The Burn Up Charts In Scrum

I would like to propose a less-taken path in my maiden article to track the progress in scrum. We usually do it using the burn down chart which is relatively easier to understand as compared to the burn up chart. These charts help the team and stakeholders to see and track the progress at any point in the release process or sprint.

Burn-down chart provides us the information showing the progress based on the remaining hours or story points from top to bottom. (The burn-down chart can be plotted using story points, task count or the remaining effort) This chart is a plot of expected remaining and actual remaining, this is the most used chart in scrum and since it has only two lines it is considered to be a simple chart. It does not cover the scope creep.

So sometimes what might look like ‘no work ‘ done by the team may actually be a result of scope creep.

The chart below reflects that the team has not done any progress in Sprint 5 and 6 as the story points remain the same.
Image source : https://stayrelevant.globant.com

Now coming to the burn-up chart. This chart is a plot of three parameters: scope, expected progress and actual progress.

In the chart below we can see that the real reason was a scope creep as shown by the scope plot

Image source : https://stayrelevant.globant.com

The actual sprint points ( in red) and the estimation at completion cover the scope creep and hence a more clear analysis on the team performance can be made

Image source : https://stayrelevant.globant.com

Burn-up charts allows to divide the scope and the progress which cannot be done in Burn-down as it plots only the expected remaining and actual remaining.

Therefore in teams where tasks of more importance (which cannot be neglected) keep on coming in between the sprint duration, burn up chart can be used to see the real picture.

That being said, in some teams when a new tasks comes, it is added to the sprint and the entire estimation and the burn down chart goes wayward.

That might not be the best practice but still can be a metric for monitoring the progress of the team in real terms.

In the chart below the team started with an estimate of 70 SP and there were a scope creeps which appear as spikes in the graph which can ALSO give an idea on the scope creep in a sprint, but not in the best possible manner


Image source: Google Images

References

  • https://stayrelevant.globant.com
  • https://www.scrumalliance.org

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