We all aim for the lines to intersect on a Burndown, and if we’re doing it right they intersect in the middle.

The goal of course is to start with what you work on and finish it by the end of your sprint.

The problem with Burndown charts is that if you add work, they don’t change, the math is the same as any history says – you add more work to do in a short time frame, and some of it isn’t getting done without herculean efforts.

But regardless, we run the burndown and spend all of 30 seconds looking at it and go – “oh that’s cool”?  Then we have a retrospective where we ask the same question we always ask – “How come we didn’t get everything done?”

A better Burndown chart is one that pops up mid-sprint to the owner and tells them the truth – “You’re not going to make it, it’s time to jettison some load if you want to make it.”

Someone’s got to make the call.

Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US).  I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.


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