Charts that tell a story

We recently added two new chart styles to iterations in ScrumDo. Let’s take a minute to look at three charts from the same iteration to see why you might want different views of the data.

Burndown

The first chart that we added was a burndown chart. The main benefit to a burndown is that it’s the simplest chart you can use to see progress through a sprint. It answers the single question of “How much work is left.” Looking at this chart, I’d tell a story something like this

//We started our iteration, and after a couple days added a couple stories. Then, towards the end of the iteration a lot of work came together to finish off most of the work.//

Burn Up

ScrumDo has had burn up charts since we launched. While slightly harder to read than burndown charts, they give the additional benefit of seeing how the total amount of work has changed over an iteration. This chart tells this story:

//We started our iteration, and after a couple days added a couple stories. Then, towards the end of the iteration we finished a lot of work and decided to add a little bit more. We nearely completed all of the work by the end. //

Stacked Charts

The stacked charts are the hardest to read, but give the most complete picture of what went on in an iteration. It lets you see how stories moved through their various statuses on their way to being complete. On this particular team, an engineer will mark a story as “Reviewing” when it’s implemented, and a QA engineer will mark it done.

//We started our iteration, and after a couple days added a couple stories. The engineers made steady progress and ran out of work in the last few days, so we pulled some more stories in. The QA team had a slow start, but made great progress through the end of the iteration. One story got blocked, and we were unable to resolve that by the end of the sprint. //