Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) 

The 'Mother' of system-level metrics

The CFD indicates behaviour of the system over time. It encompasses a number of key indicators of how well the overall system is functioning.  

Clearly shows trends in the rate of demand and of the completion of work.

Visible bottlenecks and delays guide the team to making system-level improvements.  This is a useful way to get team and stakeholders to focus on the systemic behaviours and challenges. 

You can filter down and look at a specific state - e.g. the WIP in the 'In development' column over time. Useful input to retrospectives. 


A 'typical' CFD

The example below shows the work on SenseAdapt.  It also illustrates one of the challenges of CFDs; that once the ratio of completed to work to work-in-progress gets higher the interesting part gets compressed to a uselessly narrow band, circled below. At this point it becomes necessary to focus on a few states on the board - see below.


For more on the information you can get from a CFD I suggest Pawel Brodzinski's post  On how to read a CFD  

Focus on a specific state over time

Unlike other CFDs, you can filter the chart to look at the amount of work in a specific state over time e.g.  the work in the 'In Development' state below.