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How can the Card Count runtime policy improve your efficiency?

After introducing the WIP limit runtime policies for reached and exceeded work in progress in our last release, it was only natural that our new features include yet another automation policy geared toward making the automation experience more flexible.

WIP limit policies assume that the number of cards in a given column or swimlane only becomes important when the number reaches or exceeds the predefined WIP limit the team has set at the start of the project. However, there might be various other scenarios in which the card count in a certain cell, column or horizontal swimlane is significant. The Card Count policy will trigger a predefined action such as create, move, update, send notification, or call web service whenever the number of cards in a given set of columns/lanes/cells satisfies a limiting condition.

This can be as general (when card count in the column is 5) or as specific (when card count for cards with assignee Jason and cards with priority high in this cell is 5) as your project demands.

The Card Count policy can create minimum WIP for your columns

The card count policy allows you to create a lower limit for your work in progress. Until this point, WIP limits referred exclusively to the maximum number of cards that can be in a column at a given time. However, the card count policy can create triggers related to minimum WIP limit as well to allow teams to create a range for the column with automatic events occurring when the card count reaches or exceeds the top or bottom level WIP limit. For example, a lower level WIP limit may be the trigger to schedule a replenishment meeting, to send a warning to the product manager that the team has no further course of action to pursue, etc.

Setting Up the Card Count Policy


1. Choose which columns, swimlanes or cells will be affected by the policy.

2. Select the number of the matching tasks as defined by the properties you select in the next step.

3. Define the properties for the cards which will get added to the count you defined in the previous step.

4. Choose from the actions which will get triggered when the card count limit is true.

When you might want to make use of it

  • to get notified if a certain assignee is dominating a certain column or swimlane with cards which should be distributed evenly
  • to keep an eye on the number of high priority tasks in various columns
  • to initiate the creation of cards somewhere else when a certain number of cards are in the Done column
  • when card count in the requested column is low and the queue needs to be replenished
  • and many more…

 Happy Kanbanizing!

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