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Release Plan Report


The Release Plan report shows the Product Backlog sorted by priority and overlaid with which sprint the items are forecasted to be delivered based on a given velocity. Only backlog items that have an effort, priority, and are in a valid state are included. Optionally you can specify a deadline which will appear before the Sprint it would fall during so you can see what items are forecasted to be completed by that date.


Follow the instructions in Documentation > Report Installation to install this report in a team project’s SQL Server Reporting Services site.  This report uses the reporting site path to determine the current team project information.  This report must be installed under each team project that will use it. You must mark the Microsoft.VSTS.Common.BacklogPriority field as reportable (Dimension) for the MS Scrum 1.0 version of this report to work properly..


The Release Plan report takes multiple parameters in order to create the overlay of forecasted Sprints on top of your Product Backlog.


  • Backlog Work Item Types – a list of work item types that are included as part of your Product Backlog. If you have more than one work item type you would like to include, separate them with a comma such as "Product Backlog Item,Bug".
  • Valid States –  a list of valid states for items to be included on the Product Backlog. This is dictated by your process for grooming your backlog as well as how you handle items not completed in a Sprint.  If you have more than one state you would like to include, separate them with a comma such as "New,Approved".
  • Next Sprint Star Date – the start date for the next Sprint is needed to calculate the start and end dates for the forecasted future Sprints.
  • Sprint Length –  the number of total days (including weekends) for your Sprints. This is also needed to calculate the future Sprint start and end dates.
  • Velocity – is most often the average effort for the completed items during past Sprints. This is normally Story Points, but for the sake of the report it does not matter as long as the measure you use in your Effort field is the same you use in the Velocity parameter.
  • Deadline – a date by which you want to track the progress of the team. Enter a date and a line will appear before the Sprint that the date fall in. You can then see what items are above the line (those most likely to be delivered based on the forecast) and those below the line (those mostly likely to not be delivered).
  • Guidance URL –a link to a web resource for more in depth information on the report. By default you will be sent to this page, but if you customize the report you can provide your own link.
  • Is Dashboard – is used when you want to hide the report description at the top and the additional information below so that only the plan itself is visible. This is good for dashboards and digital information radiators.


The report is used to forecast when items on your Product Backlog will be delivered based on your velocity and sprint length. When using this report remember these best practices:

  • Velocity - When creating a Release Plan, the value you use for the planning Velocity is critical. This value should be based on your team(s) past performance. You may wish to create three version of the plan. One with the average of the lowest 3 historical velocities which would produce your "worst case scenario", a second report using a regular average of historical velocities,  and lastly a "best case scenario" report which uses an average of the highest 3 historical velocities.
  • Unplanned Work - Since Release Plan reflects what is currently slated on the Product Backlog it will not account for unplanned work that comes up during future Sprints. One approach to account for this type of work is to track it during past Sprints to determine about how many story points it affects each Sprint, and then subtract that number from your planning velocity you use to generate the report.
  • Larger Stories - Items at the bottom of your Product Backlog will have less detail than those at the top. This means that some of those items may be larger. Some of them may have an estimated effort that is greater than your planning velocity. These items will be slated to a separate Sprint even though they are technically larger than the Sprint.
  • Deadlines - This report allows you to specify a deadline date that will then appear on the report before the Sprint in which the dates falls. This allows you to forecast what features will be in the product by that deadline date and allow you to move items around if you need to ensure they get into the release before that date.

Release Plan Report.MsScrum1

Last edited Jan 14, 2013 at 1:46 AM by tommynorman, version 5


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