Let’s Iterate! Introducing the custom burndown chart 🔥

May 30, 2022

While we’ve had the burndown chart as part of our offering for quite some time, the functionality has been limited to the dashboards only. You haven’t been able to place a burndown chart into a report for example. We have now iterated that concept and released a burndown chart as a custom chart! With the new custom burndown chart, you can create a burndown for any work scope and place it into a report or a dashboard.

Note: This chart is not a replacement for our current sprint planning features. You can display a burndown of a sprint but it’s just a chart, there are no sprint management tools included.

Creating a Burndown chart

1) Navigate to the Charts tab.

2) Click Add new chart.

3) Click New blank chart.

4) Select Burndown 🔥 as the chart type.

The chart editor opens with the chart settings:

You can select one or more data sources, and any of your numeric fields as the unit.

The work scope is set with a filter. For example, if you want to see a burndown of a certain Jira epic, GitHub Milestone, or a set of groups in a Monday board, you can do so by setting the filter accordingly.

If you check exclude non-working days, the expected burndown will be flat during the weekends.

When you click Create chart, the chart is created and you can find it under the Charts tab under the top navigation.

Here’s an example chart:

As with any of our custom charts, you can assign it to a dashboard or a report, or share it with others using the share links.

How to read this chart?

A burndown chart shows how much work there's left in the selected work scope. The vertical axis represents work items and the horizontal axis represents time. When you complete tasks, the chart shows how much work is still remaining.

The lighter-colored area in the background shows the expected burndown. That’s how your burndown would look like if you completed the work evenly throughout the selected timespan (e.g. sprint or a milestone) . The white line is your actual burndown. The expected burndown provides guidance so that if your actual burndown differs a lot from the expected burndown, then you are getting behind (or ahead) of the plan!

The overlay on the top right shows you whether you are ahead or behind. It looks at how much work is completed vs left, and how much work has been added along the way, and provides a forecast of how much ahead/behind you are from the expected completion.

If work is added or removed after the burndown was started, it is shown as small circles in the timeline:

Notice that the numbers shown above the burndown line always display the work remaining. If you keep adding new work to the scope, your burndown may appear flat even though you complete tasks. Good luck with meeting your goals!

Let us know if you have questions or feedback by contacting hello@screenful.com. To stay on the loop, read our blog, or follow us on LinkedIn

This article was written by Sami Linnanvuo

Sami is the founder & CEO of Screenful, the company that turns data into visual stories. You can find him on Twitter.