Burnup charts and when to use them

The burnup chart shows the total amount of work to be done and the total amount of work done. Project and development teams use the charts to monitor the progress of their project. Since it also shows the total amount of work to be done, the team can also track changes in the project scope and in the estimated amount of work. 

On the y-axis the burnup chart shows the total amount of work (to be) done. On the x-axis the burnup chart shows the amount of time. Over time you see the work done line moving towards the total amount of work. The blue line shows the total amount of work to be done. When the blue line moves up it means the scope of the project has expanded. When it moves down, it means the scope of the project has been diminished. The orange line shows the amount of work finished. It should get closer to the blue line with time. 

burnup chart

When to use the burnup chart?

The burnup chart  is easy to use in any project, as long as you are able to estimate the amount of work with some accuracy.

Pros

  • The chart is easy to read and understand
  • The chart allows for a visual representation when the scope of the project changes.
  • The chart allows for a less than linear progress, which is ussually closer to reality.
  • Because the chart is strong visually it helps in communicating with stakeholders
  • Because the chart shows the total amount of work to be done, it helps the team to keep an overview of the project

Cons

  • When the estimates of the amount of work are consistently off, the chart may be bad for motivation in the team
  • When the scope keeps moving, the chart may work against you by keeping the finish line at a distance

Conclusion:

When your estimates of your work are pretty accurate you can use the burnup chart in just about any project. When the scope, time frame and amount of work are well defined i would prefer the burndown chart. But when you can expect scope changes and longer timeframes the burnup chart can really help you. Especially during the sprint and the sprint retrospectives.

BoekenBoeken

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