Week 8: Handle Unassigned Started Tickets

Time required: 1 hour

Unassigned tickets can wreak havoc on your Kanban process. These tickets have a tendency to be ignored, increasing your work in progress.

This week you'll create a process for handling unassigned started tickets. This does not apply to ready and backlog tickets- these are intended to remain unassigned until a technician claims them.

You have two options:

  1. Allow unassigned tickets.
  2. Consider unassigned tickets a violation, and assign them to a technician.

In week 4 we recommended technicians complete their assigned tickets in a column, and then claim and complete unassigned tickets in the column. If this process is working well and tickets don't remain unassigned, it's appropriate to allow unassigned tickets. However, if this process is difficult and tickets remain unassigned and don't progress to complete, then you may need to disallow unassigned tickets.

If you don't allow unassigned tickets, here are some ways to assign tickets:

  • Review all unassigned tickets during the daily meeting. Ask for a volunteer to take each unassigned ticket.
  • The SDM can review unassigned tickets periodically and announce them to the team, perhaps via a chat room. If tickets remain unassigned, the SDM can assign them.

To clearly show unassigned tickets, configure a TopLeft Kanban board with resource swimlanes. In this mode, the first swimlane lists unassigned tickets.

For your Kanban workflow, update your documentation to describe how to handle unassigned tickets.

Next up: Week 9

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