Burndown and burnup charts

A burndown chart maps the remaining amount of work left against a timeline. A burnup chart maps the the amount of work completed over a timeline. Both charts can be mapped for a sprint, an epic, or a release.

At one glance, a burndown chart shows you how much work you've completed, how much work you have left, the ideal rate of completion, and a forecast of how much you need to complete each day if you are to complete your goals, given your current progress. It's a simple yet powerful report.

Burndown and burnup charts
Velocity graph

Velocity graph

A cumulative flow diagram maps the number of work items in each status over a period of time.

In a typical example, the number of work items under "To do" goes down over the period of the sprint, and the number of work items under "Done" should plausibly start to increase, at least from the middle of the sprint.

A crucial aspect of Scrum methodology is making decisions based on the knowledge you have, and this report helps you do just that. The premise is that the previous sprint's velocity should nudge a team in the direction of finding the perfect amount of work so they can complete all their sprint goals within the time box. After the initial fluctuation, a team's velocity eventually tapers to a definite number or range.

Cumulative flow diagram

A burndown chart maps the remaining amount of work left against a timeline. A burnup chart maps the the amount of work completed over a timeline. Both charts can be mapped for a sprint, an epic, or a release.

A cumulative flow diagram helps you identify bottlenecks in your workflow. By comparing different statuses in your workflow, you can see at which stage they stagnate the most and, consequently, which part of the workflow needs to be more efficient.

Cumulative flow diagram

Status timeline and item process time

The status timeline tracks the journey of a work item through its stages, along with information on how much time it spent in each, and the members who made the transitions. It also shows you the stage in which the work item spent the maximum and the minimum amount of time.

Status timeline and item process time

The item process report gives the same information the status timeline report does, but on a sprint level.

In a sense, the item process report gives you the same information the cumulative flow diagram does from a different perspective. Cumulative flow diagrams show you how your entire sprint is progressing. If you want an item-by-item analysis, the item process report is more useful.

User Profile

Accessibility and visualization make all the difference when it comes to data. Having a personal dashboard for each teammate is often incredibly useful.

While evaluating the team as a whole is the norm in agile culture and assessing individual performance in a Scrum team is an evolving discussion, a lot of companies still stick to a modified version of traditional standards for measuring performance. In that regard, a user profile dashboard is beneficial.

Numbers can tell you everything

Besides the reports discussed above, you also have timesheet reports, backlog reports, release notes, and custom reports for any specific metrics your team wants to monitor.

When it comes to reports, less is more. Many dashboards become decorated because the presence of extensive numbers gives the impression of comprehensiveness. We're often tempted to throw in some numbers which make us look good and presents a good picture to the stakeholders.

A metric belongs in a report only if it directly aids some decision or is a clear indicator of progress. An ideal agile report focuses on actionable information. Ensure your reports are concise and functional at the same time to help your team make every sprint a success.