Who does the burn down chart the PO or SM or DT?

Last post 03:30 pm April 8, 2015
by Luke Massetti
6 replies
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03:31 pm April 7, 2015

Who does the burn down chart the PO or SM or DT?

01:43 am April 8, 2015

Burn down charts are not mandatory.

If used, the Product Owner can use a Product Backlog burn down to plan and communicate releases.
The Development Team can use it track the Sprint Backlog progress to the sprint goal.
And sometimes management expects the Scrum Master to track velocity.

04:03 am April 8, 2015

> Who does the burn down chart the PO or SM or DT?

Who is most likely to notice that such an information source needs updating? What should they then do about it, as a member of a self-organizing Scrum Team?

01:57 pm April 8, 2015

@Christian: That is why I am confused; I see possible scenarios for each Scrum Team member to utilize the Burndown chart for themselves and stakeholders. That is why I wasn't clear as to if there 'is' or 'should' be a designated person to do the Burndown chart.

@Ian I think the development team would be in the best position to notice if the Burndown chart needs updating. Also this is a key metric for the Development Team to use to help them gauge their tasks during the Spring Planning Meeting?

The PO might not be in the best position to keep this metric because of travel needs (out of the office) to meet with customer or clients, - also developers could find a PO as impediments because of the PO asking for daily status reports of development.

02:37 pm April 8, 2015

Ok. A backlog can be viewed as a todo list. And it is all about getting things done, and be transparent about it, right?

In Scrum we have 2 backlog’s: The Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog.

You question is probably related to the Sprint Backlog. The PO will certainly not maintain the sprint backlog burn down chart. He is not involved in the day to day tasks of the Development team.

The Scrum Master is also not responsible for a Sprint burn down chart, for the Development team is self organizing.
The only people responsible for a Sprint burn down chart is the Development team itself. They can do so right after the daily Scrum. Just to keep track to see if they are on target of realizing the sprint goal.

I think Ian is referring to who is making this chart for whom? A Sprint burn chart can be easily misused by management to put pressure on the team to create more output and go faster. I think this is the reason it is not official part of the Scrum Guide anymore.

So in my view, The Development team can use a Sprint burn down chart for their own purposes as long it is not misused by management to put pressure on the team.

So a Sprint burn down chart can be used by the Development Team to project if the Sprint Goal will be met at the end of the sprint.

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Then we can have a burn down chart for the Product Backlog. A PO can choose to use a burn down chart to project release dates. This scale is more focused on projecting increments to a release date. If there is a Product Backlog burn down chart, the Product Owner is: the sole Owner.

03:13 pm April 8, 2015

> I think Ian is referring to who is making this chart for whom? 

Correct. For example a Sprint Burndown may be of use to a Development Team in helping them to replan, and thereby to meet a Sprint Goal. A Product Burndown on the other hand may be of more use to a Product Owner in forecasting potential release opportunities. A Scrum Master, as a servant leader and a change agent, may have an interest in both as well as in other measures such as velocity.

Note that *everyone* on a Scrum Team shares the responsibility of keeping team information up to date, and regardless of their interest in consuming it. Incorrect information is a prime source of waste and it is everybody's duty to reduce this as far as possible. The first person to notice that a burndown needs updating is therefore the person who should take this action. If they lack the ability to do so, then they should appraise the Scrum Master or a fellow team member who has the relevant competencies without delay.

03:30 pm April 8, 2015

Wonderful, thank you both!