Enhanced Burndown Chart

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The Enhanced Burndown Chart app exposes the health of an Agile release that is sometimes masked with a typical burndown. The chart captures the original planned work left to do above the baseline and tracks changes in scope (work added) below the baseline.

Knowing both metrics helps a team predict a release completion date by computing two trend lines based on the committed work and work added (see figure below). The intersection of both trends lines provides an expected release date based on current release velocity. Current release velocity means that the team continues to accept work at the same rate.

Release Enhanced Burndown Chart

Summary of chart data

  • Each blue bar shows the plan estimate total of planned work including user stories, defects, and defect suites that are not accepted per day. If the team did not estimate using the Plan Estimate field, then a flat line at a value of 0 will display for the entire release.
  • Each red bar shows the total plan estimate of user stories, defects, and defect suites scheduled after the start of the release per day.
  • The height of blue and red bars per day represents the amount of work remaining in the release.
  • The blue line represents a trend line based on the blue bar data or planned work that is not completed.
  • The red line represents a trend line based on the red bar data or work added after the release start date.
  • The intersection of red and blue bars determines predicted release date. This assumes the team continues adding work to the release at the same pace and the team continues with the same velocity from prior days in the release.
Enhanced Burndown Chart

Use the app

Release drop-down

The Release drop-down menu displays all releases that a user has permission to view in the selected workspace and projects. Shared release schedules are assumed if the name, start date, and end date are the same. If a release with the same name and different dates exists, the release drop-down will show the unique dates. Otherwise, the release drop-down will only display the release name.

Ignore drop-down

The Ignore drop-down menu affects the predicted release date. Some teams plan on the first or second day of the release. Because of this, we don't know whether you have actually added scope or you just planned on that day. By default, this drop-down is set to a value of 1 meaning the team performed planning on the first day of the release. If planning actually occurred on the third or fourth day of the release, override the default value by setting the Ignore drop-down to a value of 3 or 4. If you plan before the release start date, set the Ignore drop-down to zero.

Print the chart

Print the contents of the app from the Actions menu in the upper-right corner.

Interact with the chart

Each day of the release is recorded in the X axis and the plan estimate units are recorded on the Y axis. Hover over each bar to display the exact number of units remaining for each day.

Thanks to Mike Cohn, who popularized this type of burndown chart. See Mike Cohn's post for more information.

Use the Auto Height setting to automatically adjust the vertical space of the app based on the amount of visible data.

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