It's all about the answers!

Ask a question

Creating a new plan mode that excludes epics but not stories

Clayton Coleman (131) | asked Oct 30 '09, 1:06 p.m.
Using the Agile planning template in RTC 2.0 I have a sprint backlog plan for my current iteration. We've found it helpful (when not using epics) to have the sprint backlog show stories + tasks in the tree view. As a team everyone can see the relative prioritization of the stories, who they are assigned to, and what the status is. It's most useful for the scrum master, but individual developers often want to know when they have two tasks which story is more important and where each story is in terms of tasks being completed so they can help drive items to completion.

Enter epics. We recently started aggregating our stories under epics to better track the distribution of focus in our release. So now almost all of our stories are assigned as children of an epic thus allowing the epics to neatly roll up the story points assigned to each child. For the team backlog plan this works great - the epics are assigned to the release iteration and stories are moved into individual iterations. The iteration plan mode for the team backlog shows the relative ordering of the stories for each iteration which we handle during our scrum planning, so everyone knows what order we're executing in.

However, epics wreak havoc (metaphorically speaking) upon the sprint backlog view. Whereas before we would see the story prioritization AND tasks AND completion state in the sprint backlog tree view, now the epics also appear and their hierarchy removes the prioritization of the stories.

Is it possible to customize the plan (via simple process configuration or via an extension) to exclude epics from tree views in the sprint backlog? Could we create a new view style beyond "Tree" called "Tree w/ top level planning" and deploy that on the server? Is there any documentation related to that sort of extensibility?

We wouldn't want to change the "user story" work item type to be an execution type - it's definitely planning. It's really about seeing only the lowest level planning type work item (user stories) in the sprint backlog.

Be the first one to answer this question!

Register or to post your answer.

Dashboards and work items are no longer publicly available, so some links may be invalid. We now provide similar information through other means. Learn more here.