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.


#LSSC11 – Lean Software & Systems Conference 2011

This years Lean Software and Systems Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, CA between the 3rd to the 6th of May. This was an interesting conference and quite different from other international conferences I have attended in the past like TechEd and MEDC. This conference vas much smaller and much more intimate. I think we where something like 280 attendees. The breath of topics was large as you can see on this tracks listing:

  • CMMI and Multi-Modal Processes
  • Kanban
  • Lean Management
  • Lean Product Development
  • Lean/Kanban at Large Scale
  • Media and Games
  • Risk
  • Systems Design
  • Systems Engineering
  • Visualization

My focus was to attend as much as I could of the Visualization,  Lean Product Development and CMMI and Multi-Modal Processes tracks. I was also scheduled to do a demonstration of Visual WIP in the tools showcase. Due to pore planning and advertisement the tools showcase was moved so I missed out on some very interesting sessions but I eventually got the opportunity to show Visual WIP during two demo sessions.


Most of the keynotes was outstanding. I especially enjoyed Chet Richards

Fundamental Secrets of the Universe where he talked about John Boyd and the OODA loop.


I think the session I enjoyed most was “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wall – Visual Management and Gemba Walks” (link to blog with slides) by Inbar Oren. Inbar talked about what management want to see and the concept of Gemba Walks. The Gemba walks concept is nothing new to me but the presentation really reminded me why and how it can be done in an Agile/Kanban setting. Very well done Inban. If you are interested in learning about Gemba walks Inban recommended the book Gemba Walks by James P. Womack.

As I have a very small stake in the game of Kanban tools I was especially interested in what Russell Healy had to say about The Future of Kanban Tooling. Russell’s message was that the next generation tools had to be more flexible and more like free design surfaces where the processes could be visualized and at the same time collecting the appropriate data with as little effort as possible. He also pointed out the importance of multiple context dependent views of the same data. He showed these ideas by showing a prototype of his product under development. I think many of the concepts and ideas presented are already in my tool Visual WIP so I was very pleased.

In the the tools showcase Rodrigo Yoshima showed a demo of the upcoming tool FlowKaizen where he uses QRCode to capture where work is on the board by uploading pictures to FlowKaizen. This looks to be an interesting tool. I just hope he will make it possible to export the captured data to other tools.

Other extra interesting sessions I attended where:

I also attended these sessions:


I also attended two panels that I didn’t get anything useful out of:

The hallways

I have never understood when people has said that the best with this and that conference was the hallways. Now I understand. I had some very interesting and rewarding discussions in the hallways, at lunch, at dinner and at the informal evening events during the week. Thank you all for new and deepened insights and new friends ships.

Thank you Carol Dekkers for the great trip to the brewery!

Lean Coffee

When there is a Lean Coffee nearby I will attend if I can. I attended two great Lean Coffee sessions and just love the format.


I think the execution of the actual conference could have been done a little bit better. The scheduling mishaps with the tools showcase and the lack of focus on the open space could have been avoided.

It is great with lots of speakers with different backgrounds but some of the speakers where very inexperienced as speakers and could have done much better with some speaker coaching.

The venue was great except that the open space and the tools showcase was so far away form the rest of the action.

I think it was a good conference bordering to great. Will absolutely try to make it next year.

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

How to get started with Visual WIP

Download and add one Single Column

  • Downloading and extracting Visual WIP from
  • Starting the application
  • Creating a query folder and a team query for our board
  • Adding a Single Column to the board

Setting up a board

  • Adding 2*2 Dual columns that share the work-in-progress limit
  • Adding new window for second monitor
  • Adding 2 Single columns with different work item sizes
  • Activate Design Mode, resizing and reposition columns
  • Adding Rich text column

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–work is progressing

Work on Visual WIP is progressing. Lots of refactoring has been done for the last few weeks. I’m trying to move as much as possible of the visuals to xaml files that will be loaded in run time making it possible for you to customize the visuals to suit your needs. Below is a screenshot based on the current pre-release that you can find here


In the Analysis column you can see the new hierarchical work item support. In the example above user story work item [15 – New UI design] has one issue work item as a child [19 – Problems] that in turn has issue work item [20 – More trouble] as a child.

The Analysis column has also exceeded its work-in-progress limit and the column background has been changed to strengthen the visual signals.

In the Testing column you see the medium size work item design.

In the Production Ready column you see the small size work item design.

What’s next

In the coming week I will continue working on the save and load settings support.

If you are interested in contributing to the project please let me know. I’m especially looking for help with UX work and help with building an SharePoint provider.

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