Scrum Metrics and Reporting - Cumulative Flow Diagrams


Welcome to this section on Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFDs), a valuable visual tool that helps Scrum teams monitor their progress, identify bottlenecks, and improve their workflow. CFDs display the status of work items over time, providing insights into the overall health of a project.

Scrum Metrics and Reporting: Cumulative Flow Diagrams Scrum Metrics and Reporting: Cumulative Flow Diagrams

Understanding Cumulative Flow Diagrams

A Cumulative Flow Diagram consists of several colored bands, each representing a different stage in the workflow. The horizontal axis represents time, while the vertical axis represents the number of work items. The width of each band indicates the number of work items in a specific stage at any given time.

Benefits of Cumulative Flow Diagrams

CFDs provide several benefits for Scrum teams:

  1. Monitor progress: CFDs help teams track the progress of work items through different stages, making it easy to see if the team is on track to meet their goals.
  2. Identify bottlenecks: If the width of a band widens over time, it indicates that work items are accumulating in that stage, signaling a potential bottleneck that the team should address.
  3. Improve predictability: By analyzing the trends in a CFD, teams can make better predictions about when work items will be completed and adjust their plans accordingly.

Using Cumulative Flow Diagrams in Scrum

In Scrum, teams can use CFDs to visualize the flow of Product Backlog Items (PBIs) through different stages, such as "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done." By regularly reviewing CFDs, teams can identify areas for improvement and adapt their processes to optimize their workflow.


Cumulative Flow Diagrams are a powerful tool for Scrum teams, as they provide valuable insights into the project's progress and help identify potential bottlenecks. By understanding and using CFDs effectively, Scrum teams can improve their workflow, deliver high-quality products, and enhance their overall performance. Thanks for joining us in this section, and we'll see you in the next one!

Multiple choice Questions

What does a Cumulative Flow Diagram represent?

  1. The flow of work items through different stages over time.
  2. The amount of work completed during a Sprint.
  3. The number of story points assigned to each team member.
  4. The velocity of a Scrum team during a Sprint.

What can widening bands in a Cumulative Flow Diagram indicate?

  1. An increase in team productivity.
  2. A decrease in the number of work items.
  3. A potential bottleneck in the workflow.
  4. A change in the team's composition.

Which of the following is NOT a benefit of using Cumulative Flow Diagrams?

  1. Monitoring progress.
  2. Identifying bottlenecks.
  3. Improving predictability.
  4. Measuring individual performance.

In Scrum, Cumulative Flow Diagrams can be used to visualize the flow of:

  1. Sprint planning sessions.
  2. Team communication channels.
  3. Product Backlog Items (PBIs).
  4. Sprint retrospective meetings.