Harnessing The Power of Burn Down Charts In Agile PMO

by Nash V


The Burndown Chart is a visual tool that shows the flow of tasks, guiding teams through the journey of a sprint. It's not just a chart, though! It's a dynamic illustration that empowers teams to track, adapt, and steer toward project success.

Burndown Chart Template PPT

What is a Burndown Chart?

In a way, the Burndown Chart is the project's heartbeat monitor—a graphical representation of work completed versus work remaining (Velocity). Following, it provides an easy-to-understand and vivid picture of progress, highlighting trends, and providing insights into the team's efficiency. By reviewing the Velocity achieved vs Target Velocity for the sprint, teams are empowered to refine and adjust their pace to next iterations. Trust me: it’s simpler than a 500-lines Gantt Chart but definitely as powerful!

When Is Burndown Chart Used? 

The Burndown Chart is a living artifact, created at the beginning of the spring and evolving throughout the sprint. The Burndown Chart is updated regularly to reflect the team's progress, setbacks, and the trajectory toward meeting sprint goals. Once the sprint is completed, this will be one of the basis of the Sprint Review meeting enabling improvements over time.

Who Is Responsible For Burndown Chart?

The Scrum Master is usually the sole responsible for maintaining the Burndown Chart, however, a dedicated team member can also be assigned that task. This individual will ensure the chart is updated with accurate information, offering a clear reflection of the team's journey. It's not just about adding data and having some colourful lines to show: it's about providing a visual narrative that guides decision-making.

Burndown Chart Template PPT

How To Create a Burndown Chart?

Here are some tips from us on how to achieve a trusted and complete Burndown Chart:

• Baseline Establishment: begin by setting a baseline, your Target Velocity—the starting point that represents the total work planned for the sprint. This provides a reference for tracking progress.

• Regular Updates: the Burndown Chart is not a static artifact; it requires regular updates. As tasks/user stories are completed or new ones emerge, the chart must be adjusted accordingly. Exactly as advocated by Agile: incremental updates reflecting the dynamic nature of the project.

• Tracking Velocity: velocity, the rate at which the team is completing work, represents the backbone of the Burndown Chart. Trends in the chart show the team's efficiency and help in forecasting if goals will be met by the end of the sprint.

• Identifying Deviations: anomalies or deviations in the chart signal potential issues in the performance of the team. If progress isn't aligning with expectations, this should be your prompts to investigate, adapt, and address challenges before they escalate.

Benefits of Burndown Chart

The burndown chart offers several benefits in the context of project management, particularly in agile methodologies:

• Real-Time Visibility: One of the primary advantages of a burndown chart is that it provides real-time visibility into the progress of a project.This transparency enables informed decision-making and early identification of potential issues or delays.

• Performance Tracking and Predictability: The burndown chart allows teams to track their performance against the planned work, making it easier to predict when the project will be completed. This predictive capability is valuable for project managers in setting realistic expectations and adjusting strategies if needed.

• Effective Communication: The visual nature of a burndown chart simplifies complex project data, making it more accessible to team members and stakeholders. This enhances communication within the team and with external parties by providing a common and easily understandable reference point.

• Early Issue Detection and Resolution: Burndown charts facilitate the early detection of issues or bottlenecks in the project workflow. If the actual progress deviates from the planned trajectory, the team can investigate and address the root causes promptly.

Motivation and Accountability: The burndown chart serves as a motivational tool by showcasing accomplishments and illustrating the path towards project completion. Team members can see their collective progress, fostering a sense of achievement and motivation.


Do not underestimate the importance of the Burndown Chart given that, ultimately, it measures the pulse of your project. And remember, although a visual aid, it’s much more than that – it tells a story about the team's progress.