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Backlog in Azure DevOps

The backlog is a list of work items that you intend to complete or are already working on. Backlogs aid in project scope control and offer effective communication and cooperation throughout the software development lifecycle. The work item types in the backlog are determined by the process used.

The processes and their work item types:

  • Agile: User Stories, Features, and Epics.
  • Basic: Issues and Epics.
  • Scrum: Backlog items, Features, and Epics.
  • CMMI: Requirements, Features, and Epics.

Also, you can customize your backlogs with custom work item types.

Backlog in Agile

In Agile methodology, The backlog is your project plan, outlining what your team wants to deliver. You can add user stories, backlog items, or requirements to it. When you create a project or a team the backlog is created automatically.

Agile process backlog work items:

  • Epic: large unit of work that broken down to smaller manageable tasks or user stories.
  • Feature: to capture customer features you want to ship
  • User stories: to break down features into work to develop. 
  • Tasks: developers break down their work as needed
  • Bug: to capture code defects

Work items hierarchy:

  • Epic --> Feature --> User Story --> Tasks
  • Bug --> Task
  • Each team can configure how to manage Bugs and it is at the same level as User stories or Tasks.

How to add work items to the backlog?


  1. Sign in to your project in Azure DevOps
  2. Select Boards then Backlogs. 
  3. Check that you selected Stories for Agile as the backlog level. 
  4. To add a work item, select New Work Item and enter a title, in Agile backlog by default, a user story will be created.
  5. Double-click on the item to add all the information such as a description or make a note in the Discussion section. You can also add an attachment. 
  6. Select Save and Close.

For more information check: Use backlogs to manage projects

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