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Understand the epic burndown report


This page applies to company-managed projects only.

Learn more about the difference between company-managed and team-managed projects.

Please note that epics can be renamed. The information in this article is relevant, regardless of what epics are called in your instance.

Understand the Epic Burndown report

Before you start using the Epic Burndown report, you should get to know how it works. 

The sprint bar

A cursor hovers over a blue bar in the burndown chart. An info window lists the number of issues in the iteration (sprint).
  • Light green section = work completed during the sprint. If a bar is completely light green, you won't be able to tell how much of the work completed was originally estimated or not. To find out this information, click the bar to view the details.

  • Light blue section = work that is remaining in the epic, out of the total work estimated for the epic at the start of the sprint.

  • Dark blue section = work that was added during the sprint, but not originally included (i.e. scope change).

  • Light green section + light blue section = total work in the epic that was originally estimated at the start of the sprint.

  • Light blue section + dark blue section = total work in the epic that is remaining at the end of the sprint.

  • Bars with grey sections = predicted sprints (see below).


Predicted sprints

Predicted sprints are calculated based on your team's velocity* (amount of work completed in the last three sprints), and the total work remaining for the epic. Scope change is not considered when calculating the velocity*, but is included in the total work remaining.

*not the same as the velocity described in the Velocity Chart

Consider the following example:

An epic burndown bar chart. Blue and green bars represent current/completed sprints; grey bars represent upcoming sprints.
  1. Assessing the outstanding work: 12 story points are remaining for the epic, at the start of the current sprint (sprint 10).

  2. Calculating the velocity: 7 story points were completed in the last three sprints (sprint 8, sprint 9, and sprint 10). This averages out to a velocity of 2 story points per sprint, rounding to nearest story point.

  3. Predicting the remaining sprints: At a velocity of 2 story points per sprint, it will take 6 more sprints to complete the work for the epic. That is, 6 sprints of 2 story points each.


Is my current sprint counted when calculating my team's velocity?

The current sprint is usually not counted when calculating the team's velocity. In the example above, the current sprint bar shows grey sections (like the bars for the predicted sprints) to represent this. The exception is when you have already completed more work in the current sprint than the work that was predicted to be completed. In this case, the current sprint (and the actual work completed) is used as one of the three sprints used to calculate the velocity. Also, the sprint bar will show green/blue sections, like the bars for completed sprints.

For example, in the chart above, if your team had not completed more than 2 story points in sprint 10, then the work completed in sprint 7, sprint 8, and sprint 9 would be used to calculate the velocity — rather than sprint 8, sprint 9, and sprint 10.

Other functionalities

The following questions and answers cover the other key functions of the Epic Burndown report:

What determines the first and last sprints shown on the chart?

  • The first sprint shown is the one that contains the first issue (in the epic) that transitions out of the 'To Do' status, i.e. work is started on the epic.

  • The last sprint shown is the one when all work is completed for the epic; or if work remains, then the predicted sprint when work will be finished.

The mapping of statuses to your board determines when an issue is considered 'To Do' or 'Done'. See Configuring columns for more information.

How does the percentage of unestimated issues affect the report?

The Epic Burndown report can only make predictions based on the estimated issues in your epic. This does not include issues that cannot be estimated (e.g. you have configured an issue type to not have the Story Points field). If you have a high percentage of unestimated issues, then the predictions in the report will not be reliable (the % unestimated issues label is colored red when the percentage is above 30%).

For example, if you have only estimated 10% of the issues in the epic, then the report predicts the completion of work for the epic based on the 10% of the total issues. In reality, your team probably has much more work left to complete.

What changes affect the original estimate and what changes affect the scope (work added)?

The following changes affect the original estimate of a sprint:

  • An issue in an epic (before it started) is estimated (estimate is added)

  • An issue in an epic (before it started) is re-estimated (estimate changes)

The following changes affect the scope of a sprint:

  • An issue is added to an epic (after it was started) with an existing estimate

  • An issue that was added to an epic (after was it started) is estimated (estimate is added)

  • An issue that was added to an epic (after was it started) is re-estimated (estimate changes). Note, if the issue is re-estimated in a later sprint, the scope is retroactively adjusted in the sprint that the issue was originally added to.

If work is completed outside of a sprint, how is it represented?

Any change (burndown or scope) that occurs outside a sprint will be shown as part of the sprint with the latest start date before the change date.

If a completed issue is reopened or added/removed from an epic, how is it represented?

Issue completed in a sprint, then reopened:

  • The issue will not be shown in the earlier sprint.

Issue completed in an epic, but removed from the epic afterwards:

  • The scope will remain unchanged and the work completed is still shown.

Issue completed in another epic, but later included in the epic (shown on the report):

  • The scope will remain unchanged.

Issue completed in a sprint, but only added to the epic afterwards:

  • The issue will be shown on the report, as if it was always part of the epic.

What if my issue is in an unmapped status?

If your issue is in an unmapped status (i.e. status not mapped to a column), it will not be considered in the Epic Burndown report. That is, it won't be included in the sprint bars, the % unestimated issues, remaining story points, etc.

Known issues

If you encounter an issue that is not on this list, please raise it in our issue tracker.


Need help? If you can't find the answer you need in our documentation, we have other resources available to help you. See Getting help.

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