This graph is presenting the build up of tasks on a board over time.
The horizontal line is showing the time passed, while the vertical line indicates the amount of tasks in different columns / workflow stages.
Each column is signaled by a different color.
Naturally, the bottom band, representing the rightmost column - which usually is for "done" work, will always be growing higher, since the completed work is always building up, so more and more tasks need to be represented here.
This is why the diagram is usually in a shape of a rising slope.
What is more interesting from an analytical point of view are the top bands of the graph
- those that represent the tasks "in progress" or waiting to be worked on.
Ideally, you should be looking for the team to achieve an evenly looking "in progress" band, as this would suggest that work is being completed at a constant pace.
As soon as you begin to notice that the "in progress" bar displays jumps, ditches and general unevenness - this is a sign, that work is not being completed, tasks get stuck and work piles up in preceding columns as a result, with top bands getting wider.
The CFD is also a great tool for finding out when extra help can be of use - when you notice that the bands representing "to do" types of columns are getting wider, despite the "doing" bands progressing evenly - you may need to consider hiring extras to help with the workload.
Please note, that you can switch particular bands of workflow stages on and off, by clicking their names at the bottom of the graph.
Great for when you want to focus on particular workflow stages only:
You can also zoom in on a particular time-frame by simply highlighting in with the mouse cursor.