Looking for a Kanban Burndown Chart Report

This could have been quite a prolonged and detailed article discussing Agile and Lean and talking about the main approaches like Scrum, Kanban and Scrumban. For the sake of being able to easily visualize the concept and be as clear as possible, I’ll narrow it down to just answering one simple question….

Are there BURNDOWN CHART REPORTS in Kanbanize?

The immediate answer is “no” however, let me explain what the solution Kanbanize has to offer in this vein is and, more importantly, why we chose to structure it in this way inside the software.

First, let me elaborate on the terms used here. A burndown chart is one of the main artifacts in the Agile world. It clearly represents work remaining (e.g. number of tasks) over time. At the end of a given time span (iteration, sprint), all work remaining is supposed to be zero and yes – in the ideal case, the burndown should decrease gradually in a linear manner.

A cumulative flow chart (read how we explain it in details here) is one of the main tools in the Lean world. The easiest way to explain it is to think of multiple colored stacked bars (i.e. compare the part of a whole) – each bar represents a value associated with a particular moment in time (date, week, month, etc.) and each of the colors represents a different state (to do, in progress, done, etc.). In other words, this can be considered a “burn-up” diagram. A rule of thumb is that, with time, the “in progress” state for example should be constant or decreasing while the “done” should result in a steeper line.

So you can see that it would be uncanny for a burndown chart out-of-the box to be used in a Kanban tool, right? Yes, however, when you mix the Scrum framework with the Kanban method by adding iterations or sprints in Kanban, you end up looking for the familiar burndown chart in order to fit your Scrumban process.

Can you make a Burndown chart scenario in Kanbanize?

burdownrewoooorked

You can actually create a type of burndown scenario in Kanbanize by splitting one of your board’s columns (e.g. “Requested” – see below)  into two – e.g. “Next Sprint” | “This Sprint”. Perhaps many of you recognize the Scrumban approach here and, to be honest, there are a lot of real life cases of businesses (including Kanbanize customers) that use it.

Then, once in every x amount of time (during the Planning meeting), the Project Manager, or someone else from the team, will end up placing the tasks from the “Backlog” column into the dedicated “This Sprint” column. Then, along with the other members of the group, a refinement can be done, the size can be set, subtasks will be added, links to features might be added to the card details etc. (all of this could happen with the team’s involvement) and some tasks could be shifted back to “Next Sprint”. At the end of the sprint, the tasks/cards in the sprint’s dedicated column should be 0.

As a result, what will end up showing up in the cumulative chart report in Kanbanize, where the chart would actually look like a “burn” down to 0 value at the end of the sprint. You should simply select to view only the “This Sprint” column in the report in order to visualize your results in this way.

Happy Kanbanizing!

4 thoughts on “Looking for a Kanban Burndown Chart Report

  1. Geof Ellingham

    This is fine – except that the cumulative flow chart only shows cards, not their sizes – I’d like to be able to show story points or task hours completed. Is there a way of doing that? Or do I need to export to Excel and chart it there?

    Reply
        1. Alexander Novkov

          Hi Joel,

          You can filter the cards in the respective sections of the board by size using the tab named “Flows” in the Analytics. On the left you will see a column with various filters, among which is a drop-down menu with the word “For” in front of it. There you will find a filter criteria named “Size” and the desired result should appear just a second later.

          Cheers!

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *