Managing invalid or obsolete stories

Stories sometimes need to be removed from the workflow for a variety of reasons. For example, a bug may have been unexpectedly fixed by another story, or will be made irrelevant by an upcoming redesign. Or perhaps the product team has decided not to implement a planned feature. You may prefer to retain the story and its history rather than delete it permanently.

In these instances, there are couple of approaches we recommend. The first approach involves creating a label that describes the situation—such as “won’t fix,” “obsolete,” or “invalid”—to apply to such stories. Then move the story to the bottom of the Icebox along with a concise comment explaining the decision. Before moving the story to the Icebox, the story must first be unstarted by expanding it, clicking the State drop down, and selecting Unstarted.

You can also use a release marker in the Icebox to separate stories like these from others, as shown below.​ For more tips on managing stories in the Icebox, click here.

The second approach is similar to the first; however, instead of moving the story to the bottom of the Icebox, you would simply change the story’s estimate to 0 and then accept it. This approach might be preferable to a team that would rather not crowd their Icebox with obsolete stories. You can find more on this method in Tips for handling bugs.

Regardless of the approach you choose, we encourage you to add an appropriate label, as well as a comment describing the decision.

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