Jira burndown chart vs GoRetro burndown chart

Nevo Alva
Nevo Alva
CEO, Acumen
Posted on
May 17, 2022
Updated on
Mar 24, 2023
Table of Content

Feature description Jira burndown chart GoRetro burndown chart
Comprehensive and informative chart - understand daily progress with the completed, removed, planned, unplanned, carry-over tasks and more checkmark
Customization - estimate calculation methods (Parent/Subtask/Parent+Subtasks) checkmark
Grace time customization - time from sprint start to consider new tasks as planned checkmark
Chart drill down - see a daily view of completed, removed and progressed work checkmark
Remaining Estimate Time calculation checkmark
Status changes - see daily status changes per active task checkmark
Carry over work view checkmark

Comprehensive and informative Sprint Burndown chart 

Understand daily progress with the completed, removed, planned, unplanned, carry-over tasks and more

Jira burndown chart shows events as they happen on the sprint timeline, allowing users to see every change on the sprint burndown chart. The main downside is that it doesn’t help users understand the trend, and requires them to spend more time and effort on understanding the broader view of what happened during the sprint. One example can be a major scope change (unplanned work coming in) which could visually look exactly the same as an increase in the original estimation; with GoRetro you will be able to instantly identify an increase in unplanned work.

GoRetro burndown chart provides a summary of the events per day throughout the sprint timeline, providing users with instant visibility of the trend, progress and challenges and their impact on the sprint results. A drill-down option for each day lets users delve into the events and work that was done.

Estimate calculation methods 

(Parent vs. Subtask vs. Parent + Subtasks)

Agile teams which use estimations usually work with some kind of parent tasks, broken down  into subtasks. Breaking down work into small chunks is one of the most important elements of agile development. It helps teams be more predictable and achieve more.

Jira burndown chart calculates the scope of tasks by using the parent task’s estimation alone (tasks/stories), while GoRetro lets users decide how to calculate the scope  - whether by parent’s estimation, sum of the subtasks’ estimation or both. This provides the team with a true view of what's going on, as well as a finer resolution of the sprint progression (by subtask and by parent). In addition, the likelihood of changing and/or updating the parent estimate after developers adapt the child estimate is very low and prone to error. That’s precisely why we enjoy the benefit of being able to calculate estimations based on the more "up to date" estimates.

Grace time customization  

Time from sprint start to consider new tasks as planned

We all know that once a sprint starts, any new work coming in should count as “unplanned” or “scope change,” but reality is stronger than the process and in most cases product and dev teams tend to add more “last minute” work to the sprint, for various reasons (last minute customer request, unexpected complication in previous sprint last days, etc.).

We found that in many cases, teams want to count these first-day-changes/adjustments as part of the planned scope of the sprint.

Jira burndown chart doesn’t allow this and shows these actions as scope changes, even if they occurred one minute after the sprint has started.

GoRetro burndown chart enables the team to choose a “grace time” period in which new tasks will still be considered as part of the planned scope - for example, a grace time of 24 hours.

Chart drill down 

See completed, removed and progressed work in a daily view

With GoRetro, teams can drill down per day and see all the changes that happen within each day. This in turn provides insight into the timeline and sprint progression.

GoRetro burndown chart example

Jira burndown chart example

Remaining Estimate Time calculation

When time tracking is enabled and enforced, the Jira burndown chart can be configured to show the progress according to this field. Values will not burn down when issues are completed; instead, values will only burn down when users enter time spent or set the remaining estimate to a new value. This is a very rare use case and therefore the GoRetro burndown chart doesn’t support it.

Status changes 

See daily status changes per active task

We found that status changes are a strong indicator that Jira burndown chart leaves out. A drilldown into the status changes can provide a very good understanding of the team’s daily progress and can help identify work at risk, both in real time and retrospectively.  

Carry-over work view

Many teams shared their issues with work that gets dragged from one sprint to the next one. We call that “carry-over work”. In GoRetro burndown chart we provide an instant view into how much of the work is “carried over” and how much of it was completed. 

Jira burndown chart doesn’t provide any indication on the carry-over work and its status, thus obscuring how much of the team’s work has been actually committed to a previous sprint.

We have built the GoRetro new iteration burndown chart with the understanding that this powerful tool can generate instant value for the team. While Jira burndown chart lacks many of the data point and visualization opportunities that a chart can provide, we took it upon ourselves to make sure teams have exactly what they need.

Burn down is just the beginning. Our sprint review report includes many other data points and insights about your sprint, as well as a data driven dive into explaining not just what happened, but also why it happened.

We’re working on many other super exciting features which will help your teams to focus on what matters, save time and improve. Stay tuned for our next updates.

About the author

Nevo Alva
CEO, Acumen

I’m an agile enthusiast, a strong believer in people, experimentation and continuous learning and improvement. Strong entrepreneurial background, currently co-founder and CEO of Acumen (creator of GoRetro), prior to Acumen I was the co-founder and CEO of Visualead (acquired by Alibaba Group). I served for 8 years in the IAF, known for its best retrospective and debriefing process in the world. Did my MBA in management of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, in Tel Aviv university‍

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