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A Kanban development team has a WIP limit of 4 on their in-dev column.

One of the team members is part-time i.e. not 100% and they are working on a story and therefore holding up 1 spot in the WIP dev column. The team member has many other responsibilities so is not 100% focused on this story.

Should we remove the team member and create a kanban board specifically for them to manage all their tasks or what is a good solution?

  • What do you use Kanban Board for? – Bartek Kobyłecki Aug 26 '15 at 12:22
  • @BartekKobyłecki all dev user stories are pushed through the kanban board i.e. we use it track and manage dev team work – TheLearner Aug 26 '15 at 13:15
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    So if the process is like this, keep the board unchanged. Don't try to "optimize for eyes" :-) – Bartek Kobyłecki Aug 26 '15 at 13:54
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Having a part time team member is probably a bad idea.

When something needs doing that can't be done in the slice of their time you've been allocated, that is waste. When you have to train and familiarize them to the level of a full time member and then can't get full time work out them, that is waste. When they have to catch up after missing a couple of days: waste. Et cetera.

Leave the board as it is. Part of the reason you have a board is to help you identify process improvement. You're uncomfortable because your board is working correctly.

  • Looking back, I have decided to create an infinite loop and say I agree with El Toro Bauldo, about how use part timers best. – Nathan Cooper Nov 24 '15 at 0:15
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I agree with Nathan. A part time team member being responsible for a WIP item is a bad idea. However, if the part time team member can make a contribution without being disruptive see Brooke's Law then I would suggest that he/she could pair on one of the WIP items.

In our scrumban developments, we try and minimise WIP by making every effort to have the whole team work on only one story at a time.

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