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What is the difference between burn-up and burn-down chart?

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Burn up and burn down chart are important measurement tools which shows how much work is completed and how much work is left in the project.

The main purpose of these charts to ensure that project is moving in committed timelines and to find the desired solution in case any delays are observed.

So here are the basic differences between these two:

  • Burn down chart, as mentioned earlier, tells us that how much work is remaining and burn up tells us about how much is completed.
  • Burn down chart is displayed with a single line, which ideally should reach zero at the completion of project. Burn up chart is displayed in two separate lines, which tracks the completed work and the total work.
  • Burn up chart gives a more realistic completion date of project as it also tracks what and when the work has been added or removed from the project.
  •  In the projects where clients keeps on adding extra work in the middle of the project, burn down charts will not provide an accurate status of project and in these situations burn up charts are ideal tool of communication for project managers.
  •  Burn up charts are more complex than the burn down charts and will require some sort of explanation.

These both charts are widely used by software testing companies in Agile and scrum management and they prove as a very effective tool for project managers to get a realistic idea about the progress of the project.


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