How can we improve Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)?

Customize the columns on the Task Board

- Configure columns on the task board, just as on the Kanban board
- allow to control what workitems should appear on a board (even if not linked to a user story/pbi)
- allow setting of WIP limits per column

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    Robert Atbert shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Enabling users to customer their column on the task board, has been an outstanding wish for us for a long time. A year ago we were planning to pick this one up, but unfortunately we were not able to get to it because of other priorities. We have kept the state of the user voice item as Planned for a long time, as it was always on the edge of being picked up.

    In our latest planning cycle, it is clear that it is still high on our list, but we won’t be able to get to it in the next 3-6 months. In a few months we will have our next planning cycle, and it will be again one of the features that we desperately want to deliver to you. I hope to have better news in a few months. Sorry.

    Ewald Hofman
    Program Manager

    107 comments

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      • Aniek V commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Could you provide an update regarding this topic? We are looking forward to this feature!

      • markl.nz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Kristian, the only way currently to add columns on the board is to customise the process template. As the process is applied at a project level, that's the most granular you can get. You can't customise at a team level.

        If you modify the process that is in use on a given project, it should apply to all teams in that project.

      • Kristan Breedon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Or failing that, cascade the column changes in the process from project down to all teams within a project?

      • markl.nz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Sami yes, if you read the whole thread you'll see that's been mentioned already a couple of times.

        However, this is a stop gap solution for a number of reasons. The mere fact that you can do this is not obvious. The functionality for add states is not accessible directly from the board, where other board settings are, and I think it really should be - similar to swim lanes and added columns on the Kanban board. Also, when you add a state for one work item type you (e.g. task) you have to also add that state to other work item types that might share the same board (e.g. bug) and ensure that both WITs share the same set of states, in the same order, or you're going to have trouble figuring out what's happening on your board. Also, adding states to the process is really very rudimentary currently, as you cannot do things like restrict state transitions, set fields on state changes, etc.

        All in all, it's possible, but it's an unsatisfactory mess, and clearly, a proper solution to this would be a very popular enhancement.

      • Sami commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Guys, you can customize the task board by changing the process and customizing the task states. It is easy.

      • Gary Pritchard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why do I need to see columns on the Task board for which tasks cannot be allocated. If I can't drag and drop into a state why does it exist on the board.

        Go take a look at Trello guys. They make it easy for teams to customer the look and feel. They don't have the complexity of VSTS but allowing a simpler model for those who need it is a feature you should add.

      • markl.nz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @JohnC Yep, that's been pointed out several times already. Still is a bit of a hokey fix as the process does not enforce restrictions well in that model, making it a ******, more manual approach than many would like.

      • Das. N. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes its really necessary to implement please do that ASAP.

        there is one issue,i am not sure how some of the iterations already having the customized column after migrating to TFS 2015.

        Could any one help if possible, where customized columns are stored in Database so that after editing in Database at least i will be able to fulfill the requirement.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi, this feature has been outstanding since (the earliest I can track) 2013. Please take it off your radar if you are not going to implement this. Not having the ability to customize the column names on an iteration board is so disabling that I am actually looking at moving away from TFS as a whole.

      • Shubham Srivastava commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When can we expect this change to happen? Any expected dates around this feature, so that I can accordingly communicate to my customer, who is eagerly looking forward for this feature.

      • Mark Lawrence commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Dave are you talking about the fact that it adds columns when you add custom states to your work items? If so, that's already been mentioned, and it has drawbacks. I think most people find it not obvious how to do it, nor is it as flexible as they need.

      • Dave commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can show you how to do this. The functionality is there. DM me if you need more details

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