Spectral Analysis Chart – How to create one in Excel 2010

The lead time Spectral Analysis Chart, or lead time Histogram Chart is a very useful tool for visualizing and analyzing you process lead times. In this post I show you how you can create one in Microsoft Excel 2010.

Spectral Analysis Chart example

I’m using the same process data in this example as in the Control Chart example. There should be no problem to have both the Control Chart and the Spectral Analysis Chart in the same document. Step 1 through step 23 are therefore the same in both examples.

Let’s get started.

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Getting started with Collecting Kanban process metrics


How much work is it really to get started with collecting Kanban process metrics?

Not that much at all!

This is how I usually starts.

1. Take a photo


Take a photo of the Kanban board at least every day. Having a photo of the board is very valuable for future analysis. The Photos are also great for sharing status information with people that can’t go to the board and take a look for them self.

If you take the photos from the same spot with the same angles you can create a stop motion movie of your board and really show how work moves in the process.

2. Count the board


Count how much work is in every state on the board.

Remember that the end state (done state) is a cumulative number of you remove old work from the board

3. Note the dates

Note dates on every post-it when work enters the board and when it arrives at the end state (done state).

4. Collect blocked time

When ever work is not worked on. Put a blocked post-it on it. State the reason for the blockage, work identifier(so you can reference back to what work was blocked), start time and end time when the blockage is cleared.

This information is very valuable for you process improvement work.


That’s it!

You often don’t need more to get started. With this data you can create:

Cumulative Flow D

Run Charts/Control Chart

Lead Time Histograms

Don’t throw away the post-it’s as they are taken off the board. They are a very valuable source of information for future analysis.


You can for example build a Pareto chart of different types of blockers using the resolved blocker post-it’s

How to create a Cumulative Flow Diagram in Excel and TFS 2010

Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFDs) are valuable tools for tracking and forecasting the performance of your processes. In this post I will show you how you can create a Cumulative Flow Diagram in Excel that fetches the data from Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS 2010).

As been pointed out on the KanbanDev mailing list by Daniel Vacanti the approach of counting items per process stage is a simplified way to construct CFDs. Daniel points in his book Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability out that this approach only works when the following two conditions are satisfied:

  1. Work items are not moved backward in your workflow.
  2. Work items are never completely removed before they are completed.

Keep this in mind if you use this approach.


In this example I ‘m using a modified MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 template. I have added the following states to the User Story work item workflow:

  • Analysis
  • Analysis Done
  • Development
  • Development Done
  • Test
  • Deployed

Let’s get started.

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