Insights on Sprint Burndown Chart

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Last updated on
31st May, 2022
11st Jun, 2018
Insights on Sprint Burndown Chart

What is a Sprint Burndown Chart?

The Sprint Burn Down Chart is a graphical tool which is used to represent the amount of completed work done against the expected rate of completion for the present iteration. It enhances transparency of the current performance of the burndown chart. It also enables us to estimate whether the Sprint target can be delivered in a fixed time or not. If the work is not done within that time then the team members have to determine how to increase the speed of the remaining work to be done.

The “velocity” is nothing but the measure of the total amount of work done by a team in a Sprint. We calculate the velocity by totaling the points for all completed user stories. The partial counting of completed work is strictly prohibited. The sprint burndown chart report is constructed from the data in the Analysis Services cube, and the team references the WIT data store in real life.

Why is Sprint Burndown Chart used?

The Burndown Chart shows an inclined view of task progression and the very important common measure of Sprint progress. This chart is used for multiple reasons. Here are some of them listed below :-

  • Its Simplicity- One of the main reasons for the popularity of the sprint burndown chart is its simplicity. There is nothing complicated in it and even a kid can understand it. This simplicity helps the team to communicate the progress of the project to all the stakeholders in a very easy, fast, and effective manner.

  • Remaining Work- The Sprint Burn Down Chart shows how much work is remaining. This information helps in planning for the future efforts. It also gives a rough picture of how much time would be required to complete the whole work.

  • Ideal Efforts- The total amount of work to be done and the total amount of time in hand for the complete sprint gives us the idea about the ideal rate of effort the team should make to complete the work in a given time.

 The chart can help in answering the following questions:

  • How good is this team with the planning?
  • How well is this team executing against the planned stories in a Sprint?
  • Is this team self-organized and are they working in unison as a "team"?
  • What improvements can this team make?

Corrective Measures- Since the Sprint Burn Down Chart gives real-time data regarding the work progress, therefore, it enables us to take corrective measures before it is too late.

Business value

  • It helps the business user to understand how quickly your team has completed tasks, and forecast when your team will achieve the success or goals of the sprint(iteration).

 Now let us have a look at the Sprint Burn Down Chart itself.

Sprint Burndown Chart

  • The x-axis of the chart represents the number of days in the sprint. Suppose the target to finish the work is 7 days, then all the seven days will be plotted individually on the x-axis.
  • The y-axis on the chart represents work. The work is generally represented as story points. Story points are nothing but the estimate of efforts required to complete the task. Story points are also influenced by the complexity, uncertainty, and the risk involved in the task.
  • The line joining the point of total work and total time represents the ideal efforts or the ideal trend of completion of work.
  • Then the other line is plotted on the chart when the team starts working. After every unit of time, the amount of work left is shown on the chart. Due to the complexities of the tasks, the actual speed of work deviates from the ideal speed. As the team works forward it becomes clear how early or late the team is for the schedule.

If more work is remaining than what was expected then it is time to buckle up and increase the efforts. If less work is remaining than what was expected, then you are probably going to finish all the tasks earlier than expected. You must have overestimated the required efforts and you should do proper estimation for the next time.

Advantages of using Sprint Burndown Charts:

These are the advantages of Sprint Burndown Chart that increases our progress in a clear view.

  • Effective planning and tracing the tool for progress
  • Reduce the ‘Risk’ factor by daily visibility
  • User-friendly tool for customer and other stakeholders
  • Placeholder to track retrospective action items




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