Checking project status by iteration

You can check the status of a project at the iteration level by using these BIRT reports.

When you develop software, it is important to know if an iteration is on schedule, how much work remains, and the trajectory for completing that work.


The Burndown report shows the number of estimated hours that are needed to complete work items.

A sample burndown graph, with remaining work that decreases later in the timeline

A burndown report plots the remaining backlog of work against the time that is estimated to complete it. Agile development methodologies, such as Scrum, use a burndown report to plot the daily progress for a sprint. Ideally, the report shows a trend toward zero hours of remaining work as the sprint ends. A burndown trend that does not approach zero hours might indicate unrealistic planning estimates. The calculation of the burndown report includes work items that are open, in progress, and that have specified estimates.

Important: If you run the burndown report for a team area, the calculations are based on all the work items in that team area, along with the work items in any associated child team areas. If you run the burndown report for a specific child team area (which does not have further child team areas), the calculations are based on the work items in only that child team area and do not include any of the work items from the parent team area.
The burndown report shows data with four graph lines:
  • Remaining Work: The blue line represents the burndown, which is the remaining work in hours.
  • Planned Work: The gray line represents planned work, which is the sum of the remaining work and the completed work.
  • Ideal: The orange line indicates the ideal iteration for a steady burndown from the beginning to the end of the iteration. The ideal line uses the initial data point for planned work as its starting point.
  • Expected Complete: The green line is a forward-looking plot from the current state of the burndown line to the end of the sprint, which indicates the required rate of work if the iteration is to complete successfully.

The Quality of Planning value shows the degree to which the work is estimated. The more work items that you estimate, the more precisely the work can be calculated. The quality is excellent if all work items are estimated, and it decreases from good to fair to poor as decreasing amounts of work items are estimated.

Tip: You can edit the report to use the Offset parameter, which specifies the number of hours of completed work that were carried over from a prior iteration. This value is subtracted from the total planned work.

Open work items by type

The Open work items by type report shows the remaining work in the iteration in estimated hours. You can specify how the work items are sorted: by work item type, category, team area, or severity.

A sample graph of various cumulative open work items over time, which is categorized by type, such as task, adoption item, enhancement, defect, and story.

Each work item type (for example, defect, enhancement, task) is assigned a color. If an iteration is specified, only the work items that are planned for that iteration are shown. An overall graph shape represents the sum of all open work items and should approach zero hours as the iteration ends.
Note: Enhancements and tasks typically represent planned work, while defects often represent unplanned work. If the shape of the defect curve looks as though it affects enhancements and tasks, it is possible that large numbers of incoming defects are affecting a team's ability to efficiently address enhancements and tasks.

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