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Splitting a Story

This feature is available in all editions.

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Overview

Splitting a story is typically done at the end of a sprint/iteration. Splitting a work item takes the portion of work that is complete and leaves it in the current sprint under the current story. The work that is still open is moved to the next sprint under a new story or defect. This allows you to give credit for completed work and move any remaining work to a new sprint, thus allowing for more accurate accounting. Note that splitting is not the same as copying.

Splitting should not become common practice. Stories should be sized appropriately so that the estimate from any one story does not have a large impact on the velocity of a sprint/iteration. If you end a sprint/iteration with multiple stories that need to be split, it's often a sign that your team has too much work-in-progress.  It's much better to finish one story than to end up with two that are half-done.

If the story/defect has... Then...

Tasks/Tests

Tasks and tests are handled based on status as follows:

  • Completed (e.g., To Do = 0)
    Completed tasks/tests with a To Do of 0 stay with the original story in the existing sprint.

  • Not Started (e.g., Done = 0)
    Not started tasks/tests are moved to a new story in the next sprint

  • Partially Completed (e.g., some Done and some To Do)
    Partially completed tasks/tests are copied to the new story in the next sprint, and will also remain with the original story in the existing sprint. The To Do on the tasks/tests in the existing sprint will be set to 0.  All of the Done stays with the tasks/tests in the existing sprint. The To Do amount at the time of the split is assigned to the tasks/tests in the next sprint.

Attachments

Attachments are not carried forward during the split process. As a workaround, however, you can copy the item instead of splitting it. Copies retain all the relationships of the original, including links and attachments. The trade-off is that you would need to adjust your estimates on the two items.

Option 1. In any grid

  1. In any grid, click the drop-down arrow next to the story/defect you want to split, and then select Split.

  2. On the Split page, modify the details as necessary, and then click the Split button.

  3. Make any additional changes, and then click Save. (Note that fields highlighted in yellow are pending until you click Save).

    You can edit the following story details when you split a story/defect:

    • Title. Change the title of the 'new' story/defect to make it unique (e.g. ABC Part 1 and ABC Part 2).

    • Estimate. Allocate the estimate appropriately across the two stories. Was any real value delivered by the partially completed story/defect?

    • Detail Estimate and To Dos. Are the Detail Estimate and To Do amounts for the remaining workload appropriate?

Option 2. On the Team Scheduling Page

  1. Go to Release Planning > Team Scheduling.

  2. Click on a story (either from the Team to which it is assigned or from the Backlog grid) to open the story details page.

  3. Open the Edit drop-down menu and select the Split option. The Split Story window opens, showing details of the story with remaining work estimate.

  4. Click the Split button. The system generates a new story with the same name as the original. The remaining work estimate is transferred to the new story. Completed estimates remain with the original story.

  5. In the New Item section, select a new sprint from the Iteration drop-down list.

  6. Click Save. The new story details are saved.

  7. Click Save again. The new story is assigned to the team who worked the original story, and the item shows in the Team box with the inherited work estimate.

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