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Setting WIP Limits Per User

I am looking for the ability to set a WIP limit per user, as my team has anywhere from 3-7 team members. I want to limit each person, not just the column. For example, if I want to set a WIP of 3 per person, I would set it to 21 if I have 7 people on the team, but if I only have 3, that could ultimately have 7 tasks. Is there any way to set it on a per user basis?

5 answers

Hello community!

I would like the input on the below for a potential feature request.



AS a team member

I WANT jira to stop me from going above my defined WIP limit

SO that I can stop staring and start finalizing

Scenarios (in this case based on classes of services aka CoS)


GIVEN an attempt to assign an issue to a user

WHEN the issue is expedite and there is one current expedite issue assigned

THEN do not accept the assignment

WHEN the issue is non expedite (fixed delivery date, standard or intangible) and there are two current non expedite issues assigned

THEN do not accept the assignment

Implemetation proposal


Note how the two WHEN can be expressed as JQL filter an operator and a count. Let us call them Personal WIP rules:

filter, operator, count

PWIP rule1: CoS = "expedite", <=, 1

PWIP rule2: Cos in ("fixed delivery date", "standard", "intangible"), <=, 2

These rules should be assigned to user roles.

Suppose some user (the originator) attempts to assign an issue to a another user or self (the target). The system will count the current tickets assigned based on the filter rules for the target user, will apply the filter rules for the current issue and if a filter condition is matched then the count will increase for that filter. The rule will evaluate and only if the user can accept the ticket the operation will be successful.

In fact the target user should not be even presented as a candidate to resolve the ticket. At a minimum, as stated above, the validation of the submission should fail. The result should be an error like "Could not perform this action. Personal WIP limit reached"



- Nestor

I do not believe this is yet available.


We've historically either set no limit, which does nothing to resolve the issue or we simply multiply total team members by the max # of WIP we want them to be working on.

This has its issues as well bc clearly other team members can go over their soft limit and affect someone else's ability to show they've begun working on a new issue.

I have created take care of Personal WIP limits.

I would set up a swimlane for each user, and set the issue limit to 3.

I'm sorry but the boards to not differenciate between swimlanes. The min and max for a column is for the entire column reguardless of how you divide it. Setting your max to 21 would allow 7 people to have 3 issues or 1 person to have 21 issues.

The only way you can control this that I am aware of is making individual Kanban boards for each employee and setting the WIP on each board.

If you want to see all work across the team you could use a Scrum board for the combined work of the team but that will only allow you to control the WIP for the team and not for each member.

I use a combination of both boards to acheive what you need. As the project manager and Scrum Master I run the Scrum board, make sprints, and deligate work in two week chunks across multiple projects. This allows me to control the WIP for all the teams. I then made indivdual Kanban boards for each team member that they can use to see only their work. This also allows me to control the WIP for each person. The boards are linked by a filter and assignee.

As a technical communication department, we are working on moving away from the scrum system, which is great for developers who share a single project, with a clearly defined final goal for each Sprint. However our "continuous project" is the department itself, our Epics represent individual project types, and Stories are pretty much the only task-type we use. The individual tech-writers write their own stories within the so called epic (or - as just mentioned - project type).

We are hoping to glide into using our Kanban boards as a kind of Scrumban framework and don't foresee too many difficulties in doing so.

With the scrum system still in place I have configured Kanban boards (from scrum/sprint filters) for each assignee. This does allow me to set limits (or configure column constraints, as it's called) for the individual assignees, but with the Kanban board set up as it is the assignees can only see Epics which they themselves have written (or for which they are the reporters).

The snag is that in order to access all of the Epics within the (never-ending-departmental-) project, assignees have to stray from their "individual" Kanban boards (to write their stories). Does anyone know if there is any way one could gain access to all of the epics in the project from the individually adapted Kanban boards?

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