Visual Studio Online introduced this feature a few weeks ago, and then I’ve been asked…
Why is the split column inside another column?
That is absolutely a fair question.
Kanban rotates around the concept of Capacity Flow, minimizing turnover and cycle time.
The so called ‘Kanban Boards’ – the Backlog Boards in reality - in Visual Studio Online take this principles as foundational when it is time to present an aggregated view of the development situation. Capacity is immutable by definition, unless there is an external intervention.
Also note that the we are not looking at the same stuff. The Sprint Backlog Board will boast the true States of my involved Work Items, which are then mapped to the Kanban Boards’ Metastates. Here is an example:
This is my Process Template. But my board looks like this:
What happens is that regardless of the Metastate (between New and Approved) the actual Work Item State is still Proposed. A Metastate is basically a way of determining how it is visualised, given that all the constraints are valid of course.
But back to the original question – does it make sense?
It does, indeed. These feature might seem just cosmetic stuff, but they actually contribute a lot in keeping the teams’ meeting lean and the procedures simple and effective.
Even if a PBI is Approved, it still might have work on it. Hence separating the Doing/Done phases makes it way easier for the Product Owner to understand the actual pace of the team. This works very well with the Definition of Done on the board, which I covered on this post.