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Sprint Burn-down Vs Sprint Burn-up

sprint burn-down vs sprint burn-up

Sprint Burn-down Vs Sprint Burn-up

Vivek Jayaraman
25th Feb, 2019

Sprint burn-down and Sprint burn-up charts are used by development teams to capture the progress on work with respect to the sprint goal. It helps team in understanding where they stand today and how much they have to achieve to meet the goal.

One can use either sprint burn-down or sprint burn-up as per the team’s choice. Both graphs are good information radiators which help team to inspect the progress towards the sprint goal and adapt the changes required to achieve the goal.

Sprint burn down

Sprint Burn-down:

In Sprint burn-down, we see how much work is left out at a given moment. In the above graph, Y-axis represents the Sprint scope and X-axis represents the number of days. The team committed to complete 76 story points in 15 working days sprint.

The blue line indicates the ideal scenario the way stories should be completed in a sprint. The red line indicates the actuals where on the 6th day, the remaining scope is 57 story points and it also indicates that we are behind the schedule and if we go by the same rate, we will not be able to achieve our sprint goal.


Sprint burn down chart 

Let’s take one more scenario. The green line in the above graph indicates that at 4th day of the sprint, remaining scope is 55 story points and it also indicates that we are ahead of schedule and if we go by the same rate, we will be able to achieve our goal well before time. Let me explain by an analogy, In Cricket, if we are chasing the target means we are batting second.

Where batsman should be focussed on?

How much he/she has scored? OR How much is left to be scored?

At that moment, the batsman doesn’t focus on how much/she has scored but they focus on how much is left over to win the match. The similar approach goes with the sprint burndown chart where one focuses on how much is left over to achieve sprint goal.

Sprint burn-up:

Now, when it comes to burn-up chart, the focus is on how much work is complete. Like, in the below graph red line depicts that 19 story points have been achieved by the 6th day of the sprint. If we go by this rate, we will not be able to meet our sprint goal.

Sprint burn up chart 1 

Whereas, in the below graph, the green line illustrates that if we go by the same pace, we will be able to achieve our goal well before time.

 Sprint burnup chart 2

The same analogy applies for burnup chart as well. If we are batting first, our focus will be on how much batsman have scored so far and also predict how much can be scored in remaining overs.

If you need more information, reach out to me at

Reference: Knowledge gained during CSM Workshop by Leanpitch

About the author
Vivek Jayaraman

Vivek is a compassionate Coach, Mentalist, and Story Teller. He is an ICAgile Authorized Instructor, NLP Trainer, Agile, leadership & Wellness Coach, and a practicing psychotherapist with more than 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Customer Success Officer for Leanpitch Technologies & LeanGears LLC. Vivek has a knack to work closely with people and help them succeed. He shares that experience of working with people on all his training and uses them in his Coaching, Counselling, and Consulting assignments.

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