I’ve just come across an old Agile Chronicles post about burndown patterns, which makes the following observation:
Flat-line (i.e., zero net progress) – a flat-lined burndown chart may have a number of explanations:
- The team may have been pulled to work on other projects or priorities (i.e., another project, support and maintenance) and has left the current project helpless to succeed.
- The team may be completing work at an expected rate, but new features and/or tasks are being added to the iteration or project as fast as work is being done.
- Defects and rework may be preventing real progress from being made.
We looked a while ago on our project at how to make at least the second of those possibilities explicit on the graph, and came up with a simple solution, which I thought I’d share here. I’m sure it’s not original, but it doesn’t appear to be all that common either, so someone might find it useful.