1. Introduction to the Throughput Histogram
By definition, the throughput metric counts the number of work items completed in a given period of time on the Kanban board. It is measured by the number of tasks that were finished each day and how long it took for this to happen.
The Throughput histogram aggregates the data and gives you the distribution frequency of Throughput on the selected workflow. It visualizes how productive your team was. This is measured by the number of tasks that were finished each day for the defined time frame.
- The horizontal "x" axis is a representation of the Throughput. It stands for the number of work items that were completed on a particular day.
- The vertical "y" axis shows the frequency of this occurrence i.e. (# number of days)
- The bins in the throughput histogram show how many days had a certain throughput
To learn more about the throughput metric concept, please check the dedicated article.
2. Additional controls for this chart
You can use the controls to change the "Throughput Histogram" simulation view and to apply additional filters.
- Cursor - you can use the cursor options to display the throughput, frequency, or both of the current positions of your mouse pointer.
- Percentiles - select and deselect percentiles to get the probabilistic view of the chart.
- Overlay- show cumulative %
- Layout - show/hide data control that allows you to zoom in and out of a specific interval within the selected time frame.
- Item Filter - filter your account data to display a smaller portion of data that you need to analyze.
- Workflow Stages - deselect the columns in your workflow that you do not want to be included in the chart
3. What's that telling us?
Using the Throughput chart, you can evaluate your team performance with a single glance. When you look at the chart, you can see how consistently this team is delivering results.
Keeping an eye on the throughput trend over time helps you evaluate your team performance. When the throughput increases, it means that the team delivers more for the same time period. When the throughput decreases, it means that there is something that blocks your team from performing at their full capacity and you need to find the root cause.
The probabilistic chart view (the vertical percentile lines) aims to show what is the probable future distribution of throughput, based on the past performance of the team. The percentiles (50%, 70%, 85%, and 95%) are showing the potential certainty to deliver tasks in a certain amount of days.
- there is a 50% chance that the team throughput will be 6 items per day or less.
- there is a 70% chance that the team throughput will be 10 items per day or less.
- there is an 85% chance that the team throughput will be 15 items per day or less.
- there is a 95 % chance that the team throughput will be 19 items per day or less.
The analytics use one calendar day as the lowest possible time unit.
The card is created before 30 minutes and is moved to "In progress". The system shows 1 day for this card.
The card was created late yesterday at 23:00 and you take a look at the chart in the morning at 9:00 A.M. (i.e. around 10 hours after the creation). The system will show 2 days as the card has been created yesterday and is still being worked on Today.
The Calendar time unit is used for analytics due to the fact that most of the modern Kanban systems are driven by client requests. As such, clients expect exact delivery dates or ranges that are calendar-based. They do not care about holidays, working hours, man-days, cycle, and lead times.
In case that you need precise cycle and log times for internal reporting, use the Advanced search capabilities with the different chart views and widgets.
The throughput histograms can prove to be very useful when:
- You need to show throughput data to stakeholders.
- Use past performance data to make accurate future predictions about your productivity. You can use this metric to estimate how many items a team can deliver for a certain time period.
- The throughput is a key metric that measures performance and shows if your process is stable and consistent.