Burndown Chart Calculator

Created by Wei Bin Loo
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Aug 08, 2022

With this burndown chart calculator, we aim to help you understand the burndown chart calculation and how to create a burndown chart.

We have written this article to help you understand the concept of Agile and Scrum, what a burndown chart is in Scrum, and the burndown chart calculation. We will also demonstrate some burndown chart examples to help you understand the calculation.

What is Agile? What is Scrum?

Before we dive into discussing the Agile burndown chart or rundown chart in Scrum, let's talk about Agile and Scrum.

Agile is a concept that focuses on fast iteration and quick feedback loops to allow software development teams to build products that better suit customer needs.

Scrum, on the other hand, is an Agile framework used to implement the Agile ways of working.

In Agile, larger projects are broken down into pieces, called sprints. In each sprint, software developers use story points to signify the difficulties of a specific task. The larger the story point number, the harder it is to complete the task. When you complete a task, the story point assigned to the task is considered burnt.

What is burndown chart in Scrum?

Burndown chart is a tool that helps teams that implement Scrum or Agile, in general, to track their progress throughout a sprint.

It is also called:

  • Agile burndown chart;
  • Sprint burndown chart;
  • Scrum burndown chart; or
  • Burndown chart in Scrum.

The x-axis of a burndown chart is the sprint days, e.g., day 1, day 2, day 3 of a sprint, etc. The y-axis tells you the number of story points burnt on that day.

It tells you how quickly the team is completing the tasks and whether or not the sprint is on track to be completed.

How to create a burndown chart?

Now that you have understood the concept of Agile, Scrum, and burndown chart, it's time we dive into how to create a burndown chart. Let's use the burndown chart example below to demonstrate the burndown chart calculation.

Team Alpha started a 2-week sprint with a total story point of 35.

  • Team: Team Alpha
  • Sprint duration: 2 weeks (10 working days)
  • Total story points: 35
  • Days since the sprint started: 5 working days
  • Story points burnt: 15

There are steps needed to perform the burndown chart calculation:

  1. Determine the sprint duration

    The sprint duration is the amount of time in a sprint. The sprint duration of Team Alpha's sprint is 2 weeks, equivalent to 10 working days.

  2. Determine the total story points

    The total story points is the sum of the story points of all the tasks in the sprint. The total story points for the sprint is 35.

  3. Determine the days since the sprint started

    Since the sprint started, 5 working days have passed.

  4. Determine the story points burnt

    Since the sprint started, the team has burnt 15 story points.

  5. Calculate the current burndown speed

    The current burndown speed can be calculated using the formula below:

    current burndown speed = story points burnt / days since the sprint started

    For our example, the current burndown speed is 15 / 5 = 3 story points / day.

  6. Calculate the burndown speed required

    The burndown speed required is the burndown speed needed to complete all the remaining tasks in the sprint.

    We can calculate the required burndown speed using the equation below:

    required burndown speed = (total story points - story points burnt) / (sprint duration - days since sprint started)

    Hence, the required burndown speed for this sprint is (35 - 15) / (10 - 5) = 20 / 5 = 4 story points / day.

Why is burndown chart important?

A burndown chart is one of the best visualization tools for project management. It is immensely useful to track the progress of your project as it visually presents the progress. Using this tool, you can ensure that the project is always on track.

Furthermore, the burndown chart also helps you to calculate the current burndown velocity and the burndown velocity required to complete the project in time. If the current burndown velocity is lower than the burndown velocity needed, this tool can create a sense of urgency for the team and make sure they understand that they need to work faster to achieve the planned goals.

FAQ

What is Agile?

Agile is a software development method that focuses on fast iterations and quick feedback loops to build products that better meet customer needs.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a product or project development framework used to implement the Agile ways of working. It is one of the most widely used Agile frameworks.

Can story points be negative?

No, story points cannot be negative. A negative story point means you are adding more work to the sprint instead of completing them.

What factors affect the burndown speed required?

The burndown speed required for the rest of the sprint is affected by the following factors:

  • Number of days left in the sprint; and
  • Number of story points left in the sprint.

How do I calculate the burndown speed required to complete the sprint?

You can calculate the burndown speed required to complete the sprint in five steps:

  1. Determine the sprint duration.

  2. Determine the total story points.

  3. Determine the days since the sprint started.

  4. Determine the story points burnt.

  5. Apply the burndown speed formula:

    required burndown speed = (total story points - story points burnt) / (sprint duration - days since sprint started)

Wei Bin Loo
This burndown chart calcualator will help you to track your sprint progress.
Sprint details
Sprint duration
working days
Total story points
Story points burnt each day
Day 1
story points
Day 2
story points
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