We are using TFS2013 Update 4 with the latest scrum template. And we have been going back and forth on how to read the burndown chart on task board.

Especially regarding the last day of the sprint. This day is where our demo and retro are, and thus effectively we do not get any work done. But still the ideal trend is suggesting that we actually have full day of work to do.

If the ideal trend is showing what the remaining work should be at the start of the day in the graph, then it make sense. Otherwise could someone please explain how to read it, or at least point me in the direction of some documentation about this graph.

An acknowledgement would also be much appreciated.

Edit: most recent burndown

  • Can you post an example and I'll hep you. Most of my burndown charts have been created automatically and show a diagonal line of the amount of stories completed during the sprint. If you post the diagram I'll explain it.
    – Treasa
    Jun 16, 2015 at 21:34
  • There image added.. :)
    – Dennis
    Jun 17, 2015 at 6:23

2 Answers 2


In your diagram, this shows the ideal representation of what your blue line should be. The blue area is really another line (try to picture it without the shading) and this should show the actual remaining work as decreasing as you go through the sprint.

To be more specific “To enable the project team to monitor their progress against the release plan, they must maintain a release burndown chart after each sprint. The X‐axis of the release burndown chart shows the sprints; the Y‐axis shows the amount of work remaining at the start of each sprint” (Kirkham‐Jones, 2011).

I enclose a picture of a burndown chart with the same diagonal line. This shows work hasn't been completed as per the estimation but any remaining work is just factored into the next sprint, so it's all good with scrum.

enter image description here

Hope this helps. I can provide some more info if you want.

  • Hi OsFox, to avoid confusion, I edited to remove your response to the OP for posting an image example. Because answers on our site are randomly ordered or ordered by voting the best answers to the top, replies to other users don't make sense. Remember, we're not a forum; instead, we're a Q&A site. I recommend you take the tour. Good luck! :)
    – jmort253
    Jun 17, 2015 at 14:36

I am not sure what value you would get from fixing/fretting about this. A burndown is of value to the Development Team during the Sprint, and none to anyone else or at another time. Once the sprint is over you now have empirical evidence on what was completed as you just did.

If you really must have the graph align then you could mark the last day of the sprint as a team day off in the capacity plan.

However as all tasks should be done by tge end of the Sprint and the burndown at zero prior to the Sprint Review i don't see how that will affect the graph.

  • I am part of the dev team, and we struggle in interpreting this graph almost daily.
    – Dennis
    Jun 17, 2015 at 6:09
  • (continuing) "However as all tasks should be done by tge end of the Sprint and the burndown at zero prior to the Sprint Review i don't see how that will affect the graph." This would be that wee need to be done with all tasks on the day before eg on the 15-06-2015(on the newly added example) - this suggests that the trend line is showing the ideal remaing work primo each day.
    – Dennis
    Jun 17, 2015 at 6:21
  • @Dennis, is you have issues can you raise a question separately that can be resolved. There were front loaded and daily issues fixed with this graph in TFS 2015. I don't know if end issues were addressed, or of it made it into 2013.5... Jun 17, 2015 at 15:58
  • this wasn't a separate question, merely a reflection on your statement :) Perhaps i need to do some test sprints on VSO.
    – Dennis
    Jun 18, 2015 at 10:44

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