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 may want to coordinate them with cross-project Releases. When you have a team working on many projects in the same time, you may want plan and organize work of the team with cross-project Team Iterations. Team Iterations are not directly connected to Releases and cannot be assigned to them. However it is still possible to link Team Iterations with Releases. More information on this: How to link Team Iterations and Releases.
In our public backlog, we have an idea to unify Iterations and Team Iterations. We keep gathering feedback on it.