How to keep an eye on agile project, the burn down chart as a tool

Scrum intentionally keeps an eye on the amount of work done. This could be tracked thanks to the use of burn-down charts. This approach does not exist in traditional project management.

The Scrum method uses three types of burn-down charts, that are used in successful agile teams:

-The sprint burn-down chart represents graphically the progress of the sprint,

-The release burn-down chart is a graphical representation of the progress of the release,

-The product burn-down chart documents the overall project progress.

The burn-down chart is to sample representation of the achievement of the project in an easy to comprehend way. Every task is schematized in terms of time (the x‐axis of the display grid) and duration (the y‐axis) as you can see in the following figure (source Wikipedia).

This is said, a typical sprint burn-down chart will present the total backlog hours remaining in the sprint per day as an estimated amount of time left in the sprint.

Ideally, the sprint burn-down chart would “burn down” to no time remaining by the end of the sprint; but in some cases, obstacles could cause a change in the estimated time, resulting in delays not all burn-down charts do burn down to zero.

As its name shows, The release burn-down chart functions in a similar way but represents the remaining time until the release will be done. Not surprisingly then, the product burn-down chart is used to indicate the overall project progress.


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