In Azure DevOps, under the Scrum template, is there a way to auto calculate the Backlog Item's "Effort" field based on the summation of its child Task items' "Remaining Work" field?


  1. A new Backlog Item is created. The "Effort" field is left empty.
  2. A new child task for the previous Backlog item is created, the "Remaining Work" field is set as 5.
  3. The "Effort" field of the Backlog Item created in step 1 is automatically updated to 5.
  4. A new child task for the Backlog item defined in step 1 is created, with the "Remaining Work" field set as 3.
  5. The "Effort" field of the Backlog Item created in step 1 is automatically calculated to 8 (the sum of 5 and 3).

How can this be achievable?

If this is not possible, how do you guys manage the correlation between a backlog item's estimated effort and its children tasks' remaining work?

1 Answer 1


Jira does do what you ask natively.

You can do what you want with a free plugin VSTS Rollup


But this is a disfunction in Scrum, your items are far too big. You should not need to do this

From Jeff Sutherland's (co creator of Scrum) latest book on Scrum Patterns:

No Sprint Backlog Item typically should be any larger than a single Development Team member can complete in a single work day.

Sprint items should be as small as possible, if you need to get a tool to sum work for you you are working on an item that is far too complicated and risks failure.

  • 1
    You are right. According to this entry in Scrum.org, backlog items should be kept as small as possible, therefore this question reveals a misunderstanding of the concept of a backlog item in Scrum. In conclusion, the final answer should be "you should not have the need for this". Jun 8, 2019 at 19:03

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