A Work-In-Progress (WIP) limit is the limit set of the number of cards that can be worked on at any one time, in any column. This allows people to focus on what’s important and not switch too much between tasks (which creates waste). WIP limits can be set by clicking on the ‘Modify Process’ link on the Kanban board.
You can define the WIP limit at the following 2 levels:
For every user, you can set a WIP limit by using the User WIP configuration and apply that limitation across all boards for that user.
You can set WIP limit for a lane or column based on card count or estimate points. You can define WIP limit for either All or In Progress lanes on your board. Moreover, you can define both maximum and minimum WIP limit of a lane or column.
For Example, you can define User WIP for Card Count in In-Progress lanes based on which you can set the maximum number of cards that can be assigned to a user in In-Progress lanes.
Enabling WIP Limit Feature
While defining the WIP limit for a user, you can further define the limit for individual users and for individual active boards. Irrespective of whether you choose user-level WIP or board-level WIP, you need to begin by enabling the WIP feature.
To enable the WIP feature, log in using admin credentials and follow the steps below :
- Under Admin>Settings, click Admin Policy icon () on the Side toolbar.
- Select the User WIP parameter based on which WIP limit is to be calculated.
You can configure the User WIP limit based on the:
- Units of Measurement (UoM) like Card Count, Actual Effort(In Days), Estimate and others which will be used for calculating the aggregated WIP of a user.
- Column Type: Cards either In-progress column type or all column types across the Swim Lanes of the active Boards will be considered for WIP calculation.
- In case of card count, the number of unique cards that are currently on the In-Progress or all column types of the active Boards will be considered for the WIP limit calculation.
- In case of other units like Actual Effort or Estimate, the aggregated value entered for those fields in the cards that are on the In-Progress or all column types of the active Boards will be considered for the WIP limit calculation.
3. Select the lane, where the selected User WIP is applicable(the changes are saved automatically).
To define WIP for each user:
- Open the list of people page by clicking the ()icon on the toolbar, then navigate to People menu link on the toolbar.
- Under the WIP Value column, double-click the desired username and enter the WIP limit for the respective user.
- WIP Status indicates whether the WIP is Active or Inactive for the respective user. Under this column, double-click the desired username to alter the WIP status as per requirement.
- Click the filter icon on the side toolbar to search a specific user based on these different columns.
Note: The WIP limit cannot be set for the user having the Reader role at the Admin level.
Defining User WIP for Each Board
You can also define a user WIP limit for every active board. To set a board-specific WIP limit, click the board name on the toolbar and select Team Member.
In the following screen, you can define the WIP value for each board member:
WIP Limit Violation Notification
Once WIP Limit is defined for users, open the desired board.
- The user’s profile picture is encircled with red ink on the card if the user WIP limit or lane WIP limit is violated.
Click User WIP () on the Side toolbar to see WIP details of each user assigned to the current board.
A pop-up appears that displays the total number of cards assigned to each user across all active boards along with his WIP limit. You can sort the user WIP list on any of the following attributes:
- Card Count (default)
- WIP Violation
You can further sort this in either ascending or descending order by selecting the ASC or DESC option.
Following is the color code for notification of User WIP violation:
- Red: Number of assigned cards has exceeded the user WIP limit for the current active board
- Orange: Number of assigned cards has exceeded the user WIP limit for another active board
- Green: Number of assigned cards is within the WIP limit of the user
Pop up displays the details of only those users for who WIP is defined in the current active board.
Click Personal Kanban View to see the lane-wise breakup of assigned cards, and click any cell in the table to get a further drill-down data on the card’s current lane and its title.
If creating a card violates the user WIP, a warning message is displayed. For instance, in the following example, user WIP for the board has been set to 1. Creating another card gives the following notification on top of the Kanban board.
Defining Column/Lane WIP Limit
Tips: We have an exciting in-app Learning Enabler, called Challenges that would help you learn and apply the WIP interactively. Please navigate to Help & Support > Challenges from the top level menu and try out the Challenges.
You can define minimum as well as maximum WIP limit of cards in card count or estimate points for a particular column of an active Board. To set the limit:
- You can set Minimum and Maximum WIP limit. Depending on the Minimum and Maximum WIP limit that you have entered, the WIP limit will be highlighted.
- Click the column header for the column in which you want to set the limit.
- Click the Board Editor () icon from the Side toolbar.
- Go to the Kanban board.
- When you are not meeting the Minimum WIP limit, then the color will turn to Orange.
- The same is applicable for the Maximum WIP limit. If you exceed the Maximum limit, then the color will change to Red.
Note: (If you set the limit as -1 then there is no limit set for that particular column)
Enter the Minimum as well as Maximum WIP limit, and click Submit. After you start adding the card in that particular column, you will get to see the WIP status as Current WIP/ Minimum WIP – Maximum WIP.