Promoting a PBI to a Feature (Epic)

For Scrum Teams using TFS 2013 to create and manage their Product Backlog, they may want to take advantage of the new Agile Portfolio. This “higher level” backlog allows a team or organization to plan and track initiatives, features, epics, etc. The term “Feature” is the default, but with on-premises TFS, you can customize this.

Recently, a team I was working with renamed Feature to Epic, and then wanted to “promote” several of their current PBI work items to Epics. I supported this decision, because it helps keep the Product Backlog “pure” – only containing items than can actually be developed. I wrote a script to create Epics which were basically copies of the respective PBIs. Part of this script was to set the original PBI to the Removed state, but I wanted to add a new reason that was more meaningful than “Removed from the backlog”.

Step 1 – I edited the Product Backlog Item work item type definition to add a new Reason …

<TRANSITION from=”Approved” to=”Removed”>
<REASONS>
<DEFAULTREASON value=”Removed from the backlog” />
<REASON value=”Promoted to Epic”/>
</REASONS>
</TRANSITION>

Step 2 – I removed the ReadOnly=”True” attribute from the respective Control (if necessary) …

<Control Type=”FieldControl” FieldName=”System.Reason” LabelPosition=”Left” Label=”Reason” ReadOnly=”True”/>

After importing the updated WITD and refreshing the page, I get the capability I want …

PromotedToEpic

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