How do you burndown story points in Greenhopper on a daily basis?

My team works at the story level only so we don't create tasks and burn down hours. Instead we burndown story points day by day. Is there anyway to do this in Greenhopper? Currently, it only "burns" the point for stories that are completed which is not helpful because I can have an 5 point story that the team burns 2.5 points on day one and 4 points on day 2. Would be HUGE if there is a way to do this.


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You can't burn down points similar to how you can burn down hours within an issue.

If you only work on the story level, perhaps you can break down the story further, and utilize epics to tie these stories together.

Story Points are burned when they reach the rightmost column in the task board columns.

The Task Board column "DONE" is the owner of your Project's "Definition of Done". GreenHopper will rely on this definition to burn your values (hours, issues) in the charts and to swap issues upon the release of a version.

So Jira/Greenhopper does not support burning point. Not good. It should allow you to burn points because:

- Predicting Completion is why we estimate work.
- Accuracy andPrecision are not the same thing. Precisionis a lot more expensive.
- Precisionis always desired, but Accuracycreates more value.
- Story Points provide sufficient Accuracy when working in Non-Deterministic Systems.
- Timehas no direct relationship to Progress, but the rate of Complexity Resolutionwill forecast Completion.
- Because Velocity stabilizes Story Point estimates, you get more Predictability which is the goal of creating estimates.
- Story Point Estimates are superior!

See more here :

Hey Theron - the link you posted is broken.

I'm am trying to implement the same thing in JIRA. A similar link, same site is here. If it doesn't work, then just go to the site.

If you are knew this concept, still new to me as well, you break tasks down but still do them in points, no hours. Rather than burning down, you are tracking completed story points and then comparing this with a lot of metrics at the end of a sprint.

I'm going to try and implement this using the new Rapid Board and tracking the completed points using the roboscrum spreadsheet for now.

Any movement on this feature? I'm trying not to have to bail on Jira/GH but tracking partial story point burn in a separate spreadsheet while all my other info is in Jira is getting challenging, especially since I can't show a Sprint Burndown that is meaningful to our team and stakeholder. Hoping this is added soon!!!

Hi Theron,

GreenHopper does support burning points. When you complete the story the points will be burned. As Tommy points out the right hand side column is your definition of done, so once a story is done it will be burned.

Nicholas Muldoon

See my orginal question " Currently, it only "burns" the point for stories that are completed which is not helpful because I can have an 5 point story that the team burns 2.5 points on day one and 4 points on day 2."

My team burns actual partial story points vs GH really just burns stories and you get all or nothing for the points. So we often have 5 point stories that only burned 4 points to complete.

Hi Theron,

I am not familiar with this approach, nor can I recall speaking with a team that burns partial points. I've just referred back to an early Jeff Sutherland blog and he states:

The best teams I work with burn down story points. They only burn down when a story is done.

It would be great if you could provide links to some information on burning partial story points each day so that I can learn more.

Thanks Theron,


Jeff worked with Scott Downey to formalize Scrum Bootstrapping AKA Scrum Shock Therapy which uses the partial story points burn chart.

Jeff presented this at this Google tech talk:

Full whitepaper from Scott on the process here:

I have been using for the past 3 years at 4 different client companies and have had huge success - much greater that working with hours estimates, but I have to use a spreadsheet since no scrum tools are currently advanced enough to allow this.

Thanks for your comments on GHS-4139 Theron, and for the links above, very informative.


Theron, I created a sub-task card and the bottom right, I used the Time Spent field. I'm going to have the team update this field with points completed while I look for other solutions. I think it will work to at least plug values into the spreadsheet.

This is a feature that my team would also like.

Is there any chance it can be considered for a future release of GH?

Yeah, if I find this feature in another tool, I will have to give up Jira/GH. Accuracy vs Precision - Burning hours is for suckers. :)

The only way to burn down something other than the full story is to create sub-tasks. You can then assign any numerical value you want to the sub-task, including story points (or a custom field, say Story Sub-Points). Sub-tasks are a handy way of keeping track of the things that those points represent too, like "Mock up web page", "Test in IE6", etc.

You can then use the "Statistics Burndown Chart" to show the burn of the sub-tasks as you mark them as done.

If you decide to use story points for both the Story and the Sub-task, you may want to filter out the parent points when creating your charts for the sub-tasks. GreenHopper lets you do this by using Context filters to only match (for example) issues of type "sub task".

It's a bit anti-Scrum, but you could even go a step further and use a scripting plugin to automatically move the Story to "Done" once all of the sub-tasks are marked as "Done".

Interesting solution Mark, thanks for the post. .... Actually, I don't think that will work either. My understanding is if we have a sub-task that we think is 3 points. Day 1 the achieve 2 points of completed work. (not directly tied to the completion of a story). Day 2, they may feel like they have 2 more points. Ideally, we would want to treat it like logging hours. It's almost like burning up points rather than burning down hours.

I think I will try and use hours, but just tell the team to think of hours as points. It should help track 'units'.

Leaving JIRA over this is going to happen for us, way too many great features, just looking for a creative way to support the RapidScrum framework.


If you are using RoboScrum, do you know how to change the start date of the sprint. It seems to want to start on a Thursday and I can't find where to change it.

Hi Damon, look at the "Date Calcs" sheet. It has the date/week setup fields.

We've solved this: during a sprint, the team updates Story Points field by reducing (or increasing) its value to what they see as remaining. This makes the graph burn down :)

Hi again Korayem, as I mentioned in he other ticket, re-estimating is the opposite of what we are doing. Read the full thread for details.

Hey Theron,

Estimating remaining points of work in progress is not wasteful. It's typical and it's done as part of our daily standup meeting.

Our work items are broken down on sub-task level but since sub-tasks stories don't affect parents, this is the only work around possible. Greenhopper should fix this for us to match the behaviour of using time estimation instead of story points. In time estimation, the parent issue sums all of it's sub-tasks in addition to its own estimate which is perfect if it would be used with story points too.

We've solved this: during the sprint, the team updates Story Points field on parent issue by asking "how much points are their remaining?" resulting in points reduction or increase. This makes the chart burn down though the issue is still in progress :)

I may be mising the point here but... I've been trying to solve the same problem and added "PercentDone" to our Stories. This can be updated daily. You can then configure your Report to use PercenDone rather than Story points.

- Greg

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