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Managing the Agile Backlog

The highlighted information on this page refers to functionality not yet generally available. It is available only in the Preview Sandbox environment.

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:

Scrum agile teams: Tasks and issues can be assigned to the agile team and added to the backlog.

Kanban agile teams: Tasks can be assigned to the agile team and added to the backlog.

The team uses this backlog to prioritize and manage their work queue.

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

  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.
    [update screenshot]

Understanding Columns and Tabs

Columns

The following columns are available on the backlog by default when Backlog is selected in the View drop-down menu:

Order: Indicates the order of stories. Stories are added to the iteration, Scrum story board, or Agile story board in the order listed on the backlog. [true?]

Name: The name of the task or issue.

Type: Indicates whether the story is a task or an issue. Issues are also differentiated with a red dot next to the issue name in the Name column.

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.

Tabs

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 View, Filter, 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."

Creating and Managing Stories on the Backlog

Reordering Stories

Stories can be re-ordered in the backlog list by using the drag and drop method. 

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 Only stories that represent tasks can be broken down. You cannot break down stories that represent issues.

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 to create another story from the original story.
  5. Click Save

Editing Stories

You can edit stories directly from the backlog as you would edit any task within a project in bulk, as described in "Editing Tasks in Bulk" in "Editing Tasks."

When editing tasks in bulk from the agile backlog, you can edit multiple tasks simultaneously, or multiple issues simultaneously; however you cannot edit both a task and an issue simultaneously.

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

  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.
  4. Click New Story.
  5. 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 that this story belongs to, then click the name when it appears in the drop-down list.
    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.
  6. 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.

NOTE Issues are displayed on the backlog only when the team has configured them to be, as described in "Configuring Whether Issues Are Displayed on the Team Backlog" in "Creating and Managing Agile Teams."

  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 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."