Agile Portfolio Management in Team Foundation Server 2013

The next Visual Studio and TFS is coming soon (November 2013) but most of TFS features is already there for TFS Service (Cloud)

Agile Portfolio Management is a wonderful feature, it gives the Portfolio or Program Managers all they need to manage multiple projects under one big project.

So what did this feature introduced and how?

This feature introduced by 2 concepts:

  1. The new usage of Areas and PBI (Product Backlog Item) behavior
  2. Features (High Level Requirement of the PBI)
  1. The new usage of Areas and PBI (Product Backlog Item) behavior

Agile Portfolio Management TFS 2013 - 3

In the previous image, we can see that in TFS 2012 (Team Foundation Server 2012), it supported the Management Team or any other naming role that responsible for managing the output of specific team, Management Team will review and monitor the project from team perspective , but it doesn’t provide a Project Perspective which is provided now by TFS 2013 (Team Foundation Server 2013).

  • How this happen?

In the previous version of TFS 2012 (Team Foundation Server 2012) if you just change the state of PBI (Product Backlog Item) to Commit, it will disappear from the Backlog and you will be only able to see it when you access the Team that work on that PBI but you don’t have view all PBIs across multiple teams.

  • How to support this view level?

Create a new team project in my case, I created (Radwan Project), open Web Access and go to Settings, add all the Teams that you want and leave the default team that is created with the project (Radwan Team) it will appear bold to indicate that it is the default team, this team will hold the Portfolio, Program or the high level Managers that they want to see the Project Perspective, see the following image.


Start adding the Portfolio, Program or the high level Managers members to the default team (Radwan Team) and adding the other members to the other teams.

Team Memebers

Go to Areas and start adding your needed areas, I add some modules and each module has two parts, part-1 and part-2, choose areas for each team and choose the default area (Radwan) with sub-areas are included option for the Management team which is the default team (Radwan), so now any requirement added to any area of the project will be available for the Management team, see the following image.


Go to Iterations and start assigning Sprint 1 to all Teams (Default, Team 1, Team 2, Team 3), see the following image.

Sprint to teams

Add your project requirements or  PBI (Product Backlog Item) to your project, assign them to Sprint 1, you will notice that even the committed PBIs not disappeared from the Backlog view, see the following image.

Note: I intend to not adding Features (High Level Requirements) to explain that it is not the one that responsible for the Project Perspective view.


Notice also that the Management team can view the tasks inside the Backlog by choosing View -> Tasks, see the following image.

Task View in TFS 2013

The view also available for the Sprint as well, see the following image.


Assign the PBIs for Teams using the areas let’s be as the following:

  • PBI 1 and PBI 2 for Team 1
  • PBI 3 for Team 2
  • PBI 4, PBI 5 and PBI 6 for Team 3

The following image shows how Team 1 see the Backlog.

Team1 PBIs

The following image shows how  Team 2 see the Backlog.

Team2 PBIs

The following image shows how  Team 3 see the Backlog.

Team3 PBIs

2. Features (High Level Requirement of the PBI)

The Features give ability to manage high level requirements across 2 dimensions (Teams and Sprints), so the Feature can span multiple Teams and multiple Sprints  and we still be able to see how many PBIs completed and how many remaining across Teams and Sprints, see the following image.

Features-Management Team

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