Although relatively simple to construct and easy to read, burndown charts nonetheless provide several clear advantages, even when compared to more detail-intensive burnup charts.
Probably the most obvious benefit of the burndown chart is that it offers a clear snapshot of project progress. It gives agile teams an easy-to-follow visual representation of how the sprint is going, acting as a status report, and showcasing the most important data to help ensure that everyone involved is on the same page.
Burndown charts also assist in planning and tracking. They offer a clear view into the progress of the project—its speed, acceleration and any slow patches that may arise. This not only improves reporting and analysis, it also helps teams create more accurate plans and goals for future projects.
Likewise, an effective burndown chart helps teams identify issues as they occur. When the work stalls, team members can coordinate to locate and resolve root causes before they become significant problems. This reduces the risks involved in projects, increasing the likelihood of achieving favourable outcomes.
Finally, burndown charts promote effective communication. By creating a simple graphic detailing progress on the project, collaboration and communication becomes easier.