Lesson 5: Track progress by using queries

In the last lesson, you logged on as a team member to view your workload. In this lesson, you log on as the scrum leader to check the project status.

About this task

Queries provide a flexible way to track work. You can use several predefined queries, and you can create your own queries.


  1. In the Login window, log on as the scrum leader by typing marco in both the User ID and Password fields.
  2. Return to the project dashboard: from the menu, click Project Dashboards, and in the Recent Dashboards section, click your project name.
  3. Create a query that finds all of the backlogged stories:
    1. From the menu, click Work Items, and then click Create Query.
    2. Add the first condition for the query by clicking the Add Condition icon Add Condition.
    3. In the Add Condition window, from the list, select Type, and then click Add attribute condition.
    4. In the Type window, click Story.
    5. Add a second condition by clicking Planned for, and then clicking Add attribute Condition.
    6. In the Planned For window, click Product Backlog.
    7. Optional: Change the layout of the query results by changing the Column Display tab.
    8. Type a name for the query, and click Save.

      New query

    9. Run the query and display the results by clicking Run.

      Stories in product backlog query results

  4. Use predefined queries to monitor activity. The predefined queries are useful to prepare for the daily scrum meeting.
    1. From the menu, click Work Items, and then click Shared Queries.
    2. View the tasks that were updated most recently: from the list, select Recently Modified. This list shows who has reported progress lately and who has not.

      Recently Modified query results

  5. Use burndown reports to track the progress of work and view work history. The Product (Release) Burndown report is useful to track overall project progress. The Sprint Burndown report is useful for seeing how work is progressing for the sprint.
    1. View the Release Burndown report:
      1. From the menu, click Reports, and then click Shared Reports.
      2. In the Work Items section, click Release Burndown. This report displays the Story Points that remain at the beginning of each sprint and the total amount of planned work:

        Release burndown report

        Each dot represents the start of an iteration. The height of the line represents the total story points of the open story work items. Each dot includes the work items that are planned for any of the iterations, not only the iteration that is starting. Therefore, the value represents the amount of work that remains in the release, not the iteration.

    2. View the Sprint Burndown report:
      1. Click Shared Reports.
      2. In the Work Items section, click Burndown to run the report. If all of your team members update their work items, the line trends closer to zero work that is remaining, as work is completed. The burndown rate must always be easily visible to all.

        sprint burndown report

        This report plots the remaining backlog of work in terms of the time that is estimated to complete it. Agile development methodologies such as Scrum use a burndown to plot the daily progress toward the end of a sprint. Ideally, the chart shows a trend toward zero hours of remaining work as the sprint nears its end. The calculation includes work items that are open, in progress, and that have a specified estimate.

        The dotted blue line indicates the burndown, or remaining work in hours. The thin gray line indicates the planned work, or the sum of the remaining work and the completed work. The Ideal line indicates what an ideal iteration looks like, with a steady burndown from the beginning to the end of the iteration. The Ideal line uses the initial data point for planned work as its starting point. The Expected Complete line is a forward-looking plot from the current state of the burndown line to the end of the sprint. That line indicates the required rate of work if the iteration is to complete successfully.
        Tip: A burndown trend that does not approach zero might indicate unrealistic planning estimates.
  6. Add widgets to the project dashboard so that you can review status quickly. For instance, add the Release Burndown report widget:
    1. From the menu, click Project Dashboards, and then click your project name.
    2. On the far right side of the dashboard, click the Add Widget icon Add Widget.
    3. In the Select Category section on the left, click Work Items.
    4. Scroll through the widgets to find the Release Burndown widget, and then click Add Widget.

      Add widget to dashboard

    5. Click Save, and then click Close icon Close. The widget is added to the upper left of the dashboard.
    6. Optional: Organize the dashboard by dragging widgets.