There are two types of Iterations: Iterations (Project Iterations, Sprints, Project Sprints) and Team Iterations (Team Sprints). Both are planning entities. They represent a short period of time during which planned work should be completed.
Iterations and Team Iterations serve the same purpose: organizing work for planning, tracking, and reporting. The main difference between them is the scope of work each type may contain.
An Iteration is a part of a Project and Release by nature. It can contain work only from one Project and a single project Release.
Team Iterations are similar to Iterations, but are not related to a Project. A Team Iteration is related to a Team and can contain work from many different Projects and Releases.
|Iteration (Sprint)||Team Iteration (Team Sprint)|
|Can contain stories, tasks and bugs assigned to||1 Project||many Projects|
|Can contain stories, tasks and bugs assigned to||many Teams||1 Team|
|Can contain stories, tasks and bugs assigned to||1 Release, always||many Releases|
|Belongs to parent Release||1 Release assigned to 1 Project only, always||never|
|Belongs to parent Project||1 Project, always||never|
|Belongs to parent Team||never||1 Team, always|
The total assigned effort and velocity of Iterations and Team Iterations is measured using single planning unit (points or ideal hours) across all assigned entities (work items).
For Iterations, the effort unit is defined in the settings of the process of the Project the Iteration belongs to.
For Team Iterations, the effort unit is overridden by the settings of the process marked as "Default Process" in your global settings (Settings → Processes).
Assign Features, Epics and Releases
Both Iterations and Team Iterations cannot contain Features and Epics. These high-level requirement entities can be assigned to Releases only. However, Iterations and Team Iterations can contain Stories, Tasks, and Bugs that are part of Features and Epics.
Iterations cannot be assigned to cross-project Releases.
Filters for Sprints (Iterations) and Team Iterations
You can select, hide or highlight data in Views and Visual Reports by Sprints (Iterations) or Team Iterations and related properties using Advanced Filters for Sprints (Iterations) and Team Iterations.
Team Iterations and Releases
In a case when you have multiple related projects running together you can to coordinate them with cross-project Releases. When you have a team working on many projects in the same time, you can plan and organize work of the team with cross-project Team Iterations. Team Iterations cannot be assigned to Releases. However it is still possible to assign a work item such as User Story, Task, or Bug both to a team iteration and to a cross-project Release.
The figure below illustrates the setup. Team A works on two projects, Project X and Project Y. The team is assigned to both projects. Work of the team is organized with Team Iterations. Team Iterations #1, #2, #3 are assigned to the Team A. Work on the projects is coordinated using cross-project Releases. Releases #1, #2 are assigned both to Project X and Project Y. Team Iterations are not assigned to Releases. Every work item is assigned to a single Project, Release, Team, Team Iteration.
For additional transparency, we recommend to add outbound relations from Releases to Team Iterations.
In our public backlog, we have an idea to unify Iterations and Team Iterations. We will keep gathering feedback on it.