Viewing the Backlog


The backlog displays all of the work in your project that has not been completed. Items can't be directly edited in the backlog grid, but you can use the preview pane instead. You can export the current items in your backlog using the Export button and show/hide fields from the work items using the Edit Columns button. 


Viewing Modes


There are three ways to view the backlog: Flat, Hierarchical and Prioritizing. Each mode has advantages depending on what you are trying to accomplish. You can change the view using the group of toggle buttons at the top of the backlog view.
Backlog ToggleViewsenlarge screenshot

  • Flat: The flat view displays all work in a basic grid view. This mode makes it easy to estimate and compare individual work items. You can group and sort work in the flat view. For example, grouping by Type or sorting by Priority can be especially useful.
    Backlog Flatenlarge screenshot
  • Hierarchical: The hierarchical view displays the work using any existing parent-child relationships where appropriate. This mode makes it easier to estimate work organized into a hierarchy. Grouping is not allowed in hierarchical view.
    Backlog Hierarchyenlarge screenshot
  • Prioritizing: The prioritizing view displays the work in a specific order. This mode allows prioritizing work by moving the individual work items up or down using drag and drop. The order is saved to the database and new work is added to the bottom of the list. Grouping and sorting are not allowed in prioritizing view.
    Backlog Prioritizingenlarge screenshot 


Previewing Work using the Preview Pane


The preview pane can be used to view and edit information about the current item selected in the backlog list. The preview pane can be shown or hidden via buttons along the top of the backlog list.  If you don't have permission to edit the selected item, the preview pane will be read-only.
Backlog PreviewPaneenlarge screenshot


You can use the splitter control found between the backlog list and the preview pane to re-size the window as desired. You can also double-click the splitter to hide or show the pane in the same manner as clicking the buttons.
Backlog GridSplitterenlarge screenshot


Changes to the data in the preview pane will be saved and reflected in the backlog list. The actual fields displayed will vary depending on the type of item selected in the backlog list.  For full access to all properties and features for an item, open the full edit view by clicking on it's icon at the far left of the row.


Story Preview

Backlog StoryPreviewenlarge screenshot 


Bug Preview

 Backlog BugPreviewenlarge screenshot


Risk Preview

 Backlog RiskPreviewenlarge screenshot


Issue Preview

 Backlog IssuePreviewenlarge screenshot


Filtering The Backlog


You can filter your backlog in many different ways. You can use the

  1. Grid column filters
  2. Iteration filters
  3. Area filters
  4. Status filter
  5. Tag filter
  6. Type filter
  7. The search box


On that screen you can apply predefined filtering views that have been previously saved by you or other team members - read more.

For more information about using and customizing the filtering options, see the detailed section about filtering.



Below the Filters is located Assignments section, where lists of areas and iterations are displayed.  The assignments area can be used to quickly assign all selected backlog items to the desired area or iteration, helping you organize your backlog.  You must have permission to edit all of the selected items to use the assignments pane.


 Backlog Assignmentenlarge screenshot 

Backlog AssignmentButtonenlarge screenshot