In kanban, you shouldn't move the card reverse to previous state right? If that so, what should I do when there's something like temporary stop this card until the committee board approve the change to this card. Do it need to stay there to waste the WIP? Should I need to remove it from it from kanban board temporary and redo the flow again when the committee board approve?

2 Answers 2


One of the main principles of Kanban is visibility. In this case, the fact an item is stuck and counting towards your WIP for that step in your workflow is giving you visibility of a blockage.

As for actions you can take, find out whether this problem has occurred before or if is it an extraordinary event.

If it's a one off event, just do whatever you can to remove the blocker in this instance. If you need approval from a committee before the item progresses but they don't meet for a couple of weeks can you call an emergency session or get approval via email for this item?

If the same blocking issue is happening repeatedly, you might need to adjust your workflow to account for something like approval.

e.g. if your current workflow is:

Analyse > Code > Test > Release

and some items need an approval before work can start, you might add an approve step where items can queue giving you:

Analyse > Approve > Code > Test > Release

You could consider having a separate swimlane on your board for items that need approval. This might help you monitor the number of things coming up that need to go through this step so you can sequence the approval meeting to better suit the arrival rate of this type of work.

  • 2
    As visibility is one of the main principles, it is usually a good idea to have some way of marking blocked items in a visual way. On physical boards where we are using post-it notes, we usually do this by placing another note in a special color over the original note (we usually use hot pink or red to represent blocking items). Also, determining how to handle blocked items in regards to your WIP limit is something your team should decide as a group. The important thing is to not allow blocked items to build up and not get addressed.
    – Kyle
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 12:34

I recommend you to leave the card in the column where the problem occurred and not count it in the WIP limit. Also, use a visual sign as an information for your team members that there is a problem with this issue and write a description, explaining what it is. See how you can do it using online kanban board on this Kanban blog.

  • I would do the same except I would count it in the WIP limit. If this card was a priority, then that blockage is holding the project up. If you don't count it as WIP, then (for one thing) it makes it easier for everyone to shrug and ignore it... and what do you do when it does get unblocked? Long story short, blocked cards are still in a state of progress. They should count that way.
    – catfood
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 20:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.