When working on a project that has a WIP limit which is lower than the number of team members there will be times when a team member feels like they cannot contribute to the current work in progress.
This can make them fell like they have nothing to do and the automatic reaction is to update the WIP level, but before do you should ensure that you have tried all of these possibilities:
- Can you work with other team members on any of the other In Progress stories to allow them to be complete faster?
- Can the work be split up into separate tasks?
- Can you pair program with another developer?
- If using unit tests can you help write appropriate tests for the functionality?
- Can you fix any bugs?
- Can you help unblock any stories that are in a Blocked state?
- Can you make a release to test?
- Can you improve the release process?
Only after finishing all of these tasks should a team even think about increasing the WIP level.