Do you use tasklists in your PBIs?

Last updated by Tom Bui [SSW] 8 months ago.See history

There are many ways to write tasks in PBIs, but the best way is to use tasklists. This allows you to see the progress of the PBI at a glance as well as avoid any unintentional tasks being tracked. Below is the different ways you could write tasks in PBIs.

Video: GitHub Tips - Why YOU should use tasklists (4 min)

Numbering tasks

When sending tasks in email, you might number your tasks to make it clear what you want.

numbering tasks
Figure: Numbering tasks in PBIs works but isn't fully utilizing the platform

Although this would work in PBIs, it's not the best way to do it in GitHub.

Using checklists

You can use checkboxes in PBIs to create a checklist for tasks

task checklist
Figure: You can click the tasks toolbar button or simple type in a task which is recognized as "- [ ]"

This will show a visual que as to how many tasks you've completed for the PBI.

task checklist view
Figure: OK example - Using tasks we can easily see which are completed

These tasks are numbered, but if we were to re-order them we'd need to re-number them so the list makes sense again. A better approach to numbering tasks would be to convert a task into it's own issue, this allows you to detail it out further or have more in-depth conversations around the issue specifically.

task checklist view good
Figure: Good example - Create issues from tasks to get an immutable reference

One of the downsides to using checklists is that any checkbox in the issue description would show up as a task. This means that if you had a checkbox in the description that wasn't a task, it would show up as a task. This is why we recommend using tasklists.

task checklist incorrect tasks
Figure: When you have more checkboxes, e.g. for bug reports. Your task indicator will not be accurate

Lastly you should use the tasklist for your tasks, this gives the same advantages as standard checklists without interference from other checkboxes.

tasklists markdown
Figure: Using tasklist requires a little extra markdown around your checkboxes

Besides the benefits described above, there's also the advantage of having a UI component built specifically to markup a tasklist.

tasklists ui
Figure: Using tasklist requires a little extra markdown around your checkboxes

You can see from the UI component there is a convenient button to add a task, easily see who is assigned to tasks; As well as a menu list of options to convert to issue, rename and remove tasks, all through the UI. This is great for team members who don't feel comfortable with markdown.

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