Backlog for capabilities


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A backlog is a prioritized list of work for the development team that is derived from the roadmap and its requirements. The most important items are shown at the top of the backlog so the team knows what to deliver first. The development team pulls work from the backlog as there is capacity for it.

You can manage and prioritize the capabilities in the capability backlog. Click a title of a capability to open a slide-out panel with more information about that work item. If the capability contains child features, you can also click the expand arrow Screen_Shot_2020-02-07_at_10.10.49_AM.png next to the capability name to manage and prioritize the features within the capability.


The following controls and progress indicators display at the top of each backlog section when using List, Kanban > State View, and Kanban > Process Flow View view options. For a description of the progress indicators displayed in Kanban > Column View, see the Manage the backlog article:

  • Estimate: Click this button to navigate to the capability estimation page, where you can quickly enter estimates for all capabilities planned in the program and PI.
  • Export: Click this button to export the displayed work items and details into a .csv file.
  • Pull rank: You can use an epic rank to sort capabilities. This option is available only if you have a program, a solution, a program and a PI, or a solution and a PI selected. Otherwise, to prioritize your capabilities, you can drag them to the necessary position. The ranking is disabled if filtering is on.
  • PI Progress: Progress bar that displays the percentage of story points accepted in the PI, when a PI is selected. The bar is calculated as follows:

    ((Sum of level-of-effort (LOE) points for all accepted stories associated to capabilities planned for the program and PI) / (sum of LOE points for all stories associated to capabilities planned for the program and PI)) * 100 = PI Progress

    • Orphan stories (those that do not roll-up to a capability, but are planned in the selected program/PI) are included in this calculation.

    • LOE points from stand-alone features are also included in the calculation, while the stand-alone features are not displayed on the page.
    • Misaligned stories (those assigned to a sprint that does not roll-up to the selected PI) are not included. 

Default fields

The following values display on all capabilities listed on the page, regardless of selections made in the Columns Shown menu:

  • Rank: The number displayed at the far left of a capability's row is the rank of the capability in the selected PI. If no PI is selected, this is the overall rank of the feature for the program or portfolio selected.
  • State: A colored dot displays the state of the capability. Hover over the dot to view the state name.
  • ID: The unique ID number of the capability.
  • Name: The name of the capability.
  • Labels: Use this dropdown to display different information labels on the right of each capability row. You may select either Program or Schedule. You may also select either Parent or Tags:
    • Program. The program the capability belongs to.
    • Schedule. The PI the capability will be delivered in.
    • Parent. The parent of the capability.
    • Tags. Tags that are used to make it easier to find a feature.

Columns shown

The Columns Shown option offers to select which columns to display, providing some level of customization. Columns Shown controls what columns are displayed for two different scenarios:

  • Main View: Displays up to 5 columns on the Backlog page in List View.
  • Small View: Displays up to 2 columns when the Unassigned Backlog slide-out is opened in List View.

For the capability backlog, you can choose to view such columns as Strategic Driver, Dependency, Acceptance Criteria, Age, Blocked, Capitalized, Chat, Child Count, Customers, Investment type, MVP, Owner, Points (an estimate set for a capability), Process Step, Story Point Progress, Story Points (sum of LOE on stories associated with a capability), T-Shirt size, Value, Weeks, WSJF, and Objectives. You can find out more about these columns in the Manage Capabilities topic. 

Additionally, you can select custom fields that you have created for capabilities in Details Panels Settings. Only fields that are set as Active in Details Panels Settings are available for selection as columns in the backlog.


With the available filtering options, you can filter capabilities by state, T-Shirt, theme, title, state, process step, type, value, capitalized, blocked, owner, and MVP.

Quick add

In the backlog, you can quickly add a new capability just above the list of all capabilities.

To add a capability:

  1. In the New Capability Name box, type the title for the capability.
  2. Select the parent for the capability.
  3. Click Add. The capability is automatically prioritized at the bottom of the list and is assigned to a program, team, program increment, or sprint based on where it was added from.

Moreover, you can add child features to a capability. Go to a capability you want to add a feature to, type the feature's name, select its parent, and then click Add.

Right-click menu options

For faster navigation in the backlog, right-click a capability to do the following:

  • Open in new tab. Open the work item in the full-page view in a new tab.
  • Move To Top. Move the work item to the top of the list the work item is contained in.
  • Move To Bottom. Move the work item to the bottom of the list the work item is contained in.
  • Move To Position. Select the place to move the work item to. It is useful when you have a long list and dragging the work item is not convenient.
  • Move To Program Increment. Move the work item to a certain program increment or an unassigned backlog.
  • Move To Recycle Bin. Move the work item to the recycle bin if you no longer need it.
  • Move To Parking Lot. Move the work item to the parking lot to reserve it for later.

Parking lot
The parking lot is used to reserve capabilities that have some issues or unanswered questions to come back to them later. You can find the parking lot at the bottom of the capability list. When you move a capability to the parking lot, you may also choose to move all of its child features to the parking lot in the feature backlog.


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