Sprint Burndown Chart

The Sprint burndown chart is a graphical representation of work left to do versus time. It is a very powerful display of the current sprint progress, and the daily stand-up meeting must held next to this chart.

The vertical axis displays the hours of effort remaining for the Sprint and the horizontal axis displays the days of the Sprint. The blue line shows the ideal scenario if the team performs exactly as predicted in the sprint meeting. The red line shows the actual performance.

During the daily stand-up meeting, the sprint burndown chart is updated with the work finished since the last daily:

With this information, we have a new picture of the state of the sprint, making it easy to see if we’re on track to succeed, and alerting us to struggles early enough to react.

This chart is a practical tool to help make decisions during the daily stand-up meeting.

The goal is to have the red line to be close to the blue line. It is impossible that the red line and the blue line are identical (in fact, it’d be suspicious). The point is not if at the end of the sprint all the task have been done. The point is to avoid huge deviations, both above and below the blue line. The point is to achieve a relevant progress in the project.

Summing-up: the sprint burndown chart help us to visualize where we are and what can we do to meet the goal of the sprint.

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