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Effort, schedules, and time tracking field reference

You use the fields described in this topic to track estimated, completed, and remaining work for a backlog item, bug, or task and to report on the progress toward completing tasks. By tracking work, you gain more detailed insight into which user stories, requirements, or backlog items are almost finished and what the team burn rate is. Several reports and dashboards provide charts that display the data that these fields contain.

You specify the level of effort for the tasks that you are assigned. For more information about how to track work, see Work in sprints.

The following table describes the fields that you can use to track work. This information is tracked only for task work items. For information about data types and default field attributes, see Define and modify work item fields.

Field name

Description

Reference name

Data type

Default value of the reportable type attribute

Default value of the index attribute

Activity

The type of activity that is required to perform a task. (Agile and Scrum process templates)

Allowed values (See note 1):

  • Deployment

  • Design

  • Development

  • Documentation

  • Requirements

  • Testing

Note Note

This field is also used to calculate capacity by activity. It is assigned to type="Activity" in the ProcessConfiguration file. (2)

Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Activity

String

Dimension

False

Completed Work

The amount of work that has been spent implementing a task. You can specify work in hours or in days. There are no inherent time units associated with this field.

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.CompletedWork

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Discipline

The type of activity or discipline that is assigned to a task. (CMMI process template)

Allowed values (1):

  • Analysis

  • Development

  • Test

  • User Education

  • User Experience

Note Note

This field is also used to calculate capacity by activity. It is assigned to type="Activity" in the ProcessConfiguration file. (2)

Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Discipline

String

Dimension

False

Due Date

The forecasted due date for an issue to be resolved. (Agile process template only)

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.DueDate

DateTime

Dimension

False

Target Date

The date by which a feature should be completed. (Feature work item type)

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.TargetDate

DateTime

Dimension

False

Effort

A subjective unit of measure that captures the size of a bug or product backlog item. If you assign more effort to an item, you indicate that more work is required to implement it. (Scrum process template only)

This field is also used to calculate team velocity and forecasting. It is assigned to type="Effort" in the CommonConfiguration file. (2, 3)

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.Effort

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Story Points

A subjective unit of measure that captures the size of a user story. If you assign more points to a user story, you indicate that more work is required to implement it. (Agile process template only)

This field is also used to calculate team velocity and forecasting. It is assigned to type="Effort" in the ProcessConfiguration file. (2, 3)

Microsoft.VSTS. Scheduling.StoryPoints

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Size

A subjective unit of measure that captures the size of a requirement. The larger the size, the more work is required to implement it. (CMMI process template only)

This field is also used to calculate team velocity and forecasting. It is assigned to type="Effort" in the ProcessConfiguration file. (2, 3)

Microsoft.VSTS. Scheduling.Size

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Original Estimate

The amount of work required to complete a task. You can specify work in hours or in days. There are no inherent time units associated with this field. (Agile and CMMI process templates)

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.OriginalEstimate

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Remaining

The amount of work that remains to finish a task. You can specify work in hours or in days. There are no inherent time units associated with this field.

This field is also used to calculate burn down. It is assigned to type="RemainingWork" in the ProcessConfiguration file. (2)

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.RemainingWork

Double

Measure, Sum

False

Task Type

Specifies the kind of task to implement. (CMMI process template)

Allowed values (1):

  • Corrective Action

  • Mitigation Action

  • Planned

Microsoft.VSTS.CMMI.TaskType

String

Dimension

False

Notes:

  1. To change the menu selection, see Customize a pick list (drop down menu) [redirected].

  2. To change the field assignment, see Configure and customize Agile planning tools for a team project.

    Note: The values displayed in the Agile planning tool Capacity page reflect a union of all values defined for the field in all team projects within the project collection instance. Therefore, to restrict the values that appear for Capacity on the sprint backlog pages, you must make the values match in all the team projects for the field assigned to type="Activity".

  3. For additional guidance, see the white paper about Estimating.

The following table lists fields that are calculated if you create a project plan in Microsoft Project and then synchronize that plan with tasks that are stored in TFS. These fields do not appear on the work item form, but they are calculated for those backlog items and tasks that are linked to backlog items. You can view their read-only values in results from a query or from Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. For more information, see Create your backlog and tasks using Project.

Field name

Description

Reference name

Data type

Default value of the reportable type attribute

Default value of the index attribute

Finish Date

The date and time when the schedule indicates that the task will be completed.

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.FinishDate

DateTime

Dimension

False

Start Date

The date and time when the schedule indicates that the task will start.

Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.StartDate

DateTime

Dimension

False

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