Tracking waste in TFS


Tracking waste and gathering the empirical data is one of the most effective ways of convincing people for the need to adapt.

This needs an Estimated Effort field, as in Scrum for Team System template.

This can be done with the MS templates, by adding this field in.

You need to use the estimated effort field, so that the burndown is not affected.


Within the area path of the team project, create a top level area called waste, under that add the key waste areas as you become aware of them


Whenever a team member encounters an issue that is causing them to lose time, they create a Task (Sprint Backlog Task in SfTS 3) and set the Area path (feature scope in SfTS 3) to be waste and the sub area if known.

Then update the estimated effort with the amount of time lost.



Estimated Effort = time lost

Planning scope/Iteration Path = sprint

Work Remaining = 0

Feature Scope/Area Path = WasteSubArea

Description = Meaningful comment

Title = Meaningful Title

Create a separate work items or update the work item as and when further waste is identified.


Create a new work item query, and save it with a meaningful name. I have used “Waste Query”


Add the columns that you want to report on, by editing the column options. I have added the Estimated Effort and Area Path columns


After saving the query, you can then open it up in excel and create a report with a pivot table and a chart to help create transparency regarding waste


Other Process Templates

For this to work with other process templates, you will need to add in an “Estimated Effort” field to the Task work item

1. Get the latest version of the power tools for the version of TFS that you are using:



2. Open the Task work item from the server


Select the Team Project Collection, Team Project, and Work Item to edit


Add a new field called Estimated Effort, with the details as below.

Note: The reference name must have a full stop and no spaces.


Once that has been completed, you need to surface the new field on the Work Item Form

Click On the Layout tab, right click on the column to add the field to , new control


Add the details of the new field


Preview the form to check, and then save the changes.

Create a New Task work item to check your changes


Top Tip: get the power tools installed, and use Work Item templates to reduce the friction of creating new work items.