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Burndown chart, ideal line

jonas jaconelli (111) | asked Jan 26 '12, 2:45 a.m.
I am not able to modify the ideal burndown chart, y-axe value, during a sprint in RTC 3.0.

At sprint startup the y value is equal to the committed tasks/points of the upcoming sprint. We found several time that we need to add work during a sprint and would then need to modify the ideal line to indicate if we are on or off track in the burndown chart.

Is there a possibility to modify the burndown chart, ideal line, during a sprint?
E.g I would like the ideal line to start at the highest top of committed work during a sprint.


5 answers

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Ralph Schoon (62.3k33643) | answered Apr 27 '12, 11:21 a.m.
My understanding of burn down is:

You plan stories based on the expected team velocity. The team velocity is the amount of story points the team assumes they can handle. In the first iteration that is just a guess. The Ideal line shows the assumed completion rate. If you take something closer to the amount of story points achieved in the next iteration and plan that, the plan should be more accurate. You get better over time as the team agrees better on complexities and gains experience.

Now in reality you might add more work to the plan over time. The ideal line should show what you thought you can achieve, and does.

There is another line that shows "expected complete" that shows how much you have to achieve to get there in time. The "expected complete" line, I think, shows what you are asking for in your post. It shows the necessary close rate for the currently open story points versus the time left.

If expected complete is far higher from the ideal line it shows that your planning was not accurate or, more likely, you are asked to do more work in the given time than you can do. If the gap is getting wider you can see it is not going to work. That is the moment when you are supposed to go to your manager and run up the red flag. You are most likely not able to achieve the plan and the project is in trouble.

If you are below the ideal you know you will probably make it without using the weekends and you might be able to pick up stuff from the backlog. You can increase the team velocity for the next iterations.

If you can't finish based on your ideal velocity, you have overestimated what you can do and should lower the team velocity for the next iterations.

If you get good at the team velocity you have a more predictable outlook for later iterations and for the whole project.

So, I think Ideal can probably not be changed and I would consider that a good thing too. 8-)

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Igor Kopriva (211) | answered Sep 19 '12, 3:58 a.m.
 Hi there,
as I read your answer I am not sure I fully agree with your assessment that unmodifiable Ideal line is good thing.

There are definitely teams that do have slightly different way they handle Iteration planning. For example several teams do handle serious stories breakdown and Tasking them out within 24 to 48hours from official planning. This was a result of many retrospectives and it has worked OK since year 2010. Now with current RTC burndown chart it is very difficult to see whether teams are on time or not. In other words they would have to change their working practise just because of burndown chart implementation.
With Agile manifesto saying that tools should bow to team needs I would vote for an option to user tweak the Ideal line behaviour. That is that Ideal line would optionally reflect the projection based on Maximum number of hours estimated within an iteration instead of number hours at iteration start only.
Any opinions?


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Danny Beerens (801825) | answered Nov 06 '12, 6:01 a.m.

Yes, I agree with Igor. My team starts the Iteration with an estimation session and then enters the estimates in RTC. So the "Ideal line" is always flat on the x-axis! It would be nice if we can "refresh" the Burndown chart to show the acutal Ideal line.


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Claire De Bie (11656) | answered Apr 24 '12, 11:05 a.m.

Did you get a reply yo this post? I have just had a similar request from my customer! please keep me posted if you know more :)

Many thanks,

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Saj Hashmil (11) | answered Jul 30 '13, 2:56 a.m.
edited Jul 30 '13, 3:00 a.m.

I am facing same issue. the problem is it takes time to do sprint planning and updating the tasks in RTC. In my case the ideal line is always along x axis. :( as a work around I start my sprint a day later in RTC Sprint plan but that is not right either in this case it always shows my sprint a day shorter. In my view the ideal line should also change as we revise the estimated time.
let me know if some one finds out the solution.


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