Where are my backlog management and sprint planning features in TFS 2012?

Team Web Access in Team Foundation Server 2012 (and Team Foundation Service) has been completely redesigned and contains some great new agile planning features.  However, some of the features, Backlog Management, Sprint Planning and Feedback Requests specifically, require you to have a copy of Visual Studio Premium, Ultimate or Test Professional (anything above Visual Studio Professional).

Compare Visual Studio 2012 editions


However, even if you have the correct version of Visual Studio installed you will still not see the additional features without adding your account to the correct group in Web Access.

Features Accessed Through Web Permissions

There are three levels of account for Web Access and by default you will have a "Standard" account.

  • Limited. This Work Item Only View (WIOV) allows a user to create any type of work item and view or edit any work items they have created.
  • Standard. Members of this group can view the home pages for teams that they belong to. They have quick access links to the task board, team favourites, work items, and all features except feedback and backlog views.
  • Full. Members of this group can view all of the Standard features, plus backlog and feedback view. They have quick access links to all activities.


Permissions can be changed through the Web Access Control Panel:


Your Team Web Access experience will depend on your account level.


With no client access license (Limited) you get this view:


With Visual Studio Professional or a Standard CAL (Standard) you get this:


And with Visual Studio Premium/Ultimate (Full) you get this.



Comments (4)

  1. Alastair says:

    So, a non-technical user (our product owners) now has to have a minimum of a Visual Studio Premium license (i.e. a tool that they will not use) to manage the backlog? I appreciate that you want to charge more for these additional features but perhaps a new type of CAL for this type of user would make more sense?

  2. Heath says:

    I completely agree with Alastair… very cool features but the licensing model doesn't make any sense.

  3. rerwin says:

    @Alastair, @Heath The most cost effective way for a Product Owner to access the features would be through a Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN Subscription.  I appreciate that there is most likely some functionality that they would not make use of but in addition to the backlog management and sprint planning, they would also be able to request and manage feedback and make use of the PowerPoint storyboarding tool.

  4. Patrick Desjardins says:

    Non-Technical user should get Visual Studio Test Professional or use the web portal. They do not need Visual Studio Premium.

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