Backlog item life cycle

Working with backlog items – user stories and defects – in Agile Manager can include the following main steps.

Select a box to jump to more details in the table below.

For additional details on each step, see Sprint management or search the help for other relevant topics.


Define a backlog item

  1. Define a user story or defect in the product, release, or sprint backlog. All items you create are added to the product backlog, and to the release or sprint backlog in which you created them.
  2. Make sure to estimate story points for the backlog item. This enables you to plan releases and sprints according to their capacity.

Assign the backlog item to a feature

Associate the user story or defect with a feature. This enables you to track the development progress on a feature level.

Define acceptance tests

For user stories, define the criteria that must be met in order for the user story to be ready for delivery.

Depending on your project configuration, until all the acceptance tests have passed, a user story cannot be marked as complete.

Break user story

If you defined a general or broad user story, you can break the user story into parts. You can then plan to work on the parts independently in different sprints.

Rank the item

Arrange the backlog by rank so that you can plan the highest ranking items to the next release or sprint backlog.

Plan to release and sprint

  • At the release planning stage, drag product backlog items to the release bucket.
  • At the sprint planning stage, drag release backlog items to the sprint and team buckets. Alternatively, use the planning board to dynamically move backlog items to sprints and teams.

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In Progress

Create tasks

Before you can begin work on a sprint backlog, you need to break the backlog items into tasks.

Tasks describe the actual activities that must be accomplished in order for the user story or defect to be completed. Tasks are measured in hours, as opposed to backlog items that are estimated in story points.

Block the item

If something is preventing you from working on a user story or defect, you can mark the item as blocked. All users can view the reason the item is blocked.

Split user story

At the end of a sprint, if only part of the tasks of a user story were completed, you can split the user story, and transfer the remaining effort to the new user story. This enables you to report the work done on the completed tasks as part of the closed sprint.

Report progress

Progress on a backlog item is reflected in the statuses of the backlog item and its tasks, and in the actual effort invested and remaining in its tasks.


The following rules apply to the statuses of the backlog item and its tasks:

  • You can manually change the status of a backlog item, or set it to done, at any stage.
  • Setting a backlog item to done automatically marks all its tasks as completed.
  • If a new or existing task is then marked in progress, the backlog item is also marked in progress.
  • If acceptance tests are defined for the user story, all acceptance tests must pass before the user story can be set to done.
Actual Effort

The actual effort of a backlog item is the sum of the time invested and remaining in all its tasks. Compare the actual effort to the planned effort to analyze the accuracy of your estimations.

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In Testing - create linkage

  • Link the user story or defect to other backlog items.
  • Report a defect related to a backlog item.

View the linked items, and navigate between them, in the item's details view.

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Done - close the backlog item

At the end of a sprint, all user stories should be closed.

  • Agile Manager prevents you from closing a user story that has remaining open tasks or acceptance tests.
  • When you close a user story, Agile Manager also notifies you about any linked defects.

A backlog item is usually closed automatically after all its tasks are completed. If you manually set a backlog item to Done, all its tasks are automatically set to Completed.

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