In Agile, burndown chart visually represent the status of a sprint
What is represented in the chart?
It depends on what information is important for the team, it can be hour remaining for a story to complete, or the number of stories remaining, or even the number of tasks in the DOING column of the task wall
Hours representation is not very common nowdays, because it doesen’t really represent the stories left, and when there are 1-3 hours left on many stories, it seems like the end is near, but in reality there still is a lot of work to be done
The representation of stories is preferrend amoung the scrum gurus, It gives a clear view of the remaining stories, and an overview of their complexity.
In addition, there can also be a remaining tasks line in the graph (here with 1:10 ratio) to analyze progress in each story
Representing tasks can be really useful as well, it gives a clear view of the progress in the sprint, but it lacks a view of the stories
Sometimes in this type of chart there is also a line for concurrent tasks, this can be really useful to understand if the team should focus on less tasks, or have a more multitasking approach
Another good use of burndowns, is the representation of confidence, it allows to show how the team is feeling about the work, and if it may be useful to hire an expert for particular tasks.
It is also useful to build communication by sharing the problems that cause this lack of confidence
Who is the target of this graph?
The target is the team, it allows to keep track of progress, find problems, and respond to them efficently, and to stay always in line with the agile principles
I think burndown is a powerful tool, it allows easy comunication and share of important information in the team, keeping it simple and easy to understand, making all the process of analysis smooth and fast
But it is not magic! it requires attention from the team members and a full commitment to keep it simple and concise, to keep the team updated but also to not loose important time