Everything below the top level work item needs a parent for the backlog structure to work correctly. So as you create new work items, everyone should keep an eye on that. ScrumMasters should facilitate their teams backlog work and monitor their Backlogs for data quality problems like these.
Written in 2016-2017:
This is part of a series of articles that I originally wrote in 2016-2017 and were only published on private internal company wikis. I am publishing them publicly for the first time in 2019, here on my blog.
Written for Microsoft’s VSTS:
Some content is written for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), as it existed in 2016-2017. VSTS was renamed to Azure DevOps in 2018 (WikiPedia).
How To Avoid Unparented Work Items:
Create new work items from their parents by:
1. Click + button next to a parent in a view.
2. Create a New Linked Item from within the parent.
OR with this:
How To Find Unparented Work Items:
You can see unparented work items quickly if you:
1. Go to the -> Backlogs -> Stories view.
2. Set the view option: Parents to Show.
3. Collapse everything (clicking the minus button).
4. Scroll to bottom of the collapsed list to see Unparented Features. Expand that to see Unparented Stories (and Bugs).
How To Fix Unparented Work Items:
Drag and Drop to Link
1. Set view configuration option: Mapping to On.
2. Select 1 or more work items from the list, click and drag and drop on a parent in the right pane.
Open work item then Link from within it
1. Open child work item, like a Story.
2. In Related Work, click Add link -> Existing item.
3. Select Link type as Parent.
- Enter Work item ID, or copy and paste it from the work item.
- You can also search for work items by clicking the three dots icon.