Configure and monitor sprint burndown

TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Use this article to learn about:


Sprint burndown reports are derived from data tracked by a team during a sprint or iteration. To learn more, see About teams and Agile tools.

The in-context Burndown Trend report

The Sprint Burndown widget


Team activities to track tasks and Remaining Work

Required activities:

  • Define tasks that take a day or less to complete to lessen the effect of poor estimates.
  • Don't divide tasks into subtasks. If you divide a task into subtasks, specify hours only for the subtasks. These hours are rolled up as summary values for the parent task.
  • Update Remaining Work daily or several times within a week to support monitoring and achieve a smoother burndown chart.
  • At the end of the sprint, update the task status of completed tasks and determine how to handle incomplete tasks.

Empty sprint burndown chart

If your sprint burndown chart appears empty, check these points:

  • Have you assigned tasks to the sprint associated with the chart?
  • Have you assigned Remaining Work to the tasks assigned to the sprint?
  • Are the parent work items of the tasks assigned to the same sprint? If not, the tasks may appear in another sprint associated with the parent item.

Open a Sprint backlog

You view the in-context sprint burndown report from a team's Sprint backlog.

  1. From your web browser, open your team's sprint backlog. (1) Select the team from the project/team selector, select (2) Work, (3) Backlogs, and then (4) the product backlog, which is Backlog items (for Scrum), Stories (for Agile), or Requirements (for CMMI).

    Open the Boards>Backlogs page

    To select another team, open the project/team selector and select a different team or select the Browse option.

    Select another team, on-premises

    The set of sprints selected for your team appears in the left pane. If you don't see any sprints listed, you can add sprints or select existing sprints for your team's use. To learn how, see Define sprints.

  2. Select the sprint whose burndown chart you want to view.

    Select another sprint, on-premises

    The system lists only those sprints that have been selected for the current team focus. If you don't see the sprints you want listed, then see Define iteration paths.

View the in-context Burndown Trend report

Open sprint burndown chart, 2018

Add the Sprint Burndown widget to a dashboard

Current and past sprint burndown charts

As you complete each sprint, the system maintains a history of your activity.

To view a past sprint and its burndown chart, select the sprint listed under the Past section of the sidebar.

Past sprints provide historical record, 2017-2018

You can review sprint burndown in-context reports to show the team patterns in execution. The burndown charts maintain a record of the team's ability to plan and estimate.

Teams may find it useful to review these reports periodically during their sprint retrospectives. It may spark useful discussions and lead to setting one or more sprint goals, such as:

  • How does our projected velocity match up to our actual velocity?
  • How can we more accurately determine how much we can accomplish in a sprint?
  • How can we complete work at a more regular pace throughout the sprint?

Next steps

In addition to the sprint burndown chart, teams can review the velocity at which they work sprint over sprint. The velocity chart tracks how many backlog items your team works on in a sprint. You can use your team velocity as input into the forecast tool to help plan your sprints.

You can learn more about defining, planning, and executing your sprints from these articles:

And, from these industry resources: