I'm taking a project management course in college and am completely new to it.

My professor asked us to create a burndown chart out of a project in Microsoft project.

The project is this:

Project screenshot

The burndown chart template is this: Burndown chart template How do I make them "work together"?

  • I can tell you how to build a burndown chart, but I don't know how to do it in Project. Does this help? support.office.com/en-us/article/…
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 22:31
  • I meant: How do I get this data and in my brain convert it to Excel. The number of tasks is strange. I'm just confused by the whole idea Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 19:58
  • What is being burned down in this project? To build a burn down chart, you have to know what you are removing. This project seems to be building something. The only thing I see burning down are dollars and hours but the picture doesn't show specifically those values. Usually, we build the opposite of a burn down chart: the S curve. This shows money or hours being spent across time and the line goes up, not down. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 10:04
  • Hi @alex3wielki - it seems you are asking a question but you really mean something else. David Espina, it is clear that Alex is not asking for the mechanics of a Burndown in Excel. He wants someone to explain how a Burndown works and why we would use one and how that relates to project delivery. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:47
  • Oh, okay. I did not read that into his question. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


The S-curve is more consistent with this type of schedule. You can build it from the schedule using dollars, such as your BCWS up to your BAC, or you can build it using % complete. Here is an example of building it using % complete:

Start with a schedule that you construct ensuring that you have established your network logic, loaded your resources, scheduled your work packages, and establish a baseline. Once that is complete, save a second file and then establish 100% complete for all tasks, such as this:

enter image description here

Then, open your Task Usage page and change "Details" to Cumulative % Complete. (Here, you can also use BCWS or cumulative work if you want to show hours.)

enter image description here

Next, at whatever level you want to show your S curve, capture the % completes, such as the 3%, 7%, 10% at the Project level in my sample, and transfer to a spreadsheet and build a graph, like this:

enter image description here

The spreadsheet has a column ready for you to enter actual % completes and you will easily see whether you are ahead, on, or behind schedule. From this tool, you can also calculate Earned Schedule values and use those results to forecast.

This is essentially the same as a burn down chart but in reverse. Same logic and same use for forecasting.

This does not answer your question but IMHO is the right answer for the type of schedule you have.

  • Should the burndown chart be from the last week or the whole project? When it's in the weekly report Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:59
  • Entire project. It is a useful tool to evaluate actual performance against plan so you need to view the entire project as a whole. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:20
  • Not sure my answer deserved a negative vote. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:20
  • I agree. It's the only and best here Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:38
  • Thank you! I suppose it was because I did not technically answer your question. I hope I helped! Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 16:00

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