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What is a Burndown Chart?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 36278 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Systems Analysis, Agile Methods


A Burndown Chart is a tool used by multiple software engineering methods to track the progress of work completed.  It compares the amount of work remaining (typically measured along the vertical axis) against time (measured along the horizontal axis).  The amount of work remaining can be measured in whatever way works best for the project, i.e., work-hours, work-days, story points, or any other work unit. Similarly the time axis can be measured using a variety of units, the most common being days or iterations.  The burndown chart gives a quick view of the amount of work that is completed over time. 

By I8abug (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]

When applied to Agile methods such as Scrum, this tool can be used to track progress at the Sprint level (a specific iteration of development) or at the release level (multiple iterations that deliver the total functionality for a product release). After the amount of work completed has been measured over several units of time, the burndown chart can be used to forecast the completion of an overall release or project.

Chris Adams
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Ben posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 5:21 AM
Burndown Charts are particularly useful when it comes to communicating the progress of the development to the stakeholders in an Agile environment.
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Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.


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