Team automation rules

February 19, 2024

In Azure Devops, often we find parent workitems open even though all child work items are closed. time to time, we would notice that the child item is reopened but the parent item remains closed. such scenarios make tracking difficult and also make the reporting inaccurate

A simple automation to automatically manage the closure and opening of parent/child work items will be very helpful.

Today , we will discuss how the team automation rules can be configured

Configure work item automation rules:

To enable the automation rules for workitems, navigate to Backlog and select the required team (E-commerce devops team) in our case

click on the "Configure team settings" button

team automation rules

Let's enable the following rules

enable team automation

  1. "Activates the parent work item when at least one child has been activated" This setting enables us to do more accurate reporting because the parent item will be automatically opened if any of the child item is opened.
  2. "Complete the parent work item when all children are completed" This setting will reduce the hassle to manually check if all the child items are completed before completing the parent work item.

Test the automation rule:

Here is the current status of the board where we can see an Epic and all 3 child Features are Active.

board current status

Let's close all the child work items

Once I closed the 3 features, the parent EPIC got auto closed

hboards final status

So how do you know if it was a person or automation that closed the work item?

examine the Discussion section or the history of the EPIC, you will find a comment indicating that the change was done by automation.

team automation rules history


The automation rules help in improving the accuracy of tracking and delivery, even though its a minor feature, This will help to conclude if a work item is actually completed or if there is work pending.

Thanks for reading, Goodbye until next week!

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Written by Thillai Madhavan who lives and works in India. Stay updated by following him on LinkedIn.

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