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Burn Down vs Burn Up Charts (and how to read them like a pro)

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This presentation provides a detailed overview of how to read and interpret burn up and burn down charts which are standard in Agile project management. TaskTrakz project management software automatically provides these charts so you can easily see your project progress. Check out TaskTrakz at http://www.tasktrakz.com.

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Burn Down vs Burn Up Charts (and how to read them like a pro)

  1. 1. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up Charts (And how to read them like a pro)
  2. 2. TaskTrakz Project Management Software 2 types of charts Each shows progressively more information:
  3. 3. TaskTrakz Project Management Software 3 types of charts Each shows progressively more information: • Burn down chart
  4. 4. TaskTrakz Project Management Software 3 types of charts Each shows progressively more information: • Burn down chart • Burn up chart
  5. 5. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart A single line showing work remaining in the project on each day
  6. 6. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart The vertical axis is the amount of work remaining In this chart this is the number of tasks remaining, but estimated hours remaining can be used instead
  7. 7. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart The horizontal axis is time In this chart this is per day, but any other timescale can be used such as weeks, months or hours
  8. 8. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart What does this tell us? For one thing it tells us there were 7 tasks remaining on July 18th and all tasks Were completed on July 23rd
  9. 9. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Why Use A Burn Down Chart? We can see the project velocity • Velocity is how fast the project is approaching its goal • We can visually compare the actual velocity against the velocity required to meet the deadline • Better than just knowing a point in time percentage complete
  10. 10. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart The red dotted line is the ideal burn down rate to complete by July 23rd Comparing the actual burn down to the ideal burn down can reveal interesting Information about your project
  11. 11. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart At the marked point the team is behind schedule as they are above the ideal Line. We can also see that the teams velocity is low, they are not completing Tasks quickly enough. At this point the project manager investigates and takes corrective action.
  12. 12. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart The project team is still behind schedule, but has a good velocity. Extrapolating the recent velocity (green line) we can see the team is on track To meet the deadline.
  13. 13. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down Chart Finally we see that the team made the deadline on July 23rd
  14. 14. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Problems With Burn Down Charts Burn down charts have a major assumption: The amount of work does not change This leads to problems in a few situations
  15. 15. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Problems With Burn Down Charts What is happening here? It looks like the team is not doing any work
  16. 16. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Problems With Burn Down Charts And what about here? A heroic last minute effort by the team?
  17. 17. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Problems With Burn Down Charts • Actually the amount of work in the project is changing • In the flat part of the chart more work is being added • At the end of the project a large amount of work was removed to make the deadline • To see this in a chart we use the burn up chart
  18. 18. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Up Chart Two lines: • Grey line showing total work in projects • Blue line showing work completed so far
  19. 19. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up As you can see, when the total work is constant this is just an Inverted burn down chart
  20. 20. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up But when the work changes as in our last burn down chart you can see the change in scope
  21. 21. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up In the burn down chart it looks like the team is not making any progress. In the burn up chart it is clear the team is making progress but new work is being added as fast as they can complete it.
  22. 22. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up If the project manager only looked at the burn down chart they may discuss performance with the team. If the manager looks at the burn up chart, it is clear that the rate at which work is added needs to be addressed, possibly through discussions with the customer.
  23. 23. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Down vs Burn Up In the burn down chart it looks like the team is made a heroic effort at the end. In the burn up chart it is clear that work was removed from the project to meet the deadline. (The work may have been moved to the next version or milestone)
  24. 24. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Burn Up Chart Adding the total work information allows you to get more from the chart
  25. 25. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Which To Use? • Use a burn down chart if the amount of work is fixed • Otherwise use a burn up chart to make sure you can correctly recognize and diagnose problems
  26. 26. TaskTrakz Project Management Software Thank you Check out TaskTrakz project management, it automatically gives you burn up and burn down charts for all of your projects. www.tasktrakz.com

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