Documentation for GreenHopper 5.8.x. Documentation for other versions of JIRA Agile is available too.
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Kanban is an agile development methodology that aims to assist you in visualising the workflow, limiting the work in progress and measuring lead time for your projects (Kanban vs Scrum - Henrik Kniberg, 3rd April 2009).

GreenHopper allows you to set multiple constraints on each of the Task Board columns so that your team can easily visualise and monitor the progress of your workflow:

  • If a column exceeds one of its allocated constraints (i.e. by assigning/modifying issues such that their total in this column exceeds the column's specified maximum), the column will be highlighted in red.
  • If a column falls below a minimum for one of its allocated constraints (i.e. by assigning/modifying issues such that their total in this column falls below the column's specified minimum), the column will be highlighted in yellow.

To add constraints to a Task Board column and remove them,

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  1. Log into JIRA.
  2. Include Page
    _TaskBoardNav
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    _TaskBoardNav
  3. Select your project from the project dropdown (top left of the Task Board above the 'Task Board' dropdown), if it is not already selected. The 'Task Board' will refresh with information for your project.
  4. Click the 'View' menu and select the 'Compact (Kanban)' option.
  5. Locate the column that you want to add constraints to and click the icon at the top right of this column to open the column's configuration menu.
    (info) The configuration menu icon appears when you hover your mouse pointer over the top right of the column.
  6. Select the 'Column Constraints' option and the 'Statistics' dialog box for this column opens. The default constraint is:
    • 'Standard Issue Count' — the number of 'standard' issues (i.e. excluding sub-tasks) that may belong to a given column at the same time.
      (info) There may be other constraints if your administrator has set them up. (Standard Issue Count was introduced in GreenHopper 4.2.1.)
  7. Click the 'Edit' link for the relevant constraint and:
    • To add maximum or minimum limits to this constraint, enter the maximum or minimum values (or both) into the 'Capacity' field.
      For example, if your business practices specify that no more than five issues should be present in any particular column or any one time, you would specify 'Max'=5 in each column. In practice, it is not normally required to specify any constraints on the last (right-most) column.
    • To remove maximum or minimum limits from this constraint, clear their values in either the maximum or minimum (or both) of the 'Capacity' field.
      (warning) Be aware that you should not set these values to '0' as the value '0' itself is a constraint.
  8. Click the 'Update' link to save your changes.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for each constraint you wish to modify.
  10. Click the 'Close' button on the 'Statistics' dialog box to save all your changes. The Task Board will be refreshed with the column constraint updates applied.

(info) Please note the following information about column constraint highlights on the task board:

  • If a column's constraints have:
    • been exceeded, the column will be highlighted in red, with a triangular arrow at the top right of the column (see example below)
      (info) Clicking this triangular arrow opens the 'Statistics' dialog box for this column
    • fallen below capacity, the column will be highlighted in yellow, with a triangular arrow at the top left of the column (see example below).
  • If two or more of a column's constraints have been exceeded or have fallen below capacity, these will be indicated in a description at the top of the column (see example below).
  • If one or more of a column's constraints have been exceeded and any other of its constraints have fallen below capacity, the column will only indicate the constraints which have been been exceeded.

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Screenshot: The task board showing the 'Standard Issue Count' constraint on the first column being exceeded

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Screenshot: The task board showing the 'Standard Issue Count' constraint on the second column falling behind capacity

Screenshot: The task board showing the 'Standard Issue Count' constraints being exceeded on the first column and falling behind capacity on the second column

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Screenshot: Section of the task board showing a column with two constraints being exceeded