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What's new in planning and tracking

With the release of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013, several new features were added to support planning and tracking projects. They include portfolio backlogs, persistent task boards, team rooms, chart query results, and Git for version control.

By installing TFS 2013 Update 2, you gain access to these new features and enhancements:

Feature area



Charting query results and team home page

  • Customize the colors in query-based charts.

  • Pin a query-based chart to the team home page.

  • Several enhancements made to the look and feel of the team home page.

Customize agile planning tools

  • Configure the start date of the Cumulative Flow Diagram.

  • Configure non-working days through TWA. Non-working days are now excluded from burndown charts.

For details, see Configure and customize Agile planning tools for a team project.

Shared Parameter

Shared Parameter, a new work item type (WIT), supports converting and defining sets of shared parameters to support running tests with different data.

Run the configure features wizard to add the Shared Parameter WIT to your existing team projects.

With portfolio backlogs, you can define a hierarchy of backlogs to understand the scope of work across several teams and see how that work rolls up into broader initiatives.

Portfolio backlog with features and backlog items

Each team project is configured with one level of portfolio backlog using the Feature work item type. In addition, you can configure up to four additional levels of portfolio backlogs, In total, this provides you with seven levels from the top-level portfolio backlog to task.

Conceptual image of 5 levels of portfolio backlog

To access portfolio backlogs from an upgraded team project, you must configure them using the Configure Features wizard. Access to portfolio backlogs requires full access.

To learn more, see Work with portfolio backlogs and Add a backlog to Agile portfolio management.

You can now review the task board and burndown charts for sprints that have been completed.

Persistent task board and burndown chart

This enhancement, in addition to Agile portfolio backlogs, introduced a few changes to the navigation structure in Team Web Access (TWA).

Team rooms provide an area for fostering and capturing communication among team members, both near and far. Teams can discuss work in progress, ask questions, share status, and clarify issues that arise in real time.

Team room with messages and links to events

A team room is automatically configured for each team. In addition, team rooms can be created to serve ad hoc discussion groups and cross-group collaboration.

By using the team room instead of email threads, you automatically receive an audit trail of conversations and decisions. By reviewing the archive, you can quickly catch up with the team when you’ve been away or in a different time zone. This feature requires full access.

You can quickly view the status of work in progress by charting the results of a flat-list query. You can create several types of charts—such as pie, bar, column, or stacked column—for the same query and share them with your team. Creating charts requires full access. All team members can view charts created for shared queries.

Charts page for flat list query showing four charts

You can now create team projects that use Git for the version control system. You can also use Visual Studio with Git to work in a repository that’s hosted on another Git service such as CodePlex or GitHub.

Changes page in Team Explorer

Also, from Team Explorer, you can quickly switch context to other team projects that you’re connected to using the new Connect page.

Connect page, lists two connected team projects

And, Team Explorer now lists the solutions in your workspace. You can select the solution you want to work on and switch between them easily.

Open a solution from the Team Explorer Home page

Plus, you can Undock undock the Pending Changes, Changeset Details, and Shelveset Details pages from Team Explorer and open them in new windows.

To learn more, see What's new in version control.

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