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How to add more transparency to Jira Sprint Burndown chart with Issue History data

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Why is Scrum so popular among software development teams?

  • As Jeff Sutherland says, it helps to do twice the work in half the time.
  • It’s pretty easy to start. Lots of native Jira features help you, even if the team is pretty new to Scrum, somehow you will manage to go from “Scrummy” (team follows most of the artifacts but in its own way) to all planned things done (retro was great, team loves to play Estimation Poker).

Jira itself has many features to start with Scrum: default fields, reports, dashboard gadgets, etc. For most of the teams, it’s enough to work with. Also, the Atlassian Marketplace has hundreds of plugins that can help you increase productivity, planning, estimation, reprioritization, run artifacts like a pro, etc.

Our team has faced some problems with avoiding the mess on the active board. When every next Sprint shows that percentage of Done issues isn’t high enough. We were looking for a way to quickly understand what’s wrong. Have you ever faced the same?


Jira Sprint Burndown chart 

The Burndown chart is the place to start. It’s one of the most lovable reports among the Scrum people. The chart is easy to read: grey line – the way the team should go with issues completing, the red one – how it actually goes with remaining work. It’s hard to achieve a red line close to grey, since the development cycle requires few iterations, like testing, merging, etc. The right planning is the key to keep it very close after 2-3 days.

Burndown chart jira.png

On the chart above, you can see that some additional work was added during the sprint. That is not the best way to run this methodology.

It’s also possible to find the following one, which shows that the team wasn’t able to deliver value to customers. 

Burndown chart 1.png

The following example is much better than the above. It seems only 10 story points remaining to deliver on the next sprint.  

Burndown chart 2.png

All these charts inform the Project team about the high-level picture. With the Issue History add-on, we found a way to relieve the graph that helps to see more details of the Burndown chart. We named it Dynamic Status Update.  


Dynamic Status Update Chart

It shows how issues moved from To Do (Sprint start) to Done (Sprint completion). A chart is represented with a bar chart. Different colors – for different statuses. 

Status Updates.png

The same sprint from this perspective shows that 10 issues were undone by the end of the sprint. 13 of them are in Ready to Release status, which means done but not delivered yet due to some organization decisions. Also, it shows a very clear dynamic of how issues were delivered during this period (blue part of bars).


How would the ideal flow look? 

On the first day, all issues are in To Do, and on the last – all in Done. Comparing this report within Burndown one, you can find more context about the bottlenecks in the flow. For example, the Dynamic Status Update chart can tell you that your Review process has room for improvement since lots of issues stay in this status at the same time. Besides, QAs probably aren’t working in their best capacity since only one issue is waiting for them to be tested.

Status Updates 1.png

To summarize, Jira provides lots of advantages to run Scrum. If you want to see teamwork from different perspectives, check the Dynamic Status Update Chart. Get new insights with the Issue History app. 




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