Why I Hate Jira Burndown

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Jun 21, 2023
Updated on
Jun 21, 2023
Table of Content


Software development projects require efficient project management tools to ensure smooth collaboration and progress tracking. One such popular tool in the industry is Jira. While Jira offers a wide array of features that cater to the needs of software development teams, there is one aspect that often leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many: the Jira burndown chart.

 In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why the Jira burndown chart can be a source of frustration and why some software developers have grown to dislike it.

What is Jira?

Before we dive into the reasons for the discontent, let's briefly discuss what Jira is. Jira is a widely used project management tool developed by Atlassian. It provides teams with the means to plan, track, and manage their software development projects. With features like issue tracking, Agile boards, and extensive reporting capabilities, Jira has become a go-to tool for many software development teams.

Why I Hate Jira Burndown

Lack of Clarity

One of the main gripes with the Jira burndown chart is the lack of clarity it often presents. The chart aims to visualize the progress of a project, particularly the work completed versus the work remaining. However, for some, interpreting the information on the chart can feel like navigating through a convoluted maze. This lack of clarity hinders effective project management and leaves team members grappling with ambiguity.

Time-Consuming to Update

Keeping the burndown chart up to date can quickly become a time-consuming and frustrating endeavor. Inconsistent usage of Jira or having multiple team members working simultaneously on a project can compound this issue. Updating the chart regularly becomes a chore that eats into valuable development time. As a result, team members may find themselves frustrated by the burden of manual chart maintenance, which hampers their productivity and satisfaction.

Overemphasis on Deadlines

The burndown chart is often employed as a tool to track progress against set deadlines. While deadlines are crucial for effective project planning, relying too heavily on them can create unnecessary pressure and stress for team members. The burndown chart's prominent display of approaching deadlines can breed a sense of urgency that stifles creativity and collaboration. Team members may find themselves more focused on meeting deadlines than delivering quality software.

Inaccurate Data

The reliability of the burndown chart heavily depends on accurate and consistent data entry into Jira. Unfortunately, if team members fail to update their progress diligently or provide inaccurate information, the chart quickly loses its value. Inaccurate or infrequent data entry skews the chart's representation, making it an unreliable source for decision-making. In such cases, the burndown chart fails to reflect the project's actual status and becomes a hindrance rather than a useful tool.

Lack of Customization

Every software development team and project have unique needs and workflows. However, the Jira burndown chart may not offer the level of customization desired by some users. This lack of flexibility can be frustrating, as teams feel constrained by a tool that doesn't align with their specific requirements. Customization options empower teams to adapt project management tools to their workflows, ultimately enhancing efficiency and satisfaction.

What I Wish Jira Was

What I wish Jira was instead is a tool that combines the power of data visualization with simplicity and user-friendliness. A burndown chart that presents information in a clear and easily understandable manner would greatly benefit teams, enabling them to make informed decisions and track progress effortlessly. Additionally, a more streamlined and automated data entry process would alleviate the burden of manual updates, allowing team members to focus on their core responsibilities.

Moreover, Jira could strive to strike a balance between setting deadlines and fostering a culture of flexibility and creativity. By providing better options for customization, teams would have the freedom to tailor their project management tools to their unique workflows, maximizing efficiency and overall satisfaction.

In the end, the ideal Jira would be a tool that seamlessly integrates with Agile and Scrum methodologies, adapting to the evolving needs of software development teams. It would empower teams to collaborate effectively, track progress effortlessly, and make informed decisions based on accurate and reliable data. While the current Jira burndown chart may have its shortcomings, there is always room for improvement, and with a customer-centric approach, Jira can evolve into a truly exceptional project management tool.


While Jira remains a powerful project management tool widely adopted in the software development community, the burndown chart feature has its limitations and frustrations. The lack of clarity, time-consuming updates, overemphasis on deadlines, potential for inaccurate data, and limited customization options contribute to the growing discontent surrounding the Jira burndown chart. As the Agile and Scrum methodologies continue to evolve, it is crucial for project management tools to adapt and provide more intuitive and customizable features that better serve the needs of software development teams.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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