The Burndown Chart allows you to assess the stage of completion of the current Sprint or the entire project being worked on by the Scrum Team. But most importantly, it shows how much time is needed to achieve the Sprint Goal or Product Goal. To some extent, it also enables you to measure changes in the effectiveness of the Development Team. And thanks to that, it is possible to assess the probability of finishing the tasks on time. This is because the burndown chart shows how much work has already been done and how much remains.

Burndown Chart – table of contents:

  1. What is a burndown chart?
  2. What does a burnown chart look like?
  3. Estimation of task completion time
  4. Summary

What is a burndown chart?

A burn chart serves to estimate the time and effort needed to complete a task. It is also a valuable warning tool if the work does not go as planned. With a single glance, each Scrum Team member is able to assess the status of the tasks. Therefore, the burn chart should be easily accessible to everyone involved in the project.

The burn chart in Scrum features in two versions: as a Sprint burn chart and as a Project burn chart. We will discuss them together because the principle behind them is identical. They differ only in the time scale and the number of tasks they depict.

What does a burndown chart look like?

On the burndown chart, the X-axis shows the time remaining to complete the work. If the chart is for a Sprint, the time is measured in days. On the other hand, if the burndown chart is for an entire project, time is usually measured in Sprints.

The Y-axis of the burndown chart indicates the amount of work remaining. Thus, it refers to the tasks included in the Sprint Backlog or the Product Backlog. The units used on the vertical axis of the chart can be: