Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Sign up Log in

Earn badges and make progress

You're on your way to the next level! Join the Kudos program to earn points and save your progress.

Deleted user Avatar
Deleted user

Level 1: Seed

25 / 150 points

Next: Root


1 badge earned


Participate in fun challenges

Challenges come and go, but your rewards stay with you. Do more to earn more!


Gift kudos to your peers

What goes around comes around! Share the love by gifting kudos to your peers.


Rise up in the ranks

Keep earning points to reach the top of the leaderboard. It resets every quarter so you always have a chance!


Come for the products,
stay for the community

The Atlassian Community can help you and your team get more value out of Atlassian products and practices.

Atlassian Community about banner
Community Members
Community Events
Community Groups

How: Kanban, sub-tasks, and WIP

I'm looking for some advice on using Jira for a number of Kanban teams (we're actually Scrumban but that's not critical).

All of our teams have Kanban boards set up with To Do, In Progress, In Review...Done columns. We have a minimum value set on To Do and WIP set on In Progress. 

It's the In Progress column which begs my question.

At the moment, our teams have WIP set to 2 per developer. A team with seven (7) members would have a WIP of 14 on In Progress (and this works for us). What we've learned is that WIP counts stories, sub-tasks, bugs, risks, etc towards it's column total. This is all well and good except in the case of stories and sub-tasks.

When we pull a story into In Progress, everything is cool unless it has sub-tasks. If the story has sub-tasks, when we pull a sub-task into In Progress, this suddenly counts as two items In Progress (the story and the sub-task). [Assuming the same developer is assigned the story and sub-task.] It makes sense because the story is started because a sub-task is being worked on. However, it counts as two against WIP when it's really only one (the sub-task).

We don't want to make WIP four (4) as an example because someone could have a four sub-tasks In Progress for example which definitely "breaks" our WIP.

I was wondering how others deal with Kanban, WIP, and stories having sub-tasks.

1 comment

Bill Sheboy
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
Jul 22, 2021

Hi @Paul Stasiak  -- Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

I saw several open suggestions to improve WIP counts for boards.  You may watch/vote for any of these, or write your own idea.

You may want to check the marketplace to see if someone has an addon for purchase to help.  Another alternative is from pull-based flow: reduce WIP further.  When working on a story (which has or doesn't have sub-tasks), you are working on that story.  Jira appears to be raising visibility to that idea to help a team focus on fewer things at once, and so to get more value delivered sooner.

Best regards,

Like Paul Stasiak likes this


Log in or Sign up to comment