Backlog for features


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


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:

  • Export: Click this button to export the displayed work items and details into a .csv file.
  • Pull rank: If you have a program or a program and a PI selected, you can use a parent rank to sort features. You can also push the backlog rank to or pull ranking from a connected external Jira system when a program is selected and the PI is set to All time (or None if you’re using the old navigation). Otherwise, to prioritize your features, you can drag them in the backlog to the necessary position. 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 features planned for the program and PI) / (sum of LOE points for all stories associated to features planned for the program and PI)) * 100 = PI Progress

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

    • Misaligned stories (those assigned to a sprint that does not roll-up to the selected PI) are not included.

  • Program PI Velocity: The average number of level-of-effort points accepted by the program in the previous two PIs. This value displays when a program and program increment are selected. Click the gear icon to override a program’s PI velocity.
  • Feature Estimate: The sum of estimate values from each feature's Details panel, for all features planned in the selected program and PI. The total is displayed in story points, team weeks, or member weeks, depending on the estimation method selected in platform administration settings.
  • Estimate: Click this button to navigate to the feature estimation page, where you can quickly enter estimates for all features planned in the program and PI.

Default fields

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

  • Rank: The number displayed at the far left of a feature’s row is the rank of the feature 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 feature. Hover over the dot to view the state name.
  • ID: The unique ID number of the feature.
  • Name: The name of the feature.
  • Labels: Use this dropdown to display different information labels on the right of each feature row. You may select either Program or Schedule. You may also select either Parent or Tags:
    • Program: The program the feature belongs to.
    • Schedule: The PI the feature will be delivered in.
    • Parent: The parent of the feature.
    • 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 feature backlog, you can choose to view columns like Product, Business Driver, Functional Area, Portfolio Ask, Start/Initiation, Target Completion, Dependency, Acceptance Criteria, Age, Approach, Blocked, Budget, Capitalized, Category, Chat, Child Count, Customers, Jira Projects, MMF, Owner, Points (points set in the Points field on a feature), Process Step, Release Vehicle, Source, Status (current health set in the Status column for features with a parent capability/epic. or on the status reports for stand-alone features), Story Point Progress, Story Points (number of story points tied to a feature), Tag, T-Shirt Size, Type, Team Weeks or Member Weeks (depending on the settings configured), WSJF, and Objectives. 

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

You can find out more about these columns in the Manage features topic.


With the available filtering options, you can filter features by theme, type, capitalized, state, blocked, process step, owner, business driver, T-Shirt, MMF, tag, epic/capability, and approach.

Quick add

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

To add a feature:

  1. In the New Feature Name box, type the title for the feature.
  2. Select the parent for the feature.
  3. Click Add. The feature 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 stories to a feature. Go to a feature you want to add a story to, type the story's name, set its LOE, and then click Add.

Right-click menu options

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

  • Open in new tab. Open the work item in the full-page view in a new tab.
  • Duplicate. Copy the existing work item. You need to type a new name for the duplicate work item. The name must be unique. The work item is added to the bottom of the list and assigned to the same team and program increment/sprint that the original work item is assigned to.
  • 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
Parking lot is used to reserve features that have some issues or unanswered questions to come back to them later. You can find the parking lot at the bottom of the feature list. 

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