Answering: “If burndown charts are used to visualize progress, what do they track?”

Table of Contents

Understanding Burndown Charts in Scrum

Burndown charts are a useful tool in Scrum for visualizing progress and tracking work. Here’s an analysis of an exam question related to the purpose of burndown charts:

Exam Question

If burndown charts are used to visualize progress, what do they track? (choose the best answer)

  • A. Accumulated business value delivered to the customer.
  • B. Individual worker productivity.
  • C. Accumulated cost.
  • D. Work remaining across time.

Correct Answer

D. Work remaining across time.


Why D is Correct

Burndown charts track the work remaining across time. They provide a visual representation of the progress of a Scrum team towards completing the work planned for a Sprint or a project. The chart typically shows the remaining work on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. As the team completes work, the line on the chart goes down, indicating the reduction in the remaining work.

Key Points about Burndown Charts:

  • Visualization of Progress: Burndown charts provide a clear visual representation of how much work remains and the rate at which the team is completing it.
  • Tracking Remaining Work: The primary focus is on tracking the amount of work left to do, which helps the team understand if they are on track to complete the Sprint Goal.
  • Time Management: By showing the remaining work over time, burndown charts help teams manage their time effectively and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.

Examining the Other Options

A. Accumulated business value delivered to the customer: While delivering business value is a primary goal in Scrum, burndown charts do not specifically track the accumulated business value. They focus on the remaining work.

B. Individual worker productivity: Burndown charts are not used to track individual productivity. Scrum promotes team collaboration and self-organization, and tracking individual productivity can undermine these principles.

C. Accumulated cost: Burndown charts do not track financial metrics such as accumulated cost. They are focused on work progress and remaining effort.

Roles and Responsibilities in Scrum

  • Developers: Use burndown charts to track progress and adjust their work to ensure they meet the Sprint Goal.
  • Scrum Master: Facilitates the use of burndown charts and helps the team interpret the data to make informed decisions.
  • Product Owner: Reviews the burndown chart to understand the team’s progress and to communicate this progress to stakeholders.

Relevance to the PSM I Exam

Understanding what burndown charts track is crucial for the PSM I exam. This knowledge helps candidates recognize the importance of visualizing work progress and managing time effectively in Scrum. Mastery of these concepts is essential for effectively implementing Scrum practices and achieving certification.


Burndown charts track the work remaining across time. This visualization helps Scrum teams manage their progress, stay on track to meet their goals, and make informed decisions about their work. Understanding this aspect of the Scrum framework is crucial for success in the PSM I exam.

For comprehensive preparation and practice exams, check out PSM I Exam Prep to enhance your understanding and application of Scrum principles.

Sign up for more exam tips and discounts

$35 Exam Preps

Sale Ending Soon

Offer Expired
Add Your Heading Text Here