How to Show on Kanban That a Work Item is Ready to Pull to the Next Stage

Two of the key concepts of Kanban is the ability to pull work and to make your queues explicit. Some Kanbans do this by having a "done" section for each stage in the value stream. e.g., http://technitai.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-skinny-on-agile-game-design-%E2%80%93-part-3-the-firefight-board/

Is there a way to do this with Greenhopper? More generally, how do users know when work is ready to pull from one stage to the next?

3 answers

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I think that the current approach would be use separate columns for that: one for "in under work in state X", one for "work finished in state X, ready for next actions".

Theoretically you could use GH flags (http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/GH/Flagging+an+Issue+in+GreenHopper) and mark each issue ready to pull further as flagged and then when it's moved to the next column (status) the flag would need to be cleared (manually or better by a workflow post action).

GH flags are exactly what I'm looking for.

Separate columns are no good as the WIP limits should apply across both "in under work in state X" and "work finished in state X, ready for next actions" columns. i.e. If "Build" has a WIP limit of 5 and there are 5 work items that have been built, but not pulled across into test, then the developers should not start work on any new items.

If I understand correctly, the flag is a custom field, however it looks like I cannot change a custom field in a workflow post action. Is my understanding correct?

I would use for that a very populare Open Source plugin JIRA Suite Utilities and its Clear Field Value Post-Function - https://studio.plugins.atlassian.com/wiki/display/JSUTIL/JIRA+Suite+Utilities+Workflow+Post-Functions

I'd highly recommend using the new Rapid Board that was just released with GreenHopper 5.8 (previously in labs).

At this time, WIP limits are still applied to each column. One alternative you may want to explore is to use a label or custom field to denote work that's "ready" for the next stage. Then apply a swimlane using JQL to separate those items visually. This will allow you to maintain one limit for work ready and in progress at each stage.

We hope to continue developing the Rapid Board to support the your situation better in the future (vote and watch GHS-2526).

We just use extra columns and each column is the next workflow state, what i do slightly differently is that instead of Something like In progress > Development done I would have In progress > ready for Review, I prefer that naming convention as it makes you think more that hey its ready for its next stage rather than I am done, helps keep that pull mindset.

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