Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD)

The Cumulative Flow diagram (CFD) provides a graphic depiction of how cards are moving through various value streams or phases on the way to being ‘Done’. It shows the volume of work-in-progress at each stage in the system.

Filtering the Data Set

1. Navigate to Board > ESP Module, and then select the Lane and enter the start and end date for which you want to plot the chart.
2. The chart is plotted based on the card count as Unit of Measurement (UoM) in the CFD analytics page.
3. You can perform any of these activities to further refine your search and narrow down the scope of the chart:
  • Select any of these attributes: like Item Type, Priority, Size, or Class of Service to plot the chart. You can further refine your filter by selecting particular attribute values. For example, if you have selected ItemType as filtering attribute, then you can further select Change Request and Defect to narrow down the scope of the chart.
  • You can also define the Start and End column to further filter your data on the chart.
As you apply any of these filters, the chart will be refreshed and rendered automatically.  
4. While calculating CFD, the chart takes into account all the cards ranging between the start and end column  that you specify in the analytics page, which might include:
  • Cards entered or exited the Done column  Type
  • Cards archived from any column beyond (to the right) the Done Column Type

Reading the Diagram

The CFD analytics is represented in 2 diagrams:

  1. The smaller diagram for selecting the date range by dragging the slider to plotting the detailed CFD chart (2). In the above image, the date range (3) selected is from midnight, 1 Oct to midnight, 26 Oct.
  2. As you select the date range, the larger diagram (2) plots the detailed CFD chart representing each column in a distinctive color.

Mouse over the larger diagram (2) and place your pointer on a vertical grid line (4) to see the information (5) like column-wise count of WIP cards and the average aging of those cards on that particular column at a particular moment in the timeline plotted on X-axis.

For example, in the above image, selecting 17 Oct from the date range between 1 Oct - 26 Oct shows the bulk of cards belong to Ready#Ganesha column, whereas Development#Design column has cards having maximum average aging.   

Interpreting the Diagram

Based on the overall pattern, you can sense the pace of the progress, such as whether the flow is constantly growing parallel, or there is an unusual thickening of the band which requires further investigation to detect and resolve any bottlenecks in the workflow.
CFD indicates how much work is done, ongoing and in backlog and what is the pace of progress.The bottom-most column progressively increasing indicates a smooth flow of cards getting done on board and team needs to ensure the flow is maintained.Whereas sharp spikes in bottom-most column line indicate flows of cards are not smooth and constraints need to be identified.
For example, higher average aging of fewer cards at the Validation stage may attribute to longer time being spent on validating cards, which the product owner can introspect and find out the reason for the duration