Custom Board

The Custom Board app provides you with a way to view and edit work items . Similar to the Custom List app, you can add multiple copies of the app to a page and set each app to display data from multiple projects, iterations, releases, work item types, or other criteria. Is a custom board or a Kanban board right for your team? Learn more.

Custom Board


  • Use drag-and-drop controls to quickly change the state of a work item.
  • Add new work items to the board.
  • Accept a work item from the front of the card .
  • Block a work item and include a reason on the front of the card.
  • Customize the fields you see on cards.
  • Edit fields directly from the front of the card.
  • Change the color of the card.
  • Use advanced filtering capabilities.
  • Customize the columns on the board.
  • Add swimlanes to the board.

Custom Board Settings

Settings through this app are per project. Project administrators may only change app settings in projects they administer.

To change the Custom Board settings:
  1. From the app gear menu, select Settings.
  2. You can modify the following settings for the Custom Board:
    • Change the default Title.
    • Specify the Project scope.
    • Select the columns to display.
    • Select whether you want to include swimlanes.
    • Select the order of how you want cards to display.
    • Specific queries you want to add.

Custom Board settings

Project Scope

You can set the board to change its data with your global project picker , or you can choose a specific project or group of projects to work from. When the app resides on a custom page shared with an entire workspace , only workspace administrators and subscription administrators may edit global settings.

To define project scope:
  1. Select the project settings.
    • Select Follow Global Project Setting to have the contents of the board change according to your global project picker.
    • Select Choose Specific Project if you want to see another project's work, regardless of your global project setting.
  2. If your board is installed on a shared custom page, select the Default Settings checkbox to use the settings selected in the lower section of the menu for all projects in the workspace. Changes you make to columns, fields displayed on cards, and other options will be used when viewing the board from any project.
    If you have previously saved settings for the app while viewing it from a specific project, those settings will not be overwritten when checking the Default Settings checkbox. Any changes you save while this checkbox is empty will be project-specific.


Swimlanes are horizontal rows that can be applied to a board for a team to easily visualize work items by category or sub-process. Administrators can choose custom fields to be used as swimlanes on the Kanban Board.

When you add swimlanes that are based off a custom field , the field values will be ordered alphabetically as lanes. You may force a specific value to the top by adding a numerical prefix to the field value name, e.g. 1 - Blue or 2 - Green.

Best Practice: The most common usage in kanban is to add an Expedite swimlane. You can use this swimlane to visualize a single work item that is allowed to violate work in progress (WIP) limits. This work item receives priority treatment over other work items in a column.

Custom Board Cards

Cards allow you to view or update items on the Custom Board.

Card States

Each card resides in a column according to its current state.

To update the state of a card:
  1. Drag the card into the appropriate column.

Card Details

You can edit fields directly on a card.

To edit details on a card:
  1. Select an editable field on the card and edit. For example, you can edit the name, the Estimate, To Do , and Owner fields on a task card.
  2. To view or edit more details on a card:
    1. Hover over the card.
    2. Select the gear (Actions) menu, and select Edit.
      Custom Board edit details

Add New Work Items

You can add new work items of the type defined in the board settings.

To add a new work item:
  1. Select the Add New button at the top of the app to add a task, defect , defect suite , test set , or user story. If you are adding a task, you must also specify the parent from the drop-down menu.
    Custom Board Add New
  2. To quickly add a work item (without details), enter a Name and select Add.
    To add a work item with details, select Add with Details.

Filter Cards

You can filter cards by owner, or you can use the advanced filtering option.

To filter cards:
  1. Select the Show Filters icon.
  2. The default quick filter is Filter by Owner. To add a quick filter, select Add Filter, then select the field to filter on.
  3. Select Advanced Filters to set up filters with additional capabilities. Learn more about advanced filters.

Select Fields to Show on Cards

You can show or hide fields on cards.

To select fields to show or hide:
  1. Select Show on Cards.
  2. Search or scroll to select fields to display on the cards. Deselect fields that you do not want to display.
    ID, Name, and Owner are grayed-out in the list because they are always displayed.
  3. Select Apply to save your changes.

show fields

Mark Cards as Blocked or Ready-to-Pull

If you cannot work on a card, or a task associated with a card, you can mark it as blocked to notify your team of a problem. Blocked cards display on the board with a red border.

When a card is ready to move to the next stage of development, you can mark it as ready-to-pull to update your product owner or other team members. The card displays on the board with a green border.

ready and blocked

To mark a card as blocked or ready-to-pull:
  1. Hover over a card to display the menu at the bottom of the card.
  2. To mark a card as blocked, select the stop sign (Block) icon.
    1. After the stop sign icon is selected, the Blocked Reason field displays. Type the reason for the blocked status, then select outside of the card to save. You can edit the Blocked Reason by selecting the field on the card. When a blocked status is removed, the Blocked Reason field is cleared out.
  3. To mark a card as ready-to-pull, select the checkmark icon.

Choose a Color for Cards

Use the color picker icon to change the top border of the card. This icon is located by hovering on the bottom of the card.

choose color

Copy or Delete a Card

You may copy or delete a work item by hovering over a card and selecting the gear icon.

Custom Board Actions

Action How To
Change status Drag-and-drop a card from one state column to another.
Expand or collapse rows Select the arrows on the right side of the row to expand or collapse.
Select cards to display on the board Select the Show on Cards icon. You can search for fields to add to the cards and select the checkbox next to the field to display it on the card.
Add new work items Select the Add New button at the top of the board.
Filter cards on the board Select the filter icon. You can refine what you see on the board by selecting multiple Fields, Operators and Values.
Filter by owner Select the Show work owned by drop-down menu and choose a team member name. User stories and tasks in the iteration owned by the team member display.
Show additional fields on cards Select the Show on cards icon, located next to the Filter options, and select or deselect checkboxes for fields you want to show on the cards on the board.
View or edit fields Select an editable field on the card. Changes are automatically saved when you select away from the card. You can also hover over a card, select the gear menu and select Edit.
Delete a card Hover over the card, then select the gear menu from the bar at the bottom of the card and select Delete. The task is recoverable from the Recycle Bin.
Block and unblock cards Hover over the card and select the blocked icon. To unblock, select the blocked icon again.
Mark as ready Hover over the card and select the checkmark icon. The card will display a green border along with a green checkmark when marked ready to pull.
View associated story details Hover over the user story ID to view the percent done, owner and state fields. Select the user story ID to open the detail page for that story.
Add a discussion Hover over the card, then select the + icon to add or respond to a discussion.


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