The Cumulative Flow diagram (CFD) provides a graphic depiction of how cards are moving through various statuses on the way to being ‘Done’. It shows us the total scope of a board, grouped by status, and thus lets us know how much of that scope is in a particular status at a given time. The CFD in SwiftKanban helps to track the performance of the board and how close you are to completing the board on a whole. It plots the distribution of cards in each state/lane at a moment (date, calendar, week, month, and quarter,) along the timeline.
In the Analytics tab, click the Filter icon on the Auto-hide toolbar that docks out on the left edge. Select the options accordingly, in the filter window, and click Apply. The chart will be refreshed.
The CFD has filter options to select Backlog, Archive, and Board Lanes. Select specific child lanes or Parent lanes to roll-up child lanes into parent lanes.
To select Board lanes for plotting the CFD:
On the CFD diagram generated, you can find typical information about status of work on a particular day /week / month / quarter: how much work is done (‘Completed’ lane types), ongoing (‘In-Progress’ lane types), and is in waiting (‘Backlog’ and ‘Ready’ lane type). The vertical distance between two lines bounding a column is the WIP (# of cards) in that queue at that point in time. Hover and rest your pointer on a vertical grid line to see distribution of cards by count / estimates for different queues at a particular moment in the timeline plotted on X-axis.
Based on the overall pattern, you can also interpret what is the pace of progress; if the flow is consistently growing in parallel, then it should be OK. In the below image on 9th June, the ‘Ready for Deployment’ count is showing 26 from 20-April to 9th June. As you proceed to the next dates, you can see that the cards in the lane have reduced steadily indicating progress. If the band widens it will indicate work piling up to be pulled.
The chart can also help you to spot all sorts of issues that a team may be facing: where the bottlenecks are in the workflow, is work backing up at a particular status? If so, there is a bottleneck downstream of that status. This is where Cumulative Flow Diagram shows its real value. You can decide to take no tasks further in the queue, limit your WIP, avoid task-switching, or identify any bottlenecks in a consecutive queues.
Choose your own colors for the queues to avoid duplication and make it visually appealing, or even to highlight. Define the colors in the Board Editor by picking from the color palette.
To customize the color for the CFD, navigate to Your Board > Analytics. On the Analytics dashboard, click the Filter icon () on the CFD thumbnail. On the pop-up window that appears, click the button. In the Select Lanes pop-up window, change the color of the lane by clicking on the color box at the right corner of the column, and selecting the color from the color picker box displyed.
The CFD can also be used to make stronger commitments. Select 'Show Prediction' in the Filter options, which forecasts the required throughput to complete pending items based on the current progress. It also predicts the date when the pending items can be completed given the current throughput. When you choose to predict, the Backlog and Archive lanes are selected automatically for forecasting.
In the filter options, select the Start Date (not earlier than the board date) and the End Date (future date) in the filter options.
The Prediction CFD shows two different views to complete the pending cards (i.e. backlog and cards active on the board)-based on Current Throughput and another based on Required Throughput.
In the above image, the current average throughput is 25 cards in a month, based on which it is forecasted that total 295 cards can be archived by Feb 2015.
* If you want to calculate the unarchived card count, deduct the current cumulative card count (shown against the Current TP and CT) from the Total Cumulative Card Count shown against the Req TP/CT)
* Days converted to week / month / quarter, depending on time period selected for e.g.10.4 should be interpreted as months if Time Period plotted is ‘monthly’
In the above image, the Req TP is 208 cards derived by dividing 208 (cards) by 1 (month). 208 cards is pending card count arrived by deducting 95 from 303, where 303 is total cumulative card count on July 2014 and 95 is cards archived till date (seen on hovering over the vertical grid on the current month June 2014).
The CFD can be exported in Ms Excel format, along with the CFD data. Click the Export icon on the toolbar. You can open the file in Ms Excel or your preferred spreadsheet application. If you have filtered the chart for specific smart lanes, date range, etc., the chart and the data will be exported for the specific cards.