Using the Kanban boards in GitLab (plus Wolftune check-in)


tl;dr: use “do next” and “doing” with assignments in GitLab Board view to pick and show current and next tasks

I finally made sense more of how to use the Kanban Board feature in GitLab.

First, it’s not useful for ordering cards the way some of these things work.[1] The primary purpose is to actually track immediate work and goals.

So, here’s a link with a Board for issues assigned to me:✓&state=opened&assignee_username=wolftune

  • The labels “do next” and “doing” are now group labels available in all projects.
  • The board is nothing more than a visualization of which issues have those labels or not with the ability to drag between boards as a method of changing labels.

Other board setups are possible that highlight other labels, but the point is to treat them as mutually exclusive labels. So, no issue should ever have “do next” and “doing” both. And adding those labels to an issue is tantamount to moving an issue to one of the boards.

Each team member can (and I encourage this) do a similar sorting of tasks assigned to them.

  • Use “do next” for when you took time to look at the long list of issues and picked out ones you really intend to focus on soon/next etc. The goal is that you can come back later and not get overwhelmed by everything but can just focus on what you already decided makes sense. Don’t mark too many issues that way…
  • Treat “doing” as something already started, actively being working on

Thus, besides filtering down issues for yourself, this is a public accountability and activity report. The board filtered to me shows you what I’m up to and what I intend to focus on next (and what I’ve got in my backlog in the “Open” board or finished in the “Closed” board).

So, while there’s a lot that isn’t captured there, that link above is a bit of a check-in, status report for me. Cheers!

  1. We experimented with doing that for ordering priority of projects to reach out to, and that probably should be moved to a totally different system because having each of those as an issue clutters stuff for anyone with access to that special project. ↩︎


Is there any way we can date issues or give a “priority” status to them?


There are labels for low/medium/high/top priority.


There’s also due-dates as something that can be marked, and we can use milestones to highlight sets of related tasks on track for a current larger project.

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