As far as I understand, in Kanban, each column is divided into two sub-columns: "In Progress" and "Done". A performer from the next column pulls the items from the previous column's "Done" sub-column. This is how a pull system works.

But in Jira's Kanban board there is no way to divide a column into "In Progress" and "Done". How do you cope with this?

Does this limitation forces team members to always ask the other team members (from the previous column) which of their items are "Done"?

  • When talking about Jira, questions and answers should consider that every project uses a specific set of default workflows and columns. Do not assume that the ones you have are the ones other people has. Assume there's no default.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Jan 8, 2020 at 11:27
  • Besides, is there any link or external reference that explains what you meant by "sub-columns"? I never heard about this concept.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Jan 8, 2020 at 13:37
  • This needs more context. Why do you think JIRA can’t add columns? And why do you think post-task queuing between columns will improve flow?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Jan 8, 2020 at 13:43
  • @TiagoCardoso i think what ChrisBrettini means with sub-columns are, in fact, the status of each column and, therefore, why I answered the way i did. In his specific case, it seems he has organized each column with status "In Progress" and "Done". Jan 8, 2020 at 15:15
  • 1
    Got your point @TiagoMartinsPeres - you're right. I had never seeing statuses being called sub-columns.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Jan 8, 2020 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


JIRA allows you to modify your workflow and add new statuses. You don't need to divide columns, just add new columns that reflect what you want.

I would look to build a workflow something like this:

To Do


Dev Done



Thus a tester would look at the "Dev Done" column for work that they can pull into "Test".

If you have more elements in your workflow you can add the additional 'Done' stages for them as well.


In Jira, the default columns on a Kanban board are Backlog, Selected for Development (To Do), In Progress, and Done.

For each column, depending on the workflow you're using, you have different status.

If your board's project is using the Jira default workflow:

  • To Do - Open, Reopened
  • In Progress - In Progress
  • Done - Resolved, Closed

You can change the workflow or delete / add / edit the status if you want to.

  • 1
    Yes, just change the default Jira workflow and/or board layout to meet your specific needs. Jan 7, 2020 at 14:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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