Single Item Flow

[sing-guh l ahy-tuh m floh]

Definition of Single Item Flow

Single item flow (also called ‘single piece flow’ or ‘one piece flow’) is a lean manufacturing concept that says that each individual Item will move through the manufacturing process all at once with no waiting between steps.  On Scrum Teams, this means Stories don’t wait for people who have skills they need – the people are available when they’re needed.


The ultimate in Swarming is Single Item Flow, where the Team works on only one Story at a time, and finishes it completely before moving on to the next one.

Strict Pairing of Developers is a form of Single Item Flow, since nobody but the Pair works on the Story, and that’s all the Pair works on until it is Done – there are no required Swarmers. This can also be true of Polygamous Pairing, as long as none of the Developers are Specialists required by more than one Story at the same time.

Cite This Term

"Single Item Flow" Accessed Jun 17, 2024.