Limit Work in Progress

Pipes that aren't clogged increase the flow through the system
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Published October 19, 2019

What Is Limit Work in Progress?

Instead of taking on all tasks that people hand to you as a person or representative of your team, you don't accept new tasks unless you still have free capacity.

Why Do Limit Work in Progress?

Usually people take on all new tasks that come in, especially when a task they work on is waiting on external input. Then suddenly 3 of these tasks can continue and the person doesn't have the time to finish all of the same time. So the person gets overloaded, nobody knows how the progress is, and tasks get stuck in a progressed state where nobody else can help.

If one makes sure to only work on one task and then on the next one doesn't get overloaded. That means the person stays responsive, flexible and the status stays visible. If a task gets stuck waiting on external resources the person can help reducing this external dependency or making it more visible at least, to the rest of the team.

How to do Limit Work in Progress?

  • As a team, determine the amount of in-progress work you want to be your maximum at any given time.
  • Set that limit as your WIP limit and ensure throughout the sprint that it is not exceeded
  • Review WIP Limit at the end of the sprint and adjust if needed

Look at Limit Work in Progress

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Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Limit Work in Progress practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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