The story a sprint burndown chart told me

Understanding what a chart will tell you

How our burndown charts showed what was wrong

  • How are you visualising the workflow? Are your user stories too large or the tasks too granular? Is our process too complex or have too many steps?
  • Are you using the Scrum events well? Are the team self-managing effectively to ensure a sprint goal is on track?
  • Are there impediments or bottlenecks? How can the scrum master step in, or better still, help the team to self-manage?
  • Could we bring in some Lean ways of working, namely Kanban? Would using flow metrics or setting work in progress limits help? The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams can help with this.
  • Are we using the Scrum events properly, particularly the sprint planning meeting?
  • Is the PO working with the team closely enough to properly refine the product backlog, ordering the right items by value?
  • Are we selecting the right items for the sprint backlog? How can we make better decisions in the future?
  • Are we managing stakeholders well and setting the right expectations on when we will do the work? Does the scrum master need to coach stakeholders to understand how Scrum works?
  • A two-part question: first, is Scrum the best framework for the team? Second, could we enhance our Scrum with Kanban, particularly if the organisation’s environment is changeable?
  • Are we over-committing each sprint? Should we narrow the goal and the focus of the sprint?
  • How is our stakeholder management? Are we waiting too long for feedback?
  • Do the team have everything they need ahead of working on an item? Is there enough understanding of how to meet the definition of done?
  • Are we spending enough time on our estimation and planning? Is that causing an overcommitment?
  • Are we using the daily scrum effectively? What steps could we take earlier in the sprint to ensure we progress and raise issues earlier?

How we moved forward




Hello! I’m Alex, a product manager based in the UK. This is my blog about product and agile.

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Agile Alex

Agile Alex

Hello! I’m Alex, a product manager based in the UK. This is my blog about product and agile.

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