Creating project plans

You can create different types of plans for a project, depending on the template your project uses. For the Formal Project Management process, you can choose from the release plan and iteration plan. For the Scrum process, you can choose from product backlog, release backlog, and sprint backlog. Both templates support creating a cross-project plan.

Before you begin

Before you create a plan, create a project area that contains at least one timeline and iteration. The process area (a team or project) that a plan is associated with must be associated to a work item category. You must have permission to save a plan. For more information about permissions, see Modifying permissions.
Note: In the Scrum process template, a release plan is called a release backlog, and the iteration plan is called a sprint backlog.

About this task

You can create a plan for either a project area or a team area. Generally, you create a plan for a project area if you have a small team.
Note: If you do not associate a team area with a work item category because you have not created any team areas, the project area is associated with the work item category.


  1. In the Team Artifacts view, expand a project area and the Plans folder.
    Your team's plans are in the My Current Plans folder. Current iteration plans of other teams are shown in the Current Plans folder.
  2. Right-click a folder and click New > Plan.
  3. In the New Plan window, type a name for the plan, and select a plan type.
  4. In the Owner field, select a project or team area.
  5. If the plan is for project area, select a timeline and an iteration. If the plan is for team area, select a team area and an iteration.
  6. Optional: Open the Advanced Options section.
    1. Change the plan type if needed.
    2. Select Always load all execution items to also display all items (both plan items and execution items) from child team areas and past iterations. If this option is not selected, only the plan items from current and future iterations in the project or team area are displayed.
      Important: If you mark an iteration as complete, all the previous iterations are marked as complete also. The query does not check the actual dates of individual work items to determine if they extend past the date of the end of the iteration. Therefore, when you open a previous iteration, no work items appear. To view all work items, click Always load all execution items in the plan page, and all the work items for that iteration appear. If this option is not selected, only the plan items from current and future iterations in the project or team area are displayed.
  7. Click Next.
  8. To add the work items to the plan from the Work Items template, in the Available Templates list, select a template and click Finish.


Plans open in the web client only. You can choose to open plans in an internal or external browser by setting the web browser preferences in the Eclipse client. For more information, see Web Browser preferences in the Eclipse documentation. When you open plans in the Eclipse client, you see this message:

Message for when a plan is opened in the web client.

What to do next

Tip: You can delete plans from the Team Artifacts view. From your project, open the All Plans folder, right click the plan, and then click Delete (Delete).