Kanban board details - WIP Limits

Kanban style boards are popular, but many boards don’t really implement anything more than the visual aspect of being able to drag a card from status to status. That’s not what Kanban is about though, and to really make a pull process like Kanban work within your team you need:

  • a way to set the number of cards that can be in a specific state, so WIP can be limited (by person, by team etc).
  • visual indicator of the WIP limit
  • a way to have “explicit agreements” being clear, about what must happen to a card to move it from state x to state y. That is, a definition of “done” for each Kanban state. It could be literal fields that must be completed in the card, or, a kind of text legend, say at the top of the board “lane” or, visible when clicking an icon…
  • an indicator of some kind, if you violate the “explicit agreements”.

Is this sort of thing being considered?

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@rickcogley All your ideas are good and considered for Kanban app. We are not focusing on it till public release though. Still this is on our radar for sure.

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Thanks @mdubakov. Our primary need for Fibery is to be able to improve our work management overall, in a real way, by really considering “lean” principles and the core concepts of kanban. One of the problems we have is people focusing on too many tasks and trying to multitask, which is for most people super inefficient. If we can control the WIP even in a soft way, it acts as an everpresent reminder to focus, and to not multitask. We have a formal way of capturing support request tickets, but, there are actually a bunch of other tasks that also need to be managed of course.

Another problem is “what’s the definition of done” for some support request, and, I think there are several ways to skin the cat so to speak:

  • Make some states that act as a reminder to do the usual common things like “User Confirmation” (that it’s actually done), “Update Documentation” and so on, to kind of move the card through a series of steps before that card is really considered done. It might be a bit hacky at first, having a bunch of extra states to move the card through, but, it can be done by us. It would be best if there were ways to have “substates” on the board, so you don’t have to resort to weird naming.
  • Make some kind of way to make comments at the top of each column, related to the rules about moving cards out of the state. Indeed, this is also “soft” in that it’s up to the user to do it right, but, the reminder is there and if you expect users to be adults, then you can have a discussion if there is a quality problem. Maybe this is some icon that, when you hover over it, it shows the tips regarding moving out of that state.

Another thing came to mind that would work, I think: the “canvas” idea. If a Canvas could have a Kanban Board on it, and also text areas, the text areas could be used to cite the “explicit agreements” above the columns, somehow. A possibility?

good thinking , the column can be siimple one state other flexible one

I agree with these and glad to hear @mdubakov that this is in the works, I believe you’ve mentioned this in another context in fact.

I’d like to add that I’ve found very useful, and I think Targetprocess has this feature as well as tools like Leankit, to be able to have a “state above state” in Kanban, where you an break up columns. For example, the left-most column would be “unstarted,” with sub-columns of “parking lot” and “in planning” and “ready for development” for example. The Review column would have “ready for review” and then “in review” for example.

Very eager to see the improved Kanban stuff when you guys can get to it!

@B_Sp Yeah, when we will create proper Kanban App in Fibery this should be done. In general Kanban MVP will require the following things:

  1. Cycle/Lead Time calculation
  2. Reports (CFD, CT distribution, CT change over time)
  3. Groups of States on a board
  4. WIP limits

@mdubakov Great, thanks very much that type of stuff is just what I was hoping for. In no time it appears Fibery will have not just a view with cards, but a true full-featured capability for Agile Kanban, really looking forward to that as software development is my main focus for my team, although I am here because of all the other supporting capabilities of Fibery to let me run my entire team from one app!