I'm using the "Teams" tab provided by MS in Excel to add repeating Azure DevOps User Stories (US), i.e. work that needs to be done every sprint (don't ask). This seems to be the recommended approach to bulk add work items to Azure DevOps.

The US all belong under a single Feature and they have a couple of tasks each.

I use a tree hierarchy in the Excel file, with US at the top level and Task at the secondary level. This works fine, except that I can't place the new US under the desired Feature in any way. When I publish they end up unparented.

If I add the Parent column, I can see existing parent ID's for those US that are already assigned a parent. But this column is read only, so I can't use it to actually place a new US under the desired parent Feature.

If I add a third level to the Excel file, for the parent Feature level, I can of course place the new US under the desired parent Feature. But in this case I end up with all the old closed US in the Excel file, and I can't seem to find a way to hide them. These will soon count in hundreds, so this is not nice.

Is there any way that I can assign the new US to the desired parent Feature in Excel, without having to see the old closed US under the same parent Feature (and their tasks)?

  • Your problem isn't with agile, user-stories, devops or features. It's with Excel or with the way you try to do your work with it. Excel is a wonderful spreadsheet software, but using it for everything will inevitably lead to problems. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 11:37
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    @Hans-MartinMosner I agree that the tags are somewhat wrong, but the tags that I should use don't exist here. They do exist in StackOverflow, but I think the question is off-topic there. Valid tags would primarily be "azure-devops" and "excel". MS supplies a "Teams" tab in Excel for the specific purpose of working with DevOps work items. That's what I'm doing, and that's what I'm asking about. How is that inappropriate? Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 11:45
  • I'm sorry, I misunderstood the nature of this. I'm not familiar with Azure DevOps and didn't realize that this Excel file is one provided by MS. I still stand by my (somewhat generalized) assertion that using Excel for everything is asking for trouble, but this is not targeted at you but at those who wrote this Excel file. Perhaps the more generic tag "pm-software" would help others to understand the problem easier. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 12:02
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    @Hans-MartinMosner I tried to clarify and added the tag you suggested. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 16:26
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    Yes, exactly that Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The excel add-on works nicely but you may want to look into importing via CSV.


  • Regex can be used to mass-edit
  • Files can be versioned
  • Changes aren't reflected in ADO until you upload the CSV
  • List item

Changes can be previewed in ADO before committing

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