Gaining insight into project progress is a critical activity that ensures success of project objectives. Through task burn charts it is possible to understand current state of a project, track the work done and the work remaining, and figure out what performance level the project will possibly reach in observable future.
There are two kinds of task burn charts:
- Burn-down chart
- Burn-up chart
Task burn-down chart displays how many tasks remain on a project and whether this project hits its target date. It is best to use in tracking the work remaining and creating performance forecasts. Project managers use this kind of burn chart to understand project progress in terms of tasks to be completed. Here’re a few tips on this point:
- Use milestones on the graph to mark project-critical activities
- Draw the progress line to understand current project progress
- Update the progress line after each task’s completion to see whether the project hits its deadline
Task burn-up chart tracks how much work is done in terms of time and workload. It provides a big-picture view of project performance (iterations vs. future workload). Project managers usually use burn-up charts to understand what performance will be required in the future if project scope gets changed. Here’re some tips on this point:
- Track future scope creeps by the progress line that depicts actual changes made to project work
- Update the progress line as every next activity is done – this will help understand overall performance trend
- Add projections (dotted lines on the graph) to make performance forecast.