Sunday, May 31, 2015

Agile Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) with MS Project 2013/2016



Recently, in a PMI-ACP session, I was asked this question:

"Have been using MS Project for sometime. But, find it difficult to create Agile related charts, which the sponsor wants. Can MS Project be used to create Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFD)?"

Short Answer - Yes, of course.

The question is not directly related to PMI-ACP, but I had to answer to dispel the myth on MS Project. A number of people say that MS Project can not used for many Agile related charts. It is just not correct. Perhaps they have not used it or do not understand how to use the fields available in MS Project. MS Project 2013 comes with default Burndown chart, which is used in Agile projects. Also, I have shown how to create Agile Burnup Charts and its variants.

For details, refer:


Now, how would you create a Cumulative Flow Diagram? It is simple and with a few changes you can have the CFD. I would suggest that you go through the previous posts, before reading further.

I have used MS Project 2016 to create the charts. If you are using MS Project 2013, the steps will remain same, i.e., this functionality is available in MS Project 2013,too. After the Agile burnup charts are created, go to Chart Tools - Design tab. Select "Change Chart Type", as shown below.


The change chart type dialog box will pop up. Select Area under All Charts and from there select Stacked Area chart. Others can be selected, which we will see shortly. 

After the stacked Area is selected, I did some minimal formatting on the CFD and this is how it comes. This is for the iteration simple example with 2 tasks that I took in the first two posts, outlined above. 


One can change the CFD charts to Area, Stacked Area, 100% Stacked Area, 3D Area and so on. A number of themes can be applied depending on your need. Next shown, is 100% stacked area. 


This can be done in few minutes if one is familiar with the new fields in MS Project and how to use them for your Agile projects. You also can change the time units, date format, count, start and end date of the chart to see what you need for your project, which has been described in the previous two linked posts. 


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