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Understand Card Size

LeanKit’s guide to understanding card size, how it affects work, and how it can be used to better demonstrate larger pieces of work.

Many teams want or need a way to identify the amount of work related to a given card to better understand the estimated amount, or size, of their efforts. Not all cards represent the same amount of work, effort, or value.  To account for this, size is an optional field in every card in LeanKit. The default size of any card is 1 unless otherwise established within the Card Size field.


Sizing can help teams with:

  • planning
  • backlog replenishment/grooming
  • understanding how much work is in process at a given time
  • analyzing metrics such as throughput

Approaches to sizing vary by team, including a rough t-shirt size concept (e.g., 1 equals extra small, 2 equals small, etc.), a scale of 1 through 10, the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.), or even detailed estimates for hours of effort.



Card Size and Connections

If you have set sizes for connected cards the progress of the parent card will reflect that. Child card sizes will affect how the percentage complete is calculated, which allows for a true understanding of how much work is left on a project’s progress.


In the above image, even though there are only 4 total connected cards and 2 of those are complete, because one of the completed cards has a card size of 7 the progress bar on the face of the card shows 8 out of 10 complete to reflect the assigned card size of the larger piece of work, and the percent complete calculates as 80%. This makes it easier to track those larger pieces of work in even larger processes.


Card Size and WIP

Because card size is often used to reflect larger projects or larger pieces of work, LeanKit allows you to set WIP based on card size. When WIP is set based on card size, card size will be counted against your WIP limits, which often portrays your workload more accurately.


Check out our article on Card Size Settings and the Effect on WIP to learn more about how to set WIP based on card size.


Card Size and Reporting

By default, reports with calculated results consider each card as equal in size (everything = 1). However, in several reports, there is an option to perform the calculation based on card size. In these reports there will be a checkbox to the right of the report that you can check in order to calculate your reports based on card size.


For any cards that have the Card Size field populated, the standard results for those cards are divided by their card size once the card size box has been checked on these reports.

Card size

Actual Start

Actual Finish

Cycle Time if “calc by size” is on


Feb 14

Feb 17

3 days


Feb 14

Feb 17

1.5 days


Feb 14

Feb 17

1 day

Many reports feature the option to calculate results based on card size. The reports that do NOT include the option to calculate based on card size are: Planned Percent Complete and Exceptions.






Doc ID: 1192229155

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