Does Azure DevOps have a recommended built in way of marking Resolved Work Items as being actively tested as opposed of being in the queue for testing?


My team is using Azure DevOps with Agile workflow.

This means that out-of-the box a user story goes through the following states

  1. New -> Implementation started ->
  2. Active -> Code complete ->
  3. Resolved -> Acceptance tests passed ->
  4. Closed

This is nicely shown at docs.microsoft.com:

user story states

Testing happens in when the story (or bug) is in the Resolved state.

The out of the box board has 4 lanes. enter image description here

When looking at the board (or even in queries) I'm having trouble seeing what is being actively tested.

For example, if there are 2 resolved items it is not clear which one is being actively worked on and which one is waiting to be picked up.

Showing what is being tested seems like a common desire and my intuition is that the solution for my problem is built in. I want to avoid customising the workflow (and adding a new state called Testing).

1 Answer 1


Breaking down between development and testing could be dangerous, as you may fall into a mini waterfall process. Ideally you should have both developers and QA working together. In this sense, the "active" status would suffice.

Nevertheless, in case you want to have a specific state for testing, you'll need to use customised workflows.

Caution: using custom workflows opens a Pandora's box you may not want to. For instance, people may start to consider status for "analysis", or "UAT", or "acceptance". These status could lead to a potentially misleading sensation of progress (hey, we're in user acceptance already, it's almost there!) when all you want is to have a story, functionality delivering value to end users.

  • RE: customised workflows. I really would prefer to not customise the flow.
    – tymtam
    Jun 16, 2022 at 23:19
  • While conceptually "Breaking down between development and testing could be dangerous" is very appealing, in my admittedly unimpressive career there have always been a distinct testing/QA stage.
    – tymtam
    Jun 16, 2022 at 23:23

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