View/configure a Cumulative Flow Diagram

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

You use cumulative flow diagrams (CFD) to monitor the flow of work through a system. There are two CFD charts: the in-context report you can view from a team backlog or Kanban board and the CFD widget you can add to a dashboard.

CFDs help teams monitor the count of work items as they progressively move through various workflow states. These diagrams can show the flow of epics, features, user stories, issues, product backlog items, or requirements, depending on the process—Agile, Basic, Scrum, or (CMMI—selected for your project.

CFDs help teams monitor the count of work items as they progressively move through various workflow states. These diagrams can show the flow of epics, features, user stories, product backlog items, or requirements, depending on the process—Agile, Scrum, or (CMMI—selected for your project.

Use this article to learn how to:

  • Configure the Cumulative Flow Diagram widget (Analytics)
  • View and configure the CFD in-context report (Analytics)

Use this article to learn how to:

  • Configure the Cumulative Flow Diagram widget (Analytics)
  • View and configure the CFD in-context report (work tracking data store)

You use cumulative flow diagrams (CFD) to monitor the flow of work through a system. CFDs help teams monitor the count of work items as they progressively move through various workflow states. These diagrams can show the flow of epics, features, user stories, product backlog items, or requirements, depending on the process—Agile, Basic, Scrum, or (CMMI—selected for your project.

Use this article to learn how to:

  • View and configure the CFD in-context report (work tracking data store)

The CFD shows the count of items in each Kanban column for the selected time period. From this chart you can gain an idea of the amount of work in progress and lead time. Work in progress counts unfinished requirements. Lead time indicates the amount of time it takes to complete a requirement once work has started.

Cumulative Flow Diagram

For the CFD to provide useful information, you'll want to update the status of work items to reflect progress as it occurs. The quickest way to make these updates is through your Kanban board.

For usage guidance, see Cumulative flow, lead time, and cycle time guidance.

Prerequisites

  • You must be a member of a project. If you don't have a team project yet, create one.
  • If you haven't been added as a project member, get added now.
  • To add a widget to a team dashboard, you need to be a member of the team. You must have Basic access or greater, have dashboard permissions, or be a team admin or project admin. Default settings provide all team members with permissions.
  • Boards must be enabled. If disabled, none of the work tracking Analytics widgets will display. To re-enable it, see Turn an Azure DevOps service on or off.

Prerequisites

Open your backlog from the web portal

  1. Check that you selected the right project, and select Boards > Backlogs. Then select the correct team from the team selector menu.

    Open Boards > Backlogs, for a team

    To select another backlog, open the selector and then choose a different team or select the View Backlog directory option. Or, enter a keyword in the search box to filter the list of team backlogs for the project.

    Select another team

  2. To view the in-context reports for the product backlog, check that you selected Stories for Agile, Issues for Basic, Backlog items for Scrum, or Requirements for CMMI as the backlog level. Or

    Select product backlog level, Backlog items, Stories, or Requirements

  1. Check that you selected the right project, and select Boards > Backlogs. Then select the correct team from the team selector menu.

    Open Boards > Backlogs, for a team

    To select another backlog, open the selector and then choose a different team or select the home icon Browse all backlogs option. Or, enter a keyword in the search box to filter the list of team backlogs for the project.

    Select another team

  2. To view the in-context reports for the product backlog, check that you selected Stories for Agile, Issues for Basic, Backlog items for Scrum, or Requirements for CMMI as the backlog level. Or

    Select product backlog level, Backlog items, Stories, or Requirements

On your web browser, open your team's product backlog and select the team from the project and team selector. Then select Work > Backlogs. Select the product backlog, which is Backlog items for Scrum, Stories for Agile, or Requirements for CMMI.

Open the Boards > Backlogs page

To select another team, open the project and team selector. Select a different team, or select the Browse option.

Select another team

On your web browser, open your team's product backlog. Select Boards > Backlogs.

Boards > backlogs, TFS 2015, 2013 web portal

View the CFD in-context report

CFD reports are available for each backlog level, both product and portfolio backlogs. Each report provides interactive controls to provide each user the view of interest to them.

  1. You open the CFD for your product or portfolio backlog by choosing Analytics.

    Open Analytics

    The Average work in progress value excludes completed work items.

  2. To choose a portfolio backlog, select it from the backlog selector menu.

    Select product backlog level, Backlog items, Stories, or Requirements

  3. Next, choose View full report for the Cumulative Flow Diagram.

  4. Use the interactive controls to choose the time frame, swimlanes, and workflow states or Kanban board columns. You can choose a Rolling period of 14 days or up to 180 days.

    Hover over a point in time to show how many work items are in a particular state. The default settings for the Cumulative Flow Diagram-Average work in progress includes completed work items since the team started tracking work.

    For example, On July 3, 101 items were in a Research state.

    Open CFD Analytics

    The selections you make are only set for you, and persist across sessions until you change them.

  5. To add the report to a dashboard, choose the  actions icon and select Copy to Dashboard.

    Analytics in-context report, Copy to dashboard

    Select the dashboard and choose OK.

  6. To return to the Analytics summary, choose the  back arrow.

To open the CFD in-context report for your product or portfolio backlog, choose the image in the upper-right corner of your Boards>Boards page.

Open CFD, new nav

The image opens to display a larger view of the CFD.

Opened CFD chart

To open the CFD in-context report for your product or portfolio backlog, choose the image in the upper-right corner of your Work>Backlogs page.

Open CFD, prev nav

Configure the CFD in-context report

Each team can set their preferences for the in-context cumulative flow charts.

  1. Open the backlog level for which you want to configure and then open the common configuration dialog. Choose the  gear icon.

    Open Board settings

    If you're not a team admin, get added as one. Only team and project admins can customize the Kanban boards and CFD charts.

  2. Choose Cumulative flow and specify the team's preferences.

    Kanban board, Common configuration dialog, Cumulative flow

  1. Open the backlog level for which you want to configure and then open the common configuration dialog. Choose the  gear icon.

    Kanban board, open common configuration settings

    If you're not a team admin, get added as one. Only team and project admins can customize the team Kanban boards and CFD charts.

  2. Choose Cumulative flow and specify the team's preferences.

    Kanban board, Common configuration dialog, Cumulative flow

Add the Cumulative Flow Diagram widget to your dashboard

  1. If you haven't yet configured your Kanban board, do that now. Define the columns and swimlanes that support your workflow processes.

  2. If you want fixed scope CFD charts, make sure that you've defined the sprint iterations for those sprints of interest.

  3. To add a CFD chart to your team dashboard, see Add a widget to a dashboard. Add the Cumulative Flow Diagram widget.

    Cumulative flow diagram widget

  4. Choose the  actions icon and select the Configure option to open the configuration dialog. Modify the title, and then select the team, backlog level, swimlanes, and time period you want to monitor.

    Configure CFD chart
  1. If you haven't yet enabled or installed Analytics], do that now.

  2. If you haven't yet configured your Kanban board, do that now. Define the columns and swimlanes that support your workflow processes.

  3. If you want fixed scope CFD charts, make sure that you've defined the sprint iterations for those sprints of interest.

  4. To add a CFD chart to your team dashboard, see Add a widget to a dashboard. Add the Cumulative Flow Diagram widget.

    Cumulative flow diagram widget

  5. Choose the  actions icon and select the Configure option to open the configuration dialog. Modify the title, and then select the team, backlog level, swimlanes, and time period you want to monitor.

    Configure CFD chart

Configure the CFD widget

  1. For a continuous flow diagram, select Rolling period and specify the number of days you want to view on the chart.

    Or, for a fixed scope view, choose and specify the Start date. Choose this view if your team employs a Scrumban process or follows a standard sprint process.

    The main difference between these two types of CFD charts is that the fixed scope CFD will provide information (in most cases) of scope change.

  2. Choose the color. You can distinguish the CFD for different teams by choosing different colors.

  3. Choose Save when done. The following image shows an example CFD chart showing 30 days of data.

    Example CFD chart, rolling 30 days

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