 17:08:02 UTC