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Multi-Release Burnup

by George Dinwiddie, 5 December 2012 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from George Dinwiddie's blog by George Dinwiddie. Click here to see the original post in full.

In my experience, Agile projects almost never have a single milestone at the end. The business wants to see multiple milestones along the way, taking internal releases from the development team even if they’re not prepared to make them public. The simplest dashboard I know to illustrate this situation is a burnup chart with multiple goal lines, indicating the goals of each milestone.


This sort of chart is trivial to create by hand or with a spreadsheet. The typical Agile Project Management software, while providing a myriad of ways to view data, never seems to include something as simple and powerful as this. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time to create your own. It takes a few minutes at the end of each sprint to update the chart, and you can make sure that the data is correct as you do so.


Let’s take a look at such a chart after 11 sprints of development.

Multi-Release Burnup chart

You can see that the expectations were pretty ambitious at the start for the first two development releases at the 4th and 6th sprints. When actual results didn’t pan out according to plan, the business cut scope for these releases. By the 5th sprint when they planned the third development...

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