Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a view to see features assigned to releases and sprints, part of Agile Project Management with Microsoft Project.
- As you manage the product backlog, it's helpful to see the releases and sprints that features are assigned to. That way, you can take their feature points and priorities into account when you assign features to sprints. We're gonna create this new view using the feature list view as a foundation. I'm already on the View tab, so I'm gonna click the bottom half of the Gantt Chart button, and on the drop-down menu, choose Save View. Because I have a custom view displayed, there are two options in the Save View dialog box.
The first one is to update the current view with a new definition. But we wanna save a new view, so I'm gonna keep that second option, Save as a New View, selected, and in the name box, I just type the name of the New View. And we're gonna call it Product Backlog. When I click OK, I see the View Name change over on the left side of the screen. Also, if I click the Tables button, up on the View tab, I now have a new custom table, Product Backlog Table 1.
As it turns out, the table is fine as it is. I don't have to make any changes to it. Before we go any further with customizing the view, though, let's add some placeholder values for release and sprint numbers. I'm gonna start by changing the Release Number for the very first feature to 99. Now why do I do that? I'm gonna use 99 as a code that says this feature is not assigned to a release.
I'm gonna do the same thing for the Sprint Number. I click the Sprint Number cell for that first feature and I'm gonna change that to 99. This feature is not assigned to either a release or a sprint. Well I wanna copy those values across all of the other features, so we're gonna start with all of them unassigned. To do that, I can drag across those first two cells and then point at the green box down at the bottom right corner. When I do that, the cursor changes to a plus sign, and that's the cue that you can drag down to copy those values across all the other cells.
Well that was easy. All of my features are unassigned. Let's go back up and now we're gonna assign those first two to Release number 1 and Sprint number 1. All we have to do is select that first cell for Release Number and type the number 1. And do the same thing in the Sprint Number cell for that feature. Then you can do the same thing in row 2 for Validate address. Type a 1 to assign it to Release Number 1, and type a 1 in the Sprint Number cell to assign it to Sprint Number 1 in that release.
I'm also gonna add feature points for these two features. In the first Feature Point cell, I'll type 5 for 5 points. And then Validate address, well I'm gonna make that 3. Now that we have those values in place, we can go ahead and finish up creating our view. What we wanna do is we wanna group the features by release and sprint. And to do that, you guessed it, we have to create a group. We're already on the View tab.
We can head to the Group By box and click the down arrow. On the drop-down menu, choose New Group By. That opens up the Group Definitions dialog box. I'm gonna give it a name, and we'll call it Release and Sprint. I type that in the name box, and then I can head down to the first Group By row. Well what do we want to group by first? The releases, those are the bigger chunks of the project. I click that Field Name cell, and I can start to type in Release number.
As soon as I see the field in the Field Name cell, I can move down to the second row, the Then By row, and choose the field for the second group, which of course is Sprint Number. Well once I have my two fields in place, you'll notice that the order is set to ascending, which is what I want. I wanna see Release Number 1 before Release Number 2. And also within the releases, I wanna see Sprint Number 1 before 2 or 3.
Go ahead and click Apply. Now I can see I have one group for Release Number 1, and a single subgroup underneath it for Sprint Number 1 with my two features that I've assigned to that release and sprint. But if you head over to the Feature Points column, there's a bit of a problem. What I really wanna see is the numbers for those two assigned features showing up in the summary row for Sprint Number 1.
There's no value here, and what we wanna see is we wanna see the velocity for the sprint to make sure that it reflects the velocity that we need to complete the project on time. We just forgot to set something up in the Feature Points field. The easiest way to get to that field to correct that problem, right-click the heading for Feature Points. On the shortcut menu, choose Custom Fields. That's gonna open up the Custom Fields dialog box and automatically select feature points.
Well it turns out, what we missed was the Rollup. In the Calculation for task and group summary rows section, you wanna select the Rollup option, and then in the drop-down list, choose Sum. That way it's gonna add up all the feature points for the assigned features up into the summary row. Go ahead and click OK, and we'll see if this fixes the problem. Yes it does. Now when I look at the summary row for the sprint number, I see that the feature points that have been assigned is equal to 8.
If you have your project set up so that your planned velocity for a sprint is 10 points, then this sprint has room for more features. That's how you view your product backlog to make managing the backlog easier.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Setting project options
- Defining working time
- Setting up custom fields and views
- Creating tasks
- Assigning features to sprints
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Tracking progress
- Generating a burndown report