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Cumulative Flow Diagram is useless in team managed projects

The CFD report in team managed projects is completely useless because it shows a total of the tickets across the entire project.

I have a project with almost 2000 issues in it, and even if I put the date range to be the last two weeks, it shows the issue count as the entire project so the chart is completely useless.

Why has Atlassian released a feature that has no use for team managed projects?

There's not even any way to make the CFD based off a custom filter.

2 answers

The only real answer is to not use the JIRA-supplied cumulative flow diagram (CFD), because it is NOT a true CFD.

At some point, Atlassian "improved" their CFD so that you cannot use filters on it (at least for the team-managed projects) -- thus making it 100% useless.

CFDs are only relevant for the current sprint, not for already-completed work, not for future (backlog) work. You can tell if your agile process is healthy if the top of the CFD doesn't rise (meaning you aren't adding additional work to the sprint after it starts).

The way CFDs are implemented don't allow you to see this, rendering a major feature of CFDs useless. I'm guessing whomever authorized this change doesn't understand Agile or Cumulative Flow Diagrams.

Addendum: a way around this is to make a quick filter like this:

sprint in (openSprints()) AND type in (Story, Bug)

I don't include subtasks or epics in my CFD because I use the former as a checklist.  When you display your CFD, filter it using the above quick filter. Assuming you only have one open sprint at a time, it will work for the current sprint.


If your board doesn't have the option to apply a quick filter to a CFD, then you need to create a personal scrum board and it will have the option.

@Bryan that is all well and good but won't work on *team managed projects* which this question is centred around.


My solution for this was to create a webhook on issue transition and put it in a google sheet where I can generate my own CFD outside of Jira.

0 votes
Stephen Wright _Elabor8_
Community Leader
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May 07, 2022 • edited May 09, 2022

Hi @Dan Churchill 

The CFD in Team-managed Projects fulfils the need - to show the status of Issues over time.

Given that Team-managed Projects are relatively isolated from other Projects, I'd recommend using them for single teams, small projects, etc.


If you need more control over a large project - that's what Company-managed Projects (and their associated Boards/Reports) offer.

You could technically create a Company-managed Board, filter for your Team-managed Project (with additional parameters to limit the visible Issues), then just use the CFD report - but if you're going to do this, I'd consider whether just moving to a Company-managed Project also is easier.


Is there a reason a Company-managed Project is not an option?


@Stephen Wright _Elabor8_ I still don't see the value. you even mention that TMP's are for "single teams". I have a single team and the CFD chart is useless after a few sprints.

Are TMP's only meant to be used for a few sprints, or not very long? no. They are meant to be for a team to use for the life of their product, so why can't make the CFD only show the current sprints work?

I've seen many excuses for the lack of basic functionality that TMP's offer but the real reason appears to be that Atlassian doesn't actually know what it's doing anymore. I mean hell, this project type didn't even have the basic Kanban metrics for a Kanban project and still don't! How can they release software that's missing basic requirements like that?

Company managed isn't an option because I don't want the overhead of that type of project. I'd like to be able to do basic reporting but alas, can't even do that. We'll consider moving product entirely since Jira seems to be crumbling.


Dan is quite right about this. Even with a small single team if you have been working for a while and have completed 1000s of items your CFD over the last few months will show up as a bunch of horizontal lines telling you nothing.

While viewing the CFD over the whole period will give some indication of progress, that's not what a CFD is for. CFD's are about Flow. You should be able to read WIP over time (vertical gap) and cycle time over time (horizontal gap) from it. Neither of these are really possible, even on a relatively new project.



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