Split a user story

At the end of a sprint, all user stories should be closed. If you invested time in a user story, but not all its tasks and acceptance tests are completed, split the story. Remaining effort and non-passed acceptance tests are moved under a new user story, which you can assign to a future sprint. A link is automatically created between the original user story and the new one.

Available from: Sprint Backlog, Task Board, Sprint Closure (Open Items grid)

  1. Right-click a user story, and select Split Story.

  2. Specify the sprint that the new user story will be assigned to, and update details of tasks and acceptance tests as needed.


  • You can only split a story within a release. You cannot split a story to a sprint in a different release.

  • Splitting a story is different than breaking a user story, which is done when you have a large story you want to divide into smaller pieces.

    After breaking, the group stories are visible only in the Group Stories view on the Product Backlog grid. For details, see Create a group story.

What happens when you split a user story?

  Original user story (after split) New user story
Story points Set to zero. All the story points from the original story are transferred to the new story.
User story status

By default, set to Done.

You can also keep the original story open after the split. Specify a different status in the Split Story dialog box.

Assigned to Both user stories and tasks remain assigned to the users they were assigned to in the original story.
Acceptance tests Passed acceptance tests remain in the original story.

By default, all Not Started and Failed acceptance tests are moved to the new story.

Clear any acceptance tests that you do not want to move over.

  • Completed tasks, and their invested time, remain in the original user story.

  • By default, New tasks are moved to the new user story. Clear any tasks that you do not want to move over.

  • By default, In Progress tasks are split between the original story and the new story. The invested time remains in the original task, and the remaining time is moved to the new task.

    You can choose not to split In Progress tasks. Clear the Split tasks with invested effort option. In Progress tasks will be carried over, with their invested time, to the new user story.