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What are the implications of the different work item types?

Unknown User (2729) | asked Jun 23 '15, 9:28 a.m.

    We have imported all work items, tagging all work items as “tasks” for the sake of simplicity.

What are the differences between the work item types (task, activity, story, risk, etc.)? Can you provide me an overview or better a hierarchy with the work item types?  What are the implications of choosing one or the other type? How does this affect the work item tracking or the issue tracking?

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Ralph Schoon (63.0k33645) | answered Jun 23 '15, 9:47 a.m.

Which you have is dependent on your process template. If you have scrum it it pretty dependent on that process.

 Please see

There is basically one difference between work item types, if they are configured as top level work item type or not. Not means execution item and they have estimation information, the others can have a complexity.

Story and Epic are available as top level by default and are used as basic top level items in panning. Typically

Epic (Stuff you can't do in an iteration)
-> Story (Stuff you should be able to do in one iteration)
     -> Tasks, defects (Stuff you actually do to finish a story)   

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Geoffrey Clemm (30.1k33035) | answered Jun 23 '15, 8:55 p.m.
The main difference between work item types is their schema, i.e. what properties are defined for that work item type, and how those properties are displayed in the various "editors" defined for a work item type.   Another important difference is what states and state transitions are defined for the State property of the work item type.   To investigate this in more detail, see the on-line help, or open up the Process tab for a project area.

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