Herogami Tuesday Tip: Limit your WIP

Limiting WIP is an integral part of a well-designed Agile process. Increasing the workload of your team will not make your project delivery process any faster, unexpectedly filling your pipeline with a number of tasks proportional to your team velocity will.

A good measure of your peers ability to process and complete a task is to measure the time a given task goes through the columns of your kanban. Is it taking one day? Three days? More? Since Herogami tracks all events occurring on your cards on the project timeline, you can export the timeline and filter for relevant tasks and events, including timestamps.

By carefully analyzing the exported timeline in a spreadsheet you can easily gather the average number of tasks being processed at every step of your process. This gives you and your team a good measure of the maximum number of tasks that can sit at each step, aka your WIP limit.

To make sure your team complies with its velocity and avoid overallocation that would clog the process, make WIP limits explicits in Herogami.

Enter the Stories Statuses menu and edit a stage of the process, say the DOING stage that hosts tasks currently in development, and enter a number in the Limit WIP field. Say that you’ve established that your team can only process 5 tasks at any given time. Enter 5.

From then on, Herogami will mark the DOING column red whenever the WIP limit is passed, flagging the whole team that the maximum number of tasks to be carried over has passed your team’s ability to work them through.

Since Herogami provides dedicated workflow for stories and issues, limiting WIP in a story state will not affect issues. Act accordingly on issues statuses if you need so.

Alfred Dierk, Agile Coach

23 Jan 2018