Introduction to Work Item Charting

How would you like to visualize your work item progress on your project home page? One of the features in Visual Studio Online and TFS 2013 is Work Item Charting. These charts can be created from flat list work item queries (tree and direct links queries are not supported) and pinned to your project home page. In this post I will walk through creating a work item query, adding a chart, and pinning it to your project home page.

Let’s get started by creating a work item query that we would like to visualize. I will create a “Sprint Work” Shared Query that will bring back all Task Work Items in my current Sprint.


At this point I can pin the results to the project home page, which will show the Count of items returned. That is useful in some cases, but I would like to display further detail about the work items returned by my query. To show that detail, I will create a Chart by selecting the ‘Charts’ option.


Once on the ‘Charts’ view, I will create a ‘New Chart’.


On the ‘Configure Chart’ view I have several options. First, I can pick the type of Chart to display. In this case I will select the ‘Pie’ chart. I will then select ‘State’ to ‘Group By’. As you can see, I can also group by Work Item Type (which will not be helpful for me since my query only returns ‘Task’ work item types) and by Assigned To. I also have options on how the chart should be sorted. In this case I will select ‘Label’ so that my chart will continue to display consistently when the values change.


As you can see above, the chart is updated as we modify the parameters. Once I am done making the changes, I will select ‘OK’ to save the chart and return to the ‘Charts’ view. Several charts can be created for a single work item query.

Next, I will pin the chart I just created to my project home page. To do that, I will hover over the chart so that ellipses display in the top right corner. I will then click on the ellipses to display options that are available to configure the chart.


From here I will select ‘Pin to homepage’ to pin this chart to my project home page. To view the chart, navigate to the project home page.

On the project home page, I have the flexibility to move my pinned items around so that they display in a way that work for you. To customize the display, just click on the pinned item and move it to a new location using drag and drop.