No products in the cart!
Please make your choice.View all catalog
A burndown chart provides a quick and easy way to visualize the progress of any software development project over time, showing the workflow and how much work remains to be done. In this project management tutorial, we will go through what a burndown chart is, and the best practices that should be followed to create and read burndown charts effectively.
Example of a Burndown Chart in Monday.com
A burndown chart is composed of a vertical axis that represents the total amount of work to be completed and a horizontal axis that shows the timeline in which the project must be completed.
Burndown charts are a visual way to measure the progress of your project and predict its completion date. Typically, burndown charts are used in Agile software development to track progress towards a goal, but they can be used for any type of project where there is a need to track and visualize progress over time.
You can learn more about what a burndown chart is in our tutorial: What is a burndown chart?
Typically, a burndown chart consists of:
A burndown chart consists of two metrics: one for the amount of work left to do and the other for elapsed time. In this chart, you will be able to see how much work has been completed, the amount of work that is still pending, (i.e., still needs to be completed), and how much time has elapsed. By tracking progress along both axes, it helps to keep everyone on the same page regarding deadlines, objectives, and timelines for the project.
There are two key elements to creating a burndown chart: estimating the effort required to complete the work, and tracking the actual amount of work completed over time. Estimating effort can be challenging, especially on larger software development projects with many moving parts. Project managers can, however, make use of a few tips to assist you in estimating effort:
Once you have an estimate of the effort required, you can then use the burndown chart to track the progress of the project over time and make sure that you are on track to completing it as scheduled.
First, to track progress on a daily basis means keeping detailed records of how much work is completed each day. You can do that using a simple chart or leverage any tool available online. Secondly, project managers will need to create a separate column in this chart for each day of the sprint and include information on the total amount of work remaining. To do this, simply plot the amount of work remaining each day on the y-axis and the days of the sprint on the x-axis.
Finally, connect the dots so that they represent a line. The slope of this line will give you an indication of how well your team is doing in terms of completing work during the sprint. If the slope is steep, it means that your team is making good progress and is on track to complete all of the work by the end of the sprint.
However, if the slope is shallow or even flat, it means that your team is not making enough progress and may not be able to complete all of the work by the end of the sprint.
When project managers create a burndown chart, they need to compute the actual amount of time and effort that was spent on the project. This can be accomplished by keeping track of the number of hours worked each day or by keeping track of the number of tasks completed each day.
To compute the actual effort, start by estimating the total number of hours that will be spent on the project. Now, divide this number by the total number of days that have been spent on the project to determine the average number of hours needed per day.
Next, record your actual daily effort and time. You must revise your estimates if you find you are spending more time on the job than expected. If there is a large discrepancy between the two, then you need to re-evaluate your process for creating burndown charts.
In order to plot the burndown, you will need to gather data on the estimated effort and the actual amount of work completed in the project. You can obtain this data either through project management software by tracking the progress of the project manually.
Once you have this data, you can plot your burndown chart. As the project progresses, you should see the lines on the chart begin to converge. If they do not, it may be an indication that the project is not on track and additional analysis may be needed.
You can learn more about project management software in our guide: Project Management Software for Developers.
Burndown charts can be extremely helpful in tracking progress and keeping your software development team on track during a sprint. With a well-crafted burndown chart, project managers will be able to assess how far along the project is in terms of completion as well as make decisions on how best to revise certain tasks based on what the graph is telling you.