• Paul Gravina

Burn Down Chart Creation/Ideas

My experience when our Agile teams created burn down charts we would usually chart them by hand and now in hindsight, I see that we were not being agile about our documentation. There are so many applications that are developed for agile project management that you don’t really need to manually chart the course of the project. Burn down charts are very easy to read, the graph shows business owners/stakeholders how much effort (hours, days, weeks, months) the development of the project will require before it is completed.

First let’s do some basic chart creation: (visual examples)

1.Create your graph (whiteboard, software)

2.Horizontal axis: use the component of Time. (months, weeks or days) You can even use the number of sprints in each period.

3.Vertical axis: milestones of the project.

4.Add your details to the chart that shows milestone and all the work that will need to be done for it to be completed.

5.Add your line when each milestone is completed.

6.Add work (don’t forget this) so each column has all the tasks that you have associated with the milestone.

MOST IMPORTANT: Monitor your progress closely, if you line is constantly going down then the project is going to be delivered on time, be aware you might be able to add stories into your sprint and increase your velocity. And if the line of the graph is going up you have either had tasks that are unexpected and take longer to complete, scope creeps or tasks that were added to milestones, all of these things will delay your project launch. The ScrumMaster/Project Manager will have to access the situation and make agile adjustments to the project so it runs smoothly and delivers on time workable software.

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