4 falling charts. Only one is good Burndown Chart.

Everyone knows that the graph sinking down is bad. In the movie, such charts are shown in scenes with a collapse of the stock exchange or in scenes about the collapse of the corporation.

But for the manager of game projects, the burning chart is good!

burndown manager

Today, my friends, we will understand with you what Burndown Chart is, how to create it, how it will be useful to you and what tricks can be with it. Also we will have to talk a little about the duration of the sprint and the length of an effective working day.

Even if you do not immediately understand something from what is written below – just keep reading. By the end of the article everything will fall into place.

What kind of animal is this?

Burndown Chart is one of the documents that should hang on your board and be updated every morning. That’s right, every morning you personally update it, and then conduct your daily meetings next to this schedule.

In fact, this is a diagram showing the amount of work done and remaining.

And also allows you to display visually and understand the speed of the team. We are ahead of the work plan or behind it.

This chart is usually of one of two types:

  • It shows the speed of combustion within the sprint – it shows how many tasks have been completed and how many tasks still remain to be done in this sprint.
  • Displays the speed of work before the release of the game or other product. It is built on the basis of several completed sprints.

Burndown Chart is part of the Scrum methodology, so you will often encounter it.

burndown agile scrum

We put firewood for the fire.

It’s quite easy to make a chart.

The vertical shows how many hours or points are taken in the sprint. This figure depends on the duration of the sprint, the number of people working in the team and their speed.

Horizontal we measure the working days included in the sprint. Usually it’s two weeks, that is 10 working days.

Next, we draw a straight line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. This line shows the ideal speed of the tasks, in order to accomplish them all to the deadline.

I advise you to write on this document the start date of the sprint and the end date, as well as the number of the sprint.

In addition, I sometimes conduct a schedule of burning tasks with markers of different colors. Each color is for your specialty. Blue – for programmers. Red for illustrators. Green for – quality assurance. And so on.

Then the magic begins. At the beginning of the second day of the sprint, you see what tasks were accomplished for yesterday and selecting the first day on the horizon, dropping by as many divisions as this task took. Drop from this point below, considering all the tasks performed for yesterday. Draw a line from the top left corner to this point.

Repeat this procedure every day.

It looks like this:

burndown chart

And now the main thing about Burndown!

If the burning band of tasks passes above the ideal line of work execution, then your team is behind the schedule and will not have time to complete all work before the deadline.

If the band passes below the ideal line, then your team is ahead of schedule and everything is fine!


You should know that there are sprints when the team does many tasks but does not have time to complete them at the end of the day. Then you see a strong lag behind the plan.

We need to talk with the team and find out the state of affairs. It may turn out that on the third day all these tasks and tasks of the previous day will be completed. Then your chart will drop sharply and strongly and you will start to overtake the work plan.

If you have already put a point and conducted a line, and then it turned out that one of the developers completed the task yesterday but forgot to say about it – it does not matter. Just swipe down the vertical line from the last point.

If you added a new task that was not taken into account immediately, then add to the vertical axis the number of items it will take. And from the last point, go up vertically to the same number of points.

If your team did not manage to complete all the tasks before the end of the sprint, then they move to the next sprint.

And one more important nuance. Keep in mind that your team will not be working all the day on tasks from the sprint. Part of the time will go to meetings, some for coffee breaks or conversations with colleagues. Remember this.

Personally, I think that the number of effective working hours is six, for each employee.

Another important thing!

If you see that your line for a few days is above the ideal, it is time to take action: to warn and guide the customer slippage, explain why and tell them about ways to deal with the backlog.

Agree with the employees about overtime work or about increasing the team.

If the line goes below ideal, then the team underestimated their strength when evaluating the sprint and in reality it works faster. Count on how much and when estimating the next sprint add tasks to this value.

In any case, you can not just ignore the Burndown Chart

burndown ignore

See you!

Thank you for reading this article! I hope my friends, that it will be useful to you and save you from many problems.

With you was Einar and the online school of the company “Take Games”!

Develop the gamemdev sphere and order from us outsource development of games. Let all of us be accompanied by luck and the ideas of exciting shooters, strategies and MMORPGs!

Share this article to your friends and colleagues, I will appreciate this ๐Ÿ™‚ Read our blog and join friends – it’s very important for me and helps to understand how interesting you are!

P.S. The list of articles in this series:

  1. The Way of PM
  2. How to walk this path – self motivation
  3. “Time Lords” time-management for PM
  4. Where to start your Way of Project Manager?
  5. The Way of PM: Employment in practice. Your resume.
  6. The Way of PM: In a new place!
  7. The Way of PM – Let’s become rich!
  8. The Way of PM – Let’s become rich! Part 2
  9. The Way of PM: Papers and teams. Be a leader
  10. The Way of PM: Different people working in the same studio.
  11. The Way of PM: Workplace and business processes
  12. The Way of PM: Special, mental magic! Mind map
  13. The Way of PM: Estimation of the project. How not to fail.
  14. 4 falling graphics. Only one is good Burndown Chart.

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