Visual WIP Beta 2 is now out!

New and improved UI and better custom visualization support

Visual WIP the Kanban visualization tool for Team Foundation Server that makes your Work In Progress (WIP) visible!



This is the second Beta release of Visual WIP as the API is stabilizing. Changes may be made to what framework Visual WIP will be built on and further UI changes will probably be made as well.

What’s new

  • Pan and zoom is reset when loading settings
  • Added support for work item type and size specific design
  • The TfsWorkItemWorkProvider now adds support to open and edit work items.
  • Work items looks more like sticky notes
  • Auto loading of settings on the command line
  • Auto refresh interval is moved to settings file

Implementation details

  • WorkItemViewModel now inherits from DynamicObject to simplify work item field binding and error handling.
  • Simplified event bubbling implemented
  • Some out of memory problems has been addressed

Find out more and download at

Some screen shots

A basic ToDo – Doing – Done board with no WIP limits.


A simple process with WIP limits. The Analysis and Development columns has to sub columns, Doing and Done, that share the WIP limit.


A three swim lane process with WIP limits


The settings window for a Team Foundation Server single query column. Team Foundation Server columns are populated based on Team Queries. Define your own or use existing ones.


Team Foundation Server work item editor. Double clicking on a sticky note on the board will bring up the work item editor for making changes and see more details.


How to create a Cumulative Flow Diagram in Excel and TFS 2010

Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFDs) are valuable tools for tracking and forecasting the performance of your processes. In this post I will show you how you can create a Cumulative Flow Diagram in Excel that fetches the data from Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS 2010).

As been pointed out on the KanbanDev mailing list by Daniel Vacanti the approach of counting items per process stage is a simplified way to construct CFDs. Daniel points in his book Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability out that this approach only works when the following two conditions are satisfied:

  1. Work items are not moved backward in your workflow.
  2. Work items are never completely removed before they are completed.

Keep this in mind if you use this approach.


In this example I ‘m using a modified MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 template. I have added the following states to the User Story work item workflow:

  • Analysis
  • Analysis Done
  • Development
  • Development Done
  • Test
  • Deployed

Let’s get started.

Continue reading

Tutorial day at LSSC11–Implementing Continuous Flow

Today, Tuesday the 3rd of May 2011, was tutorial day at Lean Software and Systems Conference 2011. I had decided to attend the tutorial Implement Continuous Flow by Joshua Kerievsky and John Goodsen.

I was really looking forward to this tutorial and had high hopes for it. But I’m sorry to say that it did not live up to my expectations. It was way to focused on software practices for me. I was expecting much more on how to make an organization transition to a continuous flow approach. In hind sight this was my mistake as I didn’t look at the speakers backgrounds.

I actually left the tutorial right after lunch as I found out that the tools show case track had been moved to Wednesday and I needed some more preparations. I’m could have missed all the interesting stuff in the afternoon but it sounded like there was more software practices on the agenda.

But all was not lost. I had a great time at the welcome reception meeting lots of people I have followed on Twitter for a long time and others that I just met. Great conversations with lots of interesting people.

Yesterday, on the Monday afternoon, just after I arrived to Long Beach I meet up with a big crowed of speakers and other attendees for some beer and some great and relaxed conversations.

Here is a sneak peek at a screenshot from my presentation tomorrow on Visual WIP.

Swim lanes

New version of Visual WIP available

A new alfa version of Visual WIP is now available for download here.

MainWindow 2011-02-28

The main window with an image column added. The Proposed and Active columns are refreshing asynchronously and a progress spinner is shown.

What’s new

Async updates of columns.

Now every column updates on a separate thread to minimize Visual WIP to freeze when updating.

When a column is first created the progress indicator is not show. This will be fixed.

New ImageColumn


The image column settings window

Added tools to assist in visualizing a work items age

If a work item has changed the work item border background will change color:

Has changed Border background color
within 1 min Red
between 1-2 min Yellow
between 2-5 min Green
over 5 min Transparent

The age of work item since it was created date sets an icon on the work item:

Work item age Icon
between 5-10 days 109_AllAnnotations_Info_32x32_72
between 10-20 days 109_AllAnnotations_Warning_32x32_72
over 20 days 109_AllAnnotations_Error_32x32_72

To change the behavior of this functionality the WorkItemResources.xaml has to be modified.

Recent opened files are tracked

Moved configuration to settings file

Moved the DI container configuration of IWorkItemProvider and IWorkItemProviderViewModel to the settings file unity.xml

Bug fixes

Fixed problem with hierarchical TFS queries that returned the same work item more than once.

Fixed problem when trying to resize outside of the board area

Visual WIP a kanban board for TFS

About Visual WIP

VisualWIP 2010-11-23

Visual WIP is a visualization tool to make your Work In Progress (WIP) visible. The visualization is a card-wall with stickies in different columns.

If work-in-progress limits are set for a column the same amount of kanban’s(slots/placeholders) are added to the column. If more work is added to the column than the set work-in-progress limit the column background will change color.

The main goals of Visual WIP is to:

  • Visualizer a process work-in-progress by using strong visual signals with a card wall metaphor.
  • Utilize multi monitors to enable to both show an overview from more that 10 feet’s and show detailed information when closer.
  • Use a plug-in model to enable customization and support different electronic backing systems. The main focus is to support Team Foundation Server 2010 but SharePoint is also in the roadmap.
  • Not tied to a specific process as Kanban can be applied to any process. Currently MSF for Agile for Team Foundation Server 2010 is the process that Visual WIP is developed against.

See progress by following the Visual WIP tag or go to the project at

You can also follow Visual WIP at twitter @VisualWIP 

Project status

Since my last status report the following major changes has been made:

  • You can now save and load the board design.
  • A new size and positioning that uses drag and drop
  • Two new column types are added
    • Rich text – add any kind of rdf based text to your board. Add check lists, definition of done and more
    • Uri – add a html or xaml based page to the board. Add reports from TFS, twitter pages and more
  • The xaml based board design is more or less moved to run-time loaded xaml files that you can customize to fit you needs
  • Support for modifying column setting after they are added is almost done but not activated.
  • Showing Avatars based on the name of the person assign to a work item
  • Some GUI changes

Here are some screen shots:

MainWindow 2 2010-11-23 

MainWindow 2010-11-23

Window 1 2010-11-23

I’m looking for feedback so please comment here or at

Visual WIP a work flow visualizer – demo 1

Visual WIP or Visual Work In Progress is a workflow visualizer. Visual WIP visualizes work items from Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 based on Work Item Queries. This post describes Visual WIP early in the development and as it will be show at a demo.

Below are some screen shots that shows the basic functionality for Visual WIP 


Picture 1.

Picture 1 shows the main screen with the ribbon shown. This version support adding single columns to the board in the main window.


Picture 2.

Picture 2 shows the column settings window for a single column. You can set Column name, Work in progress limit and the Work Item Query in TFS that should be used to populate the column.


Picture 3.

Picture 3 shows the main screen again with four single columns added.

The column User Stories Development has it’s positioning tool shown. Use this tool to move: Up, Down, Left and Right. Use the sliders to adjust the Width and Height. The column User Stories Development has a WIP limit of 2 and both slots are taken.

The column User Stories Ready for test has a WIP limit of 2 but only 1 slot is taken.

The column User Stories Testing has a WIP limit of 1 and is taken.

The column User Stories Delivered has no WIP limit.

I will keep posting updates regularly showing the progress of Visual WIP.

Update: See progress by following the Visual WIP tag or go to the project at

Updated prototype of Team Foundation Server 2010 Kanban board

Today at Sumpan Lean Coffee I showed a slightly updated prototype of my Team Foundation Server 2010 Kanban board. I got some good feedback that I will try to incorporate as I progress. Below is a new screenshot.


I have added support for a shared work in progress limit over two columns as shown in the Development column.

Update: See progress by following the Visual WIP tag or go to the project at