Announcing Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0

Today we’re releasing the first official version of our latest process template – Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 (formerly known as Team Foundation Server Scrum v1.0 Beta).   If you were following the beta, you know that this template was built from the ground up specifically for Scrum teams. 

Visit the Visual Studio Gallery to download the template.  John Bristowe has put together a great post on how to install the template.  Below I’ve taken some time to describe what’s changed since the beta and also outlined a few of the key concepts/artifacts in the template.

Q:  What’s changed since the beta?

A:  There are no drastic changes between this release and the beta, but there are a few things worth mentioning.  For those that were on the beta I’ll do my best to describe in detail why the changes were made.

  • We’ve released a first cut at the process guidance for the template on MSDN.  The content is still evolving, but the basics are in place and ready for consumption.
  • The Owned By (Microsoft.VSTS.Common.OwnedBy) field that existed on ALL work item types in the beta and which was used to assign ownership of work items has been removed and replaced with the Assigned To field (System.AssignedTo).  We originally chose the Owned By field because in Scrum work is not “assigned”… and we wanted to use terminology and language that matched Scrum lingo.  This was a tough one for us to revert, but in the end we found that NOT using the System.AssignedTo field (which is the default for every other work item) was going to provide more pain around integrating with other clients, tools, and partner solutions.  
  • The DefaultTemplate build definition has been modified to NOT open bug work items on build failures.  Why?  Because the template expects that defects found that relate to work in the current sprint should be added to the Sprint Backlog as Tasks work items.  This is done by adding new Task work items OR re-opening Task work items already marked as Done.   Defects found that relate to work outside the current sprint are added to the Product Backlog as Bug work items.  The philosophy here is that ALL new work needs to come to the team through the “front door” (the Product Backlog in this case).  Because build failures likely relate to work in the current sprint we chose to change the behavior so as not to clutter up the Product Backlog with work for the team. 
  • A new priority field has been added to the Impediment work item to allow teams to prioritize and order impediments more easily.
  • New transitions have been added to the Task work item to allow Tasks to move forward and backwards through the state lifecycle.  You can now take a take a task from To Do –> In Progress –> Done, and also from Done –> In Progress –> To Do.
  • Both the Product Backlog Item and Bug work items have been modified such that you can now move a Product Backlog Item or Bug from the Removed state back to the New state.  This was in response to feedback that “Product Owners often change their minds and we don’t want to have to create new work items each time that happens.”
  • A new Test Cases query was added to the Current Sprint folder.
  • And finally, a series of small text improvements were made to work item type reasons. 

Q:  Why did Microsoft decide to build a Scrum template?  I thought MSF Agile 5.0 was Microsoft’s answer to Scrum?

A:  The short answer here is… you told us that you wanted both of them.  We have customers that want a generic Agile template that can be used to implement Scrum and other Agile methodologies.  MSF Agile 5.0 does this very well.  At the same time, we have many customers that want a very prescriptive Scrum template that matches strictly to the Scrum literature.   Enter Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0.

Q:  Did Microsoft work with Agile thought leaders when building this template?

Absolutely.  We worked closely with a group of Scrum experts and trainers teaching the new Professional Scrum Developer Program including Ken Schwaber from   It was very important to us that this template be recognized by the community (you) as a great option for Scrum teams.   The Professional Scrum Developer Program is taught with Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0.

Q:  How is the Sprint work item intended to be used?

A:  The Sprint work item is intended to capture the sprint dates, sprint goal, and sprint retrospectives.  Because TFS does not have a method for storing dates on iterations, we chose to create a Sprint work item that allows you to capture sprint dates and other sprint data directly in a work item.  You can see in the screenshot that the Release 1\Sprint 1 work item is mapped directly to the Release 1\Sprint 1 iteration.  When you create a new project with TFS Scrum v1.0 by default the project is provisioned with 24 sprint work items and 24 matching iterations. 


Release 1:  Sprint 1-6

Release 2:  Sprint 1-6

Release 3:  Sprint 1-6

Release 4:  Sprint 1-6

With this model, you have both Sprint work items AND iterations… the trick is that you should have only one Sprint work item for each iteration that you create.   For example, if you created a new iteration named Release 4\Sprint 7 you would want to create a new Sprint work item and assign it to Release 4\Sprint 7.  The dates for this new Sprint would be entered directly on the Release 4\Sprint 7 Sprint work item.

The advantage to this approach is that when you’re working with reports in the template you don’t have to enter dates.  Instead, you just select the Sprint(s) that you’re interested in viewing.  The dates are read directly from the Sprint work item and used in the reports.

Q:  What about the Iteration Backlog and Product Planning workbooks from the MSF Agile 5.0 process template? 

A:  At this time we have not ported over the Agile planning workbooks that shipped as a part of the MSF Agile 5.0 process template.  We are still talking about brining over some version of the Iteration Backlog workbook at aid in Sprint planning, but it is not included in the 1.0 version of the template.

Q:  Can I move data from an existing project into a new project build from Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0?

A:   Yes.  You can use the TFS Integration Platform to create a mapping between any existing team project and a new project built with this template.

Comments (52)

  1. Aaron Bjork says:

    Urban Turtle has also announced support for the new template –…/urban-turtle-3-2-now-available.

  2. Dave Massy says:

    Why is this template include the name Visual Studio? What does Visual Studio specifically have to do with this Scrum process? Does this mean we have to shouldn't adopt it for say web access use because it's somehow geared just to Visual Studio users?

    [cross posted from Visual Studio Gallery]…/59ac03e3-df99-4776-be39-1917cbfc5d8e

    I know this is largely a cosmetic change, but I find it a tad bit annoying that in the Process Template Manager that the process templates listed (which are installed) are as follows:

    MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0

    MSF for CMMI Process Improvement v5.0

    Team Foundation Server Scrum v1.0 Beta

    What I'd really like to see this scrum template called would be:

    Scrum for Agile based Scrum Development Processes v1.0

    When I have dozens of people creating team projects they are going to keep asking me where is the Scrum template?, they are NOT going to ask me for the Team Foundation Server template.

    I think having the following list of templates would be really clear:

    MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0

    MSF for CMMI Process Improvement v5.0

    Scrum for Agile based Scrum Development Processes v1.0

  3. Aaron Bjork says:

    Thanks Dave.  It's purely a branding thing… that's all.  As you know, with the 2010 releases everything has been bundled under the "Visual Studio" brand, including Team Foundation Server.   See…/products.



  4. Great release Aaron, you're hard work is very much appreciated.  I will be installing this shortly for my demo's and PSD courses, but did you format the label of the Assigned To field as Owned By?  Would that have been the simple answer to that naming dilemma?

    Thanks again,


  5. Aaron Bjork says:

    Thanks Ryan.  We did consider that alternative, but the problem we ran into is that when you build work item queries in Team Explorer the field name is displayed in the query editor, not the label.   In the past when we've had different field names and label names for commonly queried fields there has been a very negative reaction. We felt that changing the label to "Owned By" would likely cause even greater confusion.  

  6. How are the daily sprint meeting handled with Visual Studio Scrum?

  7. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Pierre-Alain, the daily sprint meeting isnt accounted for directly in any artifact in the template.  However, our guidance is to open Impediments work items for any impediments raised at the standup.…/ff731580.asp

    Are you looking for something more here?

  8. Serkan says:

    I can't tell how much Agile Board saves me when Company board members come to visit our office. There is no way that I can tell them about my business but physical board itself gives the impression that we work hard which suits "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools".

    Now this is a great tool but if we migrate to this we need to maintain the board too 🙁

  9. Aaron Bjork says:

    Agreed Serkan.  We don't have Agile board in the product at this time.  There are a lot of great partners who do have solutions like this.  Urban Turtle and EMC Scrum for Team System are the two most popular.

  10. steve says:

    is this backwards compatible with vs 2008

  11. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Steve – it's not.   The template uses features like hierarchical work items, new cube structure, link types, etc that are only avaiable in 2010.

  12. Khai says:

    telerik TFS Work Item Manager have a similiar feature Urban Turtle and EMC Scrum have for free.  You can drag/print tasks from the UI.

  13. Lars Roith says:

    Check out the FREE AIT TeamSystemPro Task Board:

    It does not only support Scrum but also any process template. And it allows you to define how your work items should look like.

  14. Dominic says:

    A major difference with Urban Turtle is that you don't need to install any tools on the client side. You only need a browser !


  15. Hello,

    The capacity planning workbooks in MSF Agile v5.0 is to good to keep out of this template.

    Also, I was wondering how often will the template be updated?



  16. Aaron Bjork says:

    Thanks Lambros.  It's definitely on our backlog.  As for cadence of the updates… I don't have anything to share right now.  We'll definitely be improving the template over time.  But I don't have a schedule for updates that is public.  I can say that I don't anticipate another major release in the coming months.  We want the 1.0 version to have plenty of time "as is" before we consider big changes.

  17. Hello

    Is there going to be a MSDN forum for this where people can give feedback and ask for support? Are you planning support for multiproject teams or multiple team projects? Let's say we have 3 different teams working on a single product, thus single product backlog but their own iterations, how can this be done with this template?


  18. Jim says:

    I dont want to use Team Foundation for Scrum, Can I use this with just visual studio?

  19. Khai says:

    Gabriel – We created 4 areas for our four scrum teams in my company.

  20. Is there a way to transfer all my existing stories, issues, bugs from MSF Agile 5.0 to Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0.?

  21. Hamish King says:

    Hi, Was looking at installing this for our agile projects but exploration found the SharePoint integration is aimed at 2007, not 2010?

    The release notes reference the '12' hive for install (CommonProgramFiles%Microsoft Sharedweb server extensions12BINstsadm.exe) and SP2010 obviously uses the 14 hive. Based on that and the fact the feature wouldnt activate I presume it hasn't been built for 2010 support. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    Otherwise, any chance of releasing a solution that will work with SP 2010 as well? Would be interested in testing this out with our latest agile project.



  22. Is there a way of migrating from the axisting Agile template to the scrum template?


  23. Stew says:

    Absolutely terrible idea, Agile/Scrum is not supposed to be prescriptive, teams need to be able to adapt. By tying yourself into a prescriptive tool, you have already failed at agile.

  24. Hi,

          I am practising Scrum for the last 2 years and thanks to MS for the template. I had hard time going through different sites to create a team project in TFS. So, I had put up a blog from start to finish with screenshots on how to download the template, Install the template, Upload to TFS and create the Project Teams. The Link to the blog is…/scrum-process-for-software-development-using-microsoft-visual-studio-scrum-1-0-process-template .


    Kishore Babu.

  25. Vaccano says:

    While maybe not needed for hardliner scrum, I find that I miss the Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.OriginalEstimate field.  Please consider adding it.  (Though I guess I can just add it to my own if I need it so bad)

  26. Adron Hall says:

    I have to agree with Dave Massey.  You guys want community support, but then you try to "steal" or "own" something like SCRUM or Agile even though it wasn't created by Microsoft or Visual Studio.  This type of short sighted thinking just goes on to perpetuate the image of Microsoft as an entity that just steals other peoples work and then re-brands/re-packages it.  Unfortunately the empirical history of the company keeps backing that up, but Microsoft could change if they tossed the attitude that they have to own everything.

    In other news, I'm glad that you guys are offering these options in TFS/VS.  Late to the game, but great news none the less!  Thanks for the work on this, now plz go kick your branding people in the shin.  😉

  27. Marcel says:

    Trying to set up a projectportal with this on Sharepoint Server 2010. Possible that it is not compatible with MOSS2010? Projectcreation works fine as long as you do not want to create portalsite. As we installed all german versions we already installed languagepackages and tried almost everything can be found in the web. Still nothing

  28. JOOLz says:


    Please could you confirm what Microsoft's commitment is to continuing to develop the template and making sure it remains compatible for future versions of VSTS.  This is important in our decision as to whether or not we adopt the template.


  29. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Joolz – absolutely.   This is not a temporary template, and it will absolutely be supported on future versions of TFS.

  30. Jonathan Porras says:


    I see you have done a great job with the scrum template. However, I have to decide if install Microsft Scrum Template v1.0 or Scrum V3.0 build for Conchango (now EMC).

    It seems template's EMS has addional elements. I wonder if  I could have any kind of problem if I chose EMC template?

  31. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Jonathan – EMC has a great template as well.  The EMC template definitely has more in it… fields, features, etc.  While our template is a simpler approach.  I think both are good options however.

    Let me know if that helps.

  32. Madhu says:

    In the Agile template there is no capture of the start/finish dates (correct me if I am wrong).. Is it possible to date range a iteration?

    Many thanks

  33. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Madhu – you're right.  By default TFS doesn't include date properties on iterations.  And the Agile template doesn't include a work item to store this data.  This was the main driver for adding the Sprint work item into the Scrum template.

  34. Karthik says:

    Is there a way to limit the 24 sprints that get auto-provisioned in the default template?

    I know I can destroy the WI's but we have customized the default Scrum template and are using a modified form of Sprint Planning that does not require 24 sprints work item entries to begin with.


  35. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Karthik – Yes.  If you open the Process TemplateClassificationClassification.xml file you'll see the 24 sprints defined in that file.  Just add/remove nodes from that file as needed.

  36. Karthik says:

    Thanks, Aaron. We saw that and did remove it but the process template still seems to auto-provision for new projects created after the mods were done. I will go back and double-check that to make sure though.

    One other question, we have a need to create a Work Item Template Hierarchy, meaning there will be a few tasks that are tied to a Product Backlog Item that recur every sprint. What I would like to do is create a Work Item template that will automatically create the backlog item AND the seven or os tasks that we need simultaneously.

    Is this doable?


  37. Karthik says:


    Checked the classification settings and it looks like only the Areas and Iterations get impacted by changes to that file.

    I am still seeing 24 Sprint Work Items get created automatically even though my classfication file looks like below.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>


     <task id="UploadStructure" name="Creating project structure" plugin="Microsoft.ProjectCreationWizard.Classification" completionMessage="Team project structure created.">



           <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprints" xmlns="">


               <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 059 12-20-2010 – 01-02-2011" />

               <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 060 01-03-2011 – 01-16-2011" />



           <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Apps" xmlns="">


               <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Production Support and Maintenance" />

               <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Issue Tracking" />

               <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Track Records" />

               <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Archive" />





           <property name="MSPROJ" value="ClassificationFileMapping.xml" isFile="true" />





  38. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Karthik – sorry Karthik… forget to also mention the WorkItems.xml located at Process TemplateWorkItem TrackingWorkItems.xml.  The actual sprint work items are defined there.

  39. Karthik says:

    @Aaron – That was it! Thanks!

  40. Karthik says:

    Thanks! That worked.

  41. Bill says:

    This look interesting…is there a plan to include a cumulative flow diagram (CFD) report to take another spin on velocity as when using Kanban?

    On that topic, any plans to create a native Kanban process template or should the generic Agile 5.0 template be used for all non-Scrum Agile methods?


  42. Kevin says:

    What dashboards are available with the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template?

  43. Aaron Bjork says:

    @Kevin – We provide an English only very simple SharePoint dashboard that contains the Release Burndown chart and a Product Backlog work item query viewer.  That's about it though.  The dashboards for the Scrum 1.0 template are not nearly as sophisticated as what we shipped for Agile/CMMI 5.0.

  44. Marc says:


    • Is it true that TFS11 will ship with the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2.0 template?
    • And what are the changes and improvements in this new version?

    • Is it possible to easily update an existing Team Project to this new template?



  45. Aaron Bjork says:

    Hi Marc.  Yes, it's true that TFS11 will ship with the Scrum 2.0 template.  The changes are fairly minimal… but include a few new reports, some small nomanclature chagnes, and the removal of the sprint work items.  I'll put together a blog post outlining the differnces very soon.

    The "update" story is always complicated, but here's the quick answer.  There will be no tooling to automatically update an existing team project to the latest template.  However, there will be automated tooling (something we're calling "feature enablement") which will help you "turn on" all the new features in the Scrum 2.0 template.  This includes things like adding the code review work item, and adding settings to ensure the project works with the new agile tools (backlog, sprint planning, taskboard, etc). All this will be in the box by the time we're ready to ship.

    Does that help?



  46. Marc says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I'm looking forward to your upcoming blog post about the Scrum 2.0 template! I don't have any experience yet with upgrading process templates for TFS Team Projects. I understand that the "story" can be complicated. But does the 'feature enablement' result in a totally updated process template or would some things still be left behind. And what things would remain behind or would have to updated manually? But I guess that's probably something you might want to point out in your upcoming blog post.

    Thank you for the quick info!


  47. Aaron Bjork says:

    Some things are still left behind.  For example… we modified the layout of the WIT forms in the Scrum 2.0 template.  Feature Enablement will not make those changes for you.  Additionally, we added a new resolution to the Bug work item type titled "Copied to backlog".  This would not be changed for you either.

    The goal of Feature Enablement is to bring forward your project so that it works with all the new Dev11 features.  It's not designed to "upgrade" or "update" your project to the latest version of the template.

  48. Marc says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Do have you any info when can we expect this?

    Thank you.


  49. Aaron Bjork says:

    Marc, the feature enablement features ship with TFS 2012.…/downloads

    Is that what you're after?

  50. Well actually I was referring to you comment posted on Tue, Mar 13 2012 4:22 PM:

    "Hi Marc.  Yes, it's true that TFS11 will ship with the Scrum 2.0 template.  The changes are fairly minimal… but include a few new reports, some small nomanclature changes, and the removal of the sprint work items.  I'll put together a blog post outlining the differences very soon".

    Still nice to hear that 'feature enablement' will help us "turn on" all the new features in the Scrum 2.0 template though. But I'm still wondering what the changes in the Scrum template 2.0 will look like.

    Did you still intend to outline these differences in an upcoming blog post?


  51. VidasV says:

    Many more template variations can be achieved by using integration tools like Eylean board –

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