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Backlog Groups

This feature is available in Enterprise and Ultimate editions.



Backlog Groups (formerly called Themes) are hierarchical functional groupings used to segment your backlog. They are typically used to represent functional components of your system. They can be used as filters during the planning and tracking process and to report on progress and plans from this higher-level perspective.

The Backlog Groups page is located in the Product Planning section. This page is divided into two grids: Backlog Groups and Backlog. The Backlog Groups grid shows all the Backlog Groups in the selected project to which backlog items can be assigned. The Backlog grid shows the stories that can be assigned to a Backlog Groups.


Expert Tips

  • The progress bars on the Backlog Groups grid will give you a quick view of progress by showing the amount of estimate completed and remaining to be done. The Backlog grid below will show the detailed progress of the Backlog items related to each Backlog Group.

  • You can use child Backlog Groups to roll sub-features up into larger groups for tracking purposes.

  • The Manage Relations link on the Add page is where you declare what makes up the Backlog Group you are adding.

  • Your selection in the project/release hierarchy determines what selections you'll be able to make in the Manage Relationships section. Only projects below your selection will be available.

In the Winter 2015 release, the name of the Feature Groups (or Themes) asset was changed to "Backlog Groups" . Note that the functionally remains the same and any localization changes will override this update.

Accessing Backlog Groups

To access Backlog Groups from the main menu, select Product Planning > Backlog Groups.

Creating a Backlog Group

  1. From the main menu, select Product Planning > Backlog Groups.

  2. Click the Add Backlog Groups button in the top right corner of the grid.

  3. Enter the required information, and then click Save.

If you want to create a child Backlog Group underneath an existing Backlog Group, simply drag the Backlog Group onto a parent Backlog Group in the grid. Note that parent Backlog Groups display totals that include all of their backlog and the backlog of their children.

Editing or Deleting a Backlog Group

  1. From the main menu, select Product Planning > Backlog Groups.

  2. If you want to:

    • change the details of a Backlog Group, click Edit next to the name, enter the details, and then click Save.

    • delete a Backlog Group, select Delete from the Edit drop-down menu, and then click Delete to confirm.

Viewing Backlog Group Details

Follow these steps to see the full details of any Backlog Group:

  1. From the main menu, select Product Planning > Backlog Groups.

  2. In the Backlog Groups grid, click on a title to open the details page. From there, you can edit details, participate conversations, add links and file attachments, and establish/edit relationships with other assets.

Assigning a Story to a Backlog Group

  1. From the main menu, select Product Planning > Backlog Groups, and then scroll to the Backlog grid.

  2. Click on a row, and then drag and drop it onto a Backlog Groups in the Backlog Groups grid. The story will remain in the Backlog grid and the Backlog Groups assignment will be updated in the display.

Reassigning a Story to a Different Backlog Group

To reassign an item that is already assigned to a Backlog Group, simply drag the item to another Backlog Group.

Note that if an item in one project is assigned to a Backlog Group that sits in a lower level project, the item will be automatically moved down into the same project as the Backlog Group.

When the All Projects level is available and selected in the Project Navigator tree, Backlog Groups are not visible. Select a specific project to view and manage the Backlog Groups applicable to that project.

Closing a Backlog Group

Backlog Groups can be closed when all stories/backlog items within the Backlog Group have been completed and no more will be created. Used in this way, Backlog Groups can represent an evolving set of functionality within the system, each piece with its own lifespan of development. Closed Backlog Groups can always be reopened if needed.

Some organizations may never close Backlog Groups. A Backlog Group such as 'Reporting' may always be available for further development. The decision to close Backlog Groups primarily depends upon the structure and use of Backlog Groups within the organization: whether they represent ongoing areas or specific, time-boxed functions.


The Backlog Groups page only displays the Backlog Groups at or above the current project level. To view a full list of Backlog Groups that exist at all levels in the Project Tree, use the Backlog Groups Quicklist report.

In addition, Backlog Groups can be used as a filter on many common reports such as:

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