Microsoft Azure DevOps – Agile Process – Difference between Epic, Feature and User Story work items

Hi All,



This is my first article in new year and starting with DevOps 🙂

Background : In our project we have started new module and I need to do sprint planning and backlog items in DevOps. Since we have custom process derived from Agile process, in work items we have options to create => Epic, Feature and User Story. In last article Microsoft Azure DevOps – Boards – Work Items we have discussed these work items bit.

Azure DevOps - Agile Process - Options to create new work item
Fig 1 : Azure DevOps – Agile Process – Options to create new work item

In today’s article we will discuss what is difference in these 3 work items and when to create which work item in depth.

Take away from this article: At the end of this article we will got to know about

  1. Details about work items – Epic, Feature and User Story
  2. When to create which work item or what is the relationships in between them


  1. This work item type is available in all default processes – Basic, Agile, Scrum and CMMI ( Capability Maturity Model Integration)
  2. Are used to group work under larger scenarios
  3. Epic represents business initiative
  4. Epics are for stakeholders, customers
  5. Examples
    • Increase customer engagement
    • Improve performance
    • Support mobile application
    • Implement Azure DevOps


  1. This work item type is available in Agile, Scrum and CMMI processes
  2. One complete feature of Software
  3. Examples:
    • Add mobile shopping cart to application / project
    • New look and feel to application / project

User Stories:

  1. This work item type is available in Agile process
  2. In agile process, By creating backlog of user stories we create project plan
  3. User stories represents the work we need to develop and ship
  4. User stories define the applications, requirements, and elements that team needs to create
  5. Product owner defines user stories and can priorities by using “State Rank field”
  6. User Stories are for the Teams
  7. Feature will be divided in multiple user stories to a level that can be delivered in a single sprint
  8. Team then estimate the work effort
  9. Team then in sprint divide user stories into the tasks

So hierarchy is like EPIC => Feature => User Stories and relationship is like

  • EPIC can have Multiple Features and can be delivered in months
  • Feature can have Multiple User Stories can be delivered in weeks
  • And then User Stories will be further divided into Tasks can be delivered in days

Use Case : Consider the use case of development of M365 “Intranet Application” so

EPICs will be like:

New Development

Features will be like

Content Migration
Users Migration
Testing migrated content
New Development – News Development
New Development – Identify new components – HR / Employee sections
New Development – Home / Welcome Page
New Development – Users section

User Stories will be

Content Migration and verification of broken content
Correcting broken content
Testing / Verification of content with customer
New Development – News Development – Identify types of News – Local News / Country News / User Personal News
New Development – Home / Welcome Page – Identifying components – Content Highlight component / Teams component / News components
New Development – Home / Welcome Page – Layout / Design

If you have some more thoughts on this kindly please share in comment section

We have very good series going on Azure DevOps kindly please have a look –

Thanks for reading 🙂 Feel free to discuss / comment / questions 🙂 SHARING IS CARING 🙂

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Enjoy the beautiful life 🙂 Have a FUN 🙂 HAVE A SAFE LIFE 🙂 TAKE CARE 🙂 

Prasham Sabadra

LIFE IS VERY BEAUTIFUL :) ENJOY THE WHOLE JOURNEY :) Founder of Knowledge Junction and, Author, Learner, Passionate Techie, avid reader. Certified Professional Workshop Facilitator / Public Speaker. Scrum Foundation Professional certificated. Motivational, Behavioral , Technical speaker. Speaks in various events including SharePoint Saturdays, Boot camps, Collages / Schools, local chapter. Can reach me for Microsoft 365, Azure, DevOps, SharePoint, Teams, Power Platform, JavaScript.

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