Jeroen Swart

.NET Architect

TFS Scrumboard

One of the things I'm missing in Team Foundation, is an easy way to prioritize and plan workitems (user stories, tasks, bugs, etc.). The easiest way right now, is to open a workitem query in excel and edit the priority of each workitem. But that's not really easy. You need to change the priority field, making sure to provide a correct value that will put the workitem in the right position priority-wise. If you managed to pick the correct values, you need to sort the workitems; which is a manual action.

I would like to be able to drag & drop workitems in the correct position in the list. I don't care about the exact value of the priority field. I only care about the order in which the workitems show when they are sorted by priority. I would also like to be able to easily plan workitems, by moving workitems into (or out of) a specific iteration path. In my case that would be the product backlog and several sprint backlogs, but the functionality should be applicable to all process templates. Finally, I would like to have some sort of status- or scrumboard. Each possible status for workitems is a column on the board and each workitem is represented by some form of card. By moving a workitem card into a specific column, the status of that workitems changes accordingly. We use physical (white)boards, with a recent print-out of the sprint burndown in some corner, but they are of course not connected to TFS.

I did some research on how to build such functionality and, especially, on how to integrate it into TFS Web Access and/or Sharepoint. I quickly found that TFS Web Access would be the easiest way, for me at least :-P. Last month I started a project on codeplex: TFS Scrumboard. Below is a short description and a screenshot.

Project Description
TFS Scrumboard is an extension to TFS 2010 Web Access, providing easy planning and managing of workitem progress.

TFS Scrumboard is build (in C#) as an extension to TFS 2010 Web Access. It is designed to be used in scrum projects, using one of the many scrum process templates available. I use my own custom scrum process template, to support the way we do scrum projects, but no dependency on any kind of process template is assumed.

When installed, TFS Scrumboard provides two extra tabs in TFS Web Access: Planning and Tasks.

The Planning tab is meant for planning and prioritizing workitems. It shows the product backlog and each sprint backlog on the left side, and the workitems in a selected (product/sprint) backlog on the right side. A workitem can be planned by moving it to (dropping it on) a specific sprint backlog or removed from planning by moving it to the product backlog. A workitem can be prioritized by dragging-and-dropping it in the desired position inside a (product/sprint) backlog.

The Tasks tab is meant for managing the progress of workitems during a sprint. It shows vertical swimminglanes which represents one or more statusses of the workitems in a specific sprint. The status of a workitem can be changed by dragging-and-dropping it in the desired swimminglane. A workitem can be prioritized by dragging-and-dropping it in the desired position (vertically).


  • Planning work items, by dragging-and-dropping them into a specific (product or sprint) backlog
  • Prioritizing work items, by dragging-and-dropping them into the desired order
  • Manage sprint progress, by dragging-and-dropping them into the corresponding swimminglane
  • Print workitem cards, to be used on a RL scrumboard (if possible with a link back to TFS, using a camera, some form of (RFID?) tags or (2D?) barcodes)


Comments (2) -

  • Louis Pellerin

    7/18/2011 8:45:46 AM |

    Sounds an awful lot like Urban Turtle! Urban Turtle is the definitive Scrum experience in Team Foundation Server 2010. If you want Agile project management in Visual Studio ALM right now, stop by and request your free trial.

    • Jeroen

      7/20/2011 8:50:36 AM |

              We, from Urban Turtle, advise Urban Turtle... I get it Wink.

              From what I can tell from the demo video and the feature list, it does look a lot like what I want to achieve. I'm only wondering how our projects will look on the board, since our user stories, tasks & bugs have about 12 statuses. For that reason I want swimming lanes with a grouping function, like greenhopper has.

              It's probably pointless anyway. Last week I had a short preview of TFS vNext and it will have this kind of functionality build in...

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