The Horizontal Burndown Chart


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A short story about when Sam, the Product Owner, discovers a horizontal burndown chart in the team room.

Published in: Business
  • Welcome Tom and thanks for your valuable input!

    I agree with your observation. The team feel that the Scrum Master owns the Burndown Chart.

    Why is this so then? I think that you addressed some relevant points e.g. responsibility, commitiment etc. How should we deal with that?
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  • Another observation... The Team feel that the Scrum Master owns the Burndown Chart. That little chart is theirs. It's a low budget visual signal system that the team should get in the habit of using; quickly updating and reflecting on (together with a sprinkling of gut feeling) at the end of the daily stand-up. Can we still reach our goal? Can we still deliver on our commitment?

    Rather than taking ownership, the Scrum Master can coach the team; helping them to administer, read and react appropriately to the chart. In doing so the Scrum Master is helping the team self-organise.

    CAUTION: I find that normally when the team's disregard or ignore the Burndown Chart there's something more fundamental that needs to be addressed... responsibility, commitment, ownership, clear objective, clear goal.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
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The Horizontal Burndown Chart

  1. 1. The Horizontal Burndown Chart
  2. 2. The Cast Sam as the new Product Owner Liz as the Scrum Master Joe as the team member Betty as the other team member Bob as the Professor Special appearence by:
  3. 3. On the road
  4. 4. I’m on my way to my new job. I will be Product Owner for a Scrum Team!
  5. 5. First encounter
  6. 6. Software Inc. We love software! Hi Sam! Welcome to Software Inc. We are the Scrum Team! I’m Liz! I’m Joe! I’m Betty! Hi All, I’m Sam!
  7. 7. WTF!
  8. 8. Burndown WTF! This burndown chart look strange and it hasn’t been updated for days… !
  9. 9. Burndown … I must talk to the team!
  10. 10. Hey Joe, What’s up with the burndown…. I don’t know, ask our Scrum Master, she’s in charge of that stuff… Burndown
  11. 11. Burndown Hey Liz, What’s up with the burndown…. Aha, you mean that one. Yeah we don’t use it!
  12. 12. Burndown OK. This is interesting. Why are you not using it? Our previous Product Owner never looked at it, so I thought that I could remove some waste. Our mgmt want us to be a Lean company!
  13. 13. Burndown OK. I see. Anything else? Well, now that you ask, the team members don’t update their tasks on the taskboard so it is impossible for me to make the burndown chart.
  14. 14. Burndown Do you know why they don’t update their tasks? Maybe they have too much to do, just as me. Excuse me, I need to go and code now so that we can be ready for the demo! See you tomorrow!
  15. 15. Burndown ?
  16. 16. On the road again
  17. 17. Maybe I misunderstood something today. I look forward to the Demo tomorrow, then things will be clearer.
  18. 18. The morning after
  19. 19. Software Inc. We love software! Hi Sam! Haven’t you read the email? We have cancelled the demo! Hi Liz! I look forward to the Demo today!
  20. 20. Software Inc. We love software! But… ?
  21. 21. The professor
  22. 22. Hey folks! What an awkward start for Sam on his new Job. Sam and the team will need to do some heavy lifting…
  23. 23. … maybe we can help them out by pointing them in the right direction. I will go first….
  24. 24. <ul><li>The Scrum Master is occupied with developing code. </li></ul><ul><li>The Scrum Master believes the burndown chart is for somebody else. </li></ul><ul><li>The team do not understand why they need to update their tasks. </li></ul>
  25. 25. That was three easy observations, now you can continue on your own. If you want you can also do a root cause analysis. Remember that your input is valuable to Sam and the team! Please add your observations etc. as comments to this presentation!
  26. 26. The end