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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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". Commented 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
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


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. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 14:49

If you're in need of a pull-system solution where users don't need to constantly check for new tasks and keep track of the board, the Competence Driven app for Jira Cloud might be the perfect fit for your business.

With the ability to pull new work with the press of a button, this app streamlines the process of assigning tasks. Users can manage their work in progress and pull new issues from a single screen.

Additionally it adds the capability to pull issues by users based on matching their skills and issue competence requirements. By reducing the amount of interaction required by users to stay on top of work, you can save time and increase their productivity.

It should work great (but not only) for service desk, process management, and any routine or streamlined work.

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