Burndown Chart


A Burndown Chart is a visual representation used in project management, particularly in Agile software development, depicting the work left to do versus the time allocated for it. It shows the progress of work over time, allowing teams to monitor their work rate and adjust if required. This tool aids in predicting when the project or a particular portion of it will be completed, based on the remaining work and the team’s throughput.


The phonetic spelling of “Burndown Chart” is: “bərn-daʊn chɑ:rt”

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are three main takeaways about Burndown Chart in html numbered form: “`html

  1. Burndown Chart is a graphical representation of work left to do against time. It provides a simple view to track the progress of your project and is commonly used in agile software development methodologies like Scrum and Kanban.
  2. The X-axis in the Burndown chart represents time (in days) and the Y-axis represents work left to do (could be measured in hours, story points, etc.). The shape of the line in the chart provides a quick understanding of the project’s progress and if it’s on track.
  3. Burndown Charts provide a predictive view on the possibility of the completion of work within the desired time, making it a powerful tool to identify process issues early and adjust workflows to ensure project success.



A Burndown Chart is a visual representation of work left to do versus time. It is an important tool used primarily in project management and especially in software development to predict the team’s working pace and to track progress. The chart illustrates how quickly the team is burning through the customer’s user stories, which are a representation of their overall work. The primary purpose of the Burndown Chart is to provide a quick understanding about the project health to both the team as well as the stakeholders. It shows them whether or not the project is on track and if there is a threat of not meeting the deadline, allowing them to take proactive actions. Thus, Burndown Charts are vital in ensuring effective and efficient work management and completion.


A Burndown Chart serves as a visual tool primarily used in project management, specifically in Agile and Scrum methodologies, to depict the progress of a project over time. The primary function of a Burndown Chart is to represent the amount of work that has been completed in contrast to the total workload of the project. By visually mapping out the amount of work remaining in relation to the available time, team members can better judge the pace at which they have to work to meet the project deadlines.Burndown Charts are advantageous as they help set clear expectations for the project team regarding what needs to be accomplished and in what timeline. It demonstrates the amount of work left to be done (burndown) versus the project time frame. This way, possible hurdles or delays can be forecasted and mitigated effectively. In large projects where keeping track of progress can be complex, a Burndown Chart acts as an easily understandable graphical tool that helps teams stay focused and organized. This ultimately leads to better time management, efficient use of resources, and improved project outcomes.


1. Project Management in Software Development: In software development, a project team might use a burndown chart to track the progress of a sprint in Scrum or Agile methodology. Each task necessary for the completion of the project scenario is assigned a certain number of hours or days and plotted on the chart. As each task is completed, the corresponding amount of time is marked off, giving a visual representation of work done versus work remaining. 2. Event Planning: An event planner may use a burndown chart to track the completion of tasks leading up to a large conference or event. The chart can visually show how many tasks still require attention, allowing the planner to adjust and allocate more resources if necessary, in order to ensure the successful execution of the event.3. Marketing Campaigns: A marketing team might use a burndown chart to monitor the progress of a specific marketing initiative. Each step of the campaign, such as content creation, media buying, and distribution could be tracked on the chart. As each step is completed, it’s marked off on the chart, showing the team how much work remains to complete the initiative within the set timeframe.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is a Burndown Chart?**A: A Burndown Chart is a graphical representation used in project management to visualize the amount of work left to do versus the amount of time left to complete it. It is commonly used in Agile and Scrum methodologies.**Q: What information does a Burndown Chart provide?**A: A Burndown Chart provides visual information about the work left to be completed in a project versus time. It shows the progress and pace of a project, helps detect any potential delays early, and keeps track of the project’s scope.**Q: How is a Burndown Chart created?**A: A Burndown Chart is created by plotting a graph with the vertical axis representing the amount of work left, and the horizontal axis representing time. For each time unit, the remaining work is plotted, creating a downward slope or “burning down” visual.**Q: Can the Burndown Chart be used in methods other than Agile or Scrum?**A: While Burndown Charts are most commonly associated with Agile and Scrum, they can be adapted and used in any project management methodology where it’s helpful to visualize work over time.**Q: What does it mean if the line on a Burndown Chart is flat?**A: A flat line on a Burndown Chart indicates that no work is being completed or removed from the backlog. This could point to an issue within the team, like a roadblock or bottleneck, that’s preventing work from being done.**Q: What does it mean when the line on a Burndown Chart spikes up?**A: A line that spikes up on a Burndown Chart indicates that new work has been added to the project. If lines frequently spike, this could signal scope creep or difficulties in managing customer expectations.**Q: Are there variations of the Burndown Chart?**A: Yes, variations of the Burndown Chart exist: Burnup Chart, which shows work completed instead of work remaining; and Cumulative Flow Diagram, which visualizes the work stage for tasks in a project. The choice depends on the team’s or project’s specific needs.

Related Technology Terms

  • Scrum
  • Sprint
  • Backlog
  • Agile Methodology
  • Project Management

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. 

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms