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What is the best way to deal with "impediments" in the Kanban board using Jira Software?

How should the column for impediments be defined, what to do when an impediment happens? Which stage should I return to? Once an impediment is released, how can you know that it can proceed?

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Hi @Vitor Lima 

A few suggestions.

  • Create a column "Impeded" or "blocked" ( I infer from your question you already have this.

I'm sure you know this, but for future reference, I'll quickly review impediments.

  • Impediments are anything that can stop the progress of a Jira ticket or prevent it from getting finished. This can be so many things but common ones;
    • a tool, server or database necessary for the work goes down.
    • unexpected dependency is identified and the ticket can't move forward until the dependency is addressed.  
    • personnel or customers essential to completing, QAing or approving the work is unavailable. 
  • I recommend creating a separate status "impeded" or "blocked" in the workflow and adding that status to the "Impeded" column. This will allow you to move that ticket to that column. Other statuses to consider: 
    • pending
    • escalated
  • In the Impeded status screen perhaps consider adding new fields for
    • the team or person the ticket has been escalated to. 
    • the date escalated/reported/impeded (whichever)
  • Keep diligent comments/notes about when and to whom it was escalated, follow-up, and ultimately resolved. 
  • Once there is confirmation the impediment is resolved and the ticket can move forward, just move the ticket from the "impeded" column back to the column which accurately reflects its proper state. 

I'm a big proponent for fields and statues instead of relying on labels and comments. Labels and comments are easily ignored or overlooked. It's important to keep track of when a ticket is impeded when it was impeded and who is accountable for resolving it. 

I hope this helps! 


Tara Conklin, CSM

Thank you Tara

Hi Tara, 


But how do you know in which status the User Story has an impediment if we choose to have a Separate Status? 




@M Vijay Kumar  we had the same issue you brought up and opted to use a label and swimlane to indicate a ticket is blocked in a specific status.  


We created a "blocked" label (you could use a component or custom field as well) and then setup a swimlane on the boards to separate out tickets with that label so they were clearly visible on the board. 


I found this more helpful than having a separate status/column because you could see from looking at the status if development couldn't start, development couldn't complete, testing couldn't happen, etc. without having to read a bunch of comments.  And the ticket would get assigned to whoever was responsible for removing the blocker so there was clear ownership.  


Hope that helps!

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