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Closing a Sprint/Iteration

This feature is available in all editions.

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Overview

All items within a sprint should be complete (or Closed) before you close the Sprint itself. This article explains best practices and gives instructions on how to close a sprint within the system.

What Happens When You Close a Sprint

At the end of each sprint, all items within the sprint should be closed before you close the sprint itself. This essentially locks down the sprint so no future changes can be made and removes active items from each member's My Work page.

Option 1. Closing a Sprint on the Close Sprint Page

To close a sprint, your Admin Privileges role must be set to Project Lead or higher and your Project role must be set to Team Member or higher. Refer to Why can't I edit Sprint/Iteration Details? for instructions.

  1. In the main menu, select Sprint Review (or Iteration Review) > Close Sprint (or Close Iteration).

  2. Select a project in the Project Navigator.

  3. Select the sprint you want to close from the Sprint (or Iteration) drop-down list.

  4. (Optional) Select a team from the Team drop-down list.

  5. If there open items left the Remaining items in the Backlog grid lists them. Choose any of these options to empty the sprint:
     

    If you want to...

    Then...

    Close one or more items

    1. Click the Close (or Quick Close) button next to the item you want to close, or

    2. Select all items, and then click Close (or Quick Close).

    Closing a story or defect zeros out all remaining To Do for it and closes any tasks and tests associated with it. 

    If there are any open (not yet started) items

    You can move them to another sprint:

    1. Select each item (or all items).

    2. Drag them to the next open sprint/iteration at the top of the page.

    Moving a story or defect moves all of its associated tasks and tests. Any Effort (Done) expended against items while in the  sprint/iteration still remain attached to the current sprint/iteration for reporting purpose.

    If there are any incomplete work items (started, but not complete)

    In situations where significant progress has been made and some portion of the functionality has been delivered, you can split the story to separate the 'completed' portion of the story from the remaining work and move the remaining work to the next iteration. You can allocate the relative portion of the story estimate to so that each sprint gets its appropriate portion of the story estimate to count in its velocity.

    1. Click the Close (or Quick Close) drop-down button, 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).

    See Splitting a Story or Defect to learn more.

Option 2. Close a Sprint on the Sprint Scheduling Page

  1. In the main menu, select Iteration Planning > Iteration Scheduling.

  2. Select a project in the Project Navigator.

  3. Locate the sprint you want to close.

  4. Click Close.

How to Close a Sprint with Incomplete Work Items

We do not recommend that you extend iteration dates because it throws off the team's rhythm and makes future planning more difficult. This is a fairly common issue for Agile practitioners. The general philosophy is "if it's not done, it doesn't count". 

This leaves you with two options:

  1. Move Unfinished Stories to the Next Sprint/Iteration
    Moving a story or defect moves all of its associated tasks and tests with it. Any Effort (Done) expended against items while in this sprint/iteration still remain attached to the current sprint/iteration for reporting purposes.

  2. Split Open Stories
    There are situations, however, where significant progress has been made and some portion of the functionality has been delivered. In these cases, you can split the story to separate the completed portion of the story from the remaining work and move the remaining work to the next iteration. You can allocate the relative portion of the story estimate to so that each sprint gets its appropriate portion of the story estimate to count in its velocity.

Splitting should not become common practice.  If your team feels the desire to split stories too often, it could be a sign that your stories are too big. See Splitting a Story or Defect for additional details.