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The purpose of a project burndown chart is to ?

Last post 01:35 pm January 5, 2018 by Ian Mitchell
4 replies
07:37 am January 4, 2018

I was preparing to understand different chart/metrics in Scrum. In which I came to a question on project burndown. 


The purpose of a project burndown chart is to ?


A. Identify and communicate upcoming milestones

B. Display the level of effort and resources utilized

C. Identify dependencies between sprints or iterations

D. Display the remaining work across time

I believe correct answer is A. Identify and communicate upcoming milestones, however the mock test refers correct answer as D. Display the remaining work across time

These seems to be contradicting as Project Burndown and Sprint Burndown can be two different charts which can be used to predict the future. please help me understand this. 


08:09 pm January 4, 2018

Burndown charts are used to display completion progress in both scope (i.e. - story points) across the y-axis, and time (i.e. - weeks, months, sprints) across the x-axis.

Therefore, since a burndown chart is a representation of scope completed and scope remaining across a time period, the only applicable answer from the four options given is D.

07:16 am January 5, 2018

Although I'll add, that I've heard of Sprint Burndowns, Release Burndowns and (thanks to JIRA) Epic Burndowns. This is the first time I've heard the term "Project Burndown".

08:26 am January 5, 2018

I cam across this term is because I am planning to understand this metric using project management (PMI-ACP) this is not purely scrum but it can be used in other agile methodologies like (XP or Lean).

My understanding towards project burndown is to know:

What is our progress in achieving the current milestone (release)?

When can be expect to start next milestone? 

Does PO agree on refining the backlog and ensure it is having few items ready before the next milestone planning starts? 

I think we can relate project burndown to release burndown - but not sure. 

01:35 pm January 5, 2018

The Scrum Guide does talk a little about projective practices such as burndowns, and it also discusses projects. A “project burndown” is therefore possible. However, it would not be correct to suggest that a “project burndown” actually has an express purpose in Scrum.

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