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Burndown Chart: What Is It & How To Use One for Agile

Megan Keup
Publication date:
April 21, 2022
Article Summary: 

Burndown Chart: What Is It & How To Use One for Agile

A burndown chart is a project management chart that shows how quickly a team is working through a customer's user stories. It is traditionally a visual tool, but can also act as a list that outlines the work to be done and what percentage of it is complete. There are two types of burndown charts: a sprint burndown and a product burndown. The horizontal axis represents time while the vertical axis displays user story points. The ideal work remaining line indicates the remaining work that a team has at a specific point of the project or sprint under ideal conditions.

The actual work remaining line indicates the remaining work a team has at any point of the project or sprint. It is not an estimate, but rather a realistic depiction of the team's performance. The burndown chart has several points, such as an x-axis, y-axis, and project starting point. The ideal work remaining line is a straight line connecting the starting and ending points. Each day, a new point is added to this line until the project or iteration is completed to make sure it's as accurate as possible.
Agile project management relies on agile sprints to plan and execute projects. Burndown charts are ideal for agile project managers as they allow them to keep track of the work remaining, compare performance against a baseline and quickly determine whether they're behind schedule. The benefits of a burndown chart include providing an updated status report on the progress of the project, keeping everyone involved and encouraging the team to deal with issues before they evolve into problems. The simplicity of the chart is also helpful as it outlines the velocity history of the project.


burndown chart, burndown, project burndown, sprint burndown, product burndown, user stories

Source Citation: 
Megan Keup
Burndown Chart: What Is It & How To Use One for Agile
April 21, 2022
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