Cumulative flow diagrams (CFDs) can seem complicated and theoretical - something we should put off until our teams are more mature. There's a lot of mythology around them too, like how they're all about heuristics and terrifying maths (Queuing Theory anyone?). To top it off, tools like Jira, that have CFDs as part of automated reporting, actually obscure the real benefits.

Over 9 months I kept CFDs for a couple of new teams. I learned a huge amount about the teams and quite a bit about CFDs. In this session, we'll make a CFD with Post-It notes for one imaginary sprint by an imaginary team. As we make it, and when we inspect the result, we'll see that:

  • Cumulative flow is just your Kanban board plus time
  • Starting and maintaining a CFD is simple
  • A CFD can spark conversations (AKA "coaching opportunities") within the team and with other teams

Credits: This workshop has been evolving out of some of comics I drew earlier this year that led to discussions at Agile Coach Camp, and the Lean Coffee meet-up. Thanks to Nina for your support and ideas, and to Alex for tolerating my "obsession" with CFDs.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Hands on Session

  1. Intro: What is a CFD and how to start making one today from your Kanban board (CFD comic, part 1) - 5 minutes
  2. Hands-on: We step through a 10-day (2-week) imaginary sprint and record, using Post-It notes, the daily state of our Kanban board - 20 minutes
  3. We inspect the CFD we made and discuss what it might be telling us about the sprint - 15 minutes

Learning Outcome

A fresh perspective on CFDs as:

  • Simple, low-tech and easy to maintain
  • A practical inspection tool for the team
  • A step towards improved flow within the team and for the whole organisation

Target Audience

Scrum masters and agile coaches who work with teams. All levels of experience.

Prerequisites for Attendees

There are no pre-requisites for this but it's assumed that you'll have a passion for helping autonomous teams to improve.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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