Burndown chart

A burndown chart is a visual representation of the work remaining in a project or a sprint, plotted against the available time. It is commonly used in agile project management, particularly in Scrum, to track the progress of a team’s work and help ensure that the work is completed within the specified time frame.

A burndown chart typically displays two axes: the horizontal axis represents time (usually in days), and the vertical axis represents the amount of work remaining, often measured in story points or tasks.

At the beginning of the project or sprint, the chart starts with the total amount of work to be completed. As the team progresses and completes tasks, the work remaining “burns down” towards zero.

A straight diagonal line, known as the “ideal burndown line,” is drawn from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner of the chart, representing the ideal rate at which the team should complete work to finish on time.

The actual progress of the team is plotted as a separate line, which can be compared to the ideal burndown line to assess the team’s performance and identify any potential issues or deviations from the planned schedule.

Burndown charts are useful for agile teams because they provide a clear visual indication of the project’s or sprint’s progress, allowing the team to quickly identify if they are on track, ahead of schedule, or falling behind. They can also help uncover issues, such as scope creep, unrealistic estimates, or process inefficiencies, enabling the team to address them in a timely manner and adjust their plans as necessary.


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