Burndown Chart

Burndown Chart Template

Help your Agile team make their productivity and progress visible

About the Burndown Chart template

What is a Burndown Chart?

Burndown charts are visual graphs that show teams how much work is left to complete and how much time is available to finish the job.

A typical layout will have two lines representing the volume of work and the number of workdays. Team members leading and executing the day-to-day workload can use a burndown chart to make realistic project estimates. 

The visual format helps project managers figure out the difference between the “ideal” progress of work and how the “actual” work is tracking. Teams can use a burndown chart to work toward specific goals and finish a project on time and within budget.

When to use a Burndown Chart

A burndown chart can be a quicker alternative to a Kanban board or a Gantt Chart. With a burndown, the team can focus on the time left to finish tasks instead of each task’s specific breakdowns.

As a visual reference, the burndown chart encourages team transparency and awareness of how much work is getting done on a day-to-day basis.

Burndown charts can also help individual team members realize their pace of work. By checking on it at least once a day, everyone can figure out how to adjust or maintain their output level according to project needs.

Create your own Burndown Chart

Making your own burndown chart is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the Burndown Chart Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

Set a target for the ideal number of story points you need to finish. Once “total story points” is set, that number should stay untouched for the duration of your team’s sprint. By default, this template assumes your sprint will last 2.5 weeks. You can edit the X-axis to accommodate week-long, fortnightly, or month-long sprints as well. Your team should keep an eye on the “completed” and “remaining” numbers as these will be updated daily. 

Edit the “ideal” completion rate line to set your target. The grey dotted line represents what the best-case productivity rate would look like. Consider this your visual baseline for whether or not your project is on track. 

Edit and add to the “completed” storyline. As your team completes story points on a daily basis, update the relevant sticky notes. Grow the solid line that represents your team’s actual completion rate by adding daily extensions. Keep in mind non-working days like weekends or public holidays where progress slows down or isn't expected.

Check-in with your team to set expectations, predict risks, and keep your project on track. Priorities will evolve, and stakeholders may come back to your team with new requests. If your team keeps a record of their progress, they can push back on unreasonable requests together. A burndown chart tracks your team’s daily progress honestly. Burndowns should also account for when new items are added after the sprint kicks off. 

Use the chart as a reference to plan for future Sprints. The chart can help you visualize the impact of new stakeholder requests over time and how much your team can do in an allocated Sprint period. Notice a large productivity spurt at the end of your sprint? Break tasks into smaller, manageable tasks for your next Sprint.

Burndown Chart Template

Get started with this template right now.

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