Explaining Cumulative Flow Diagram – Kanban

By | March 14, 2014

One of charts that give you a quick overview of what’s happening in a
project or product work is Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD). On one hand
in CFD you can find typical information about status of work: how much
work is done, ongoing and in backlog, what is the pace of progress, etc.
This is the basic mechanism. On the other hand, once you understand the chart,
it will help you to spot all sorts of issues that a team may be facing.
This is where Cumulative Flow Diagram shows its real value.

Cumulative Flow Diagram

The mechanism of Cumulative Flow Diagram is very simple. On a vertical
axis we have a number of tasks. On a horizontal one we have a time-line.
The curves are basically a number of items in any possible state shown
in a time perspective. The whole trick is that they are shown cumulatively.

So a cumulative flow is built of snapshots of the board summary per day

For instance if working in progress (Red) is wide means problems finishing work
or Next stage can’t deal with work know.


If there are many requirements TODO (Green) we have to investigate what happens
because the client will have to wait a lot until we finish with all of the items.

This is better!!!

There are a few work in progress (Red), a lot of work was done (Blue) and there is a reasonable
items TODO (Green)


Mario Lucero
Scrum Master at ADP
Mario is an Agile Coach and Scrum Trainer based in Santiago (Chile), who helps organizations deliver high quality software with predictability and happiness. He offers coaching and consulting as well as both public and private classes.

Mario used to work as Software Quality Assurance Lead with extensive experience in work team leadership, continuous integration architecture and automation tools developing high level solutions for companies from Technology, Billing and Financial areas.

Experience in
– Testing Tools: Quality Center, Quick Test Pro, Load Runner, TestLink, Mantis, ClearQuest, SoapUI, Robotium, JUnit
– Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OS
, Mainframe IBM OS/390
– Programming Languages: Java, C, C++, PHP, Visual Basic
– Applications Servers: Weblogic, WebSphere, Tomcat, IIS
– Databases: Oracle, DB2, MySQL, SQL SERVER y Access
– Modeling data: Enterprise Architect, Visio, Erwin
– IDEs: Eclipse,
– Databases Tools: Toad, SQL Developer, MySQL Workbench, Navicat Oracle
– Management Tools: Changepoint, ITGovernance

Specialties: Agile Coach, Kanban, Kaizen and Scrum

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