Defining required and implied attributes

You can customize a project area or a team area to require that users provide values for specific attributes. You can specify different required fields for each work item type.

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You can also use the implied attributes feature to set the Owner field of a work item to a specific value depending on the type of action a user takes.

By default, the required attributes and implied attributes that you set for a project area apply to the team areas that belong to that project area. You can specify different required attribute and implied attribute settings for each team area.


  1. Open the Operation Behavior page:
    1. In the Team Artifacts view of the Work Items perspective, right-click the project area and select Open.
    2. Click the Process Configuration tab.
    3. Expand Project Configuration > Team Configuration, and then click Operation Behavior.
    Alternatively, open the Team Area page. In the Process Customization section, click Customize the process, and then select Operation Behavior.
  2. In the Operation Behavior grid, the rows identify operations and the column headings identify roles. Add a precondition for the Save Work Item operation:
    1. In the Save Work Item row, click in the cell for the role to which you want the precondition to apply.
      For example, to have the precondition apply to all roles, click in the Everyone cell.
    2. Set Preconditions and follow-up actions are configured for this operation.
    3. In the Preconditions section, click Add.
    4. Select a precondition and click OK.
  3. Customize the precondition:
    1. Select the precondition you want to customize, then select the category, type, or state for which you want to set required attributes.
      • To have the precondition apply to all states in a work item type or work item type category, select the type or type category.
      • To have the precondition apply to only certain states, expand the work item type category or work item type and select a state. For example, you might require users to enter values in the Owned By and Planned For fields for the In Progress state.
    2. Click Edit.
    3. Select the required attributes, and then click OK.
    4. Optionally, set required attributes for additional states.
      For the Implied Attributes precondition, configure dependent attributes that will be automatically cleared or set to a specific value when a work item is saved after one of the following changes:
      • The team area changes
      • A user starts working on a work item
      • A user resolves a work item
      For the specified changes, select a category or type, then click Edit to customize the changes that are made when the work item is saved.
    5. Click Apply changes.
  4. Click Save to save your changes to the project area or team area.