Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Create an Agile BurnUp Chart with MS Project 2013? (Part - 1)


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With MS Project 2013 one can create a number of Graphical Reports directly – one of the new features introduced. This helps you NOT to move to another apps – say Excel or Visio, but still be able to create most of the reports. In my view, it is a good strategic move by Microsoft.  

By default, MS Project comes with an inbuilt Burndown Report. But how about Burnup report? Can someone create it? Yes and quite easily. Two points to note here:
  • I am focusing on Iteration Burnup Chart in this post. In Iterations (or Sprints as it is called in Scrum), for a burnup chart, we will have Days in the X-axis and Hours in the Y-axis.
  • My belief as a PMI-ACP/Agile Practitioner is that for Sprint planning estimation is done in hours whereas for Release Planning, estimation is with Story Points. 
Alright. Let us proceed. I have two tasks– to make it quite simple and easy to understand. Each tasks starts on Monday, here Nov 10 and Nov 17, respectively and finishes by Friday. Both are executed by a work resource,i.e., Resource 1.


Select Report tab – View reports – New Report – Chart. Give a name “Agile Burnup Report”. You will have a new report as shown.


Go to Field List (on the right side), select the Category is a “Time”. If field list is not shown, then simply select the graph and select “Show Field List”.


In the “Edit” check box, as shown in the Field List, have the following respective scale set for Units, Date Format and Count. This is to increase the visibility area of the chart and check a day by day Burnup for the iteration/sprint. It is shown as below.


Now, from the Field List, “Select Fields” un-select all “Actual Work”, “Remaining Work”, and “Work”.  It will turn to a Blank Chart now. Again from the Field List, “Select Fields”, select “Cumulative Actual Work” and “Cumulative Work” under Work field. Under Work – Baseline, select “Baseline Cumulative Work”. 


Select the Chart. Go to Chart Tools – Design – Type – Change Chart Type and change the type to Line – Line. A line chart will be displayed now. The chart will be as shown below:


Let us interpret the data:
  • Cumulative Work is finally 80 hours (for two tasks with week long work each) by end of Nov 21, which is correct.
  • No actual work has been entered. So the Cumulative Actual Work is 0 hr. It is actually on the X-axis, but has been overridden by the  Baseline Cumulative Work value. 
  • No baseline has been done yet, so that line is also dormant and actually on the X-axis. Look closely! As noted in the previous point, if you remove "Baseline Cumulative Work" from the graph, the "Cumulative Actual Work" will be shown. 
Next, baseline the Project, via Project – Schedule - Set Baseline.


Go to View tab – Task Usage View and select “Actual Work” and “Cumulative Work” from Task Usage tools – Cumulative Work. With the help of “Add Details”, add the field “Baseline Cumulative Work”. 


Set the status date. In my example, the status date has been set after 5days of the project. Initially the actual work done by the resource is empty, i.e., for Task 1, which is executed by Resource 1, from Monday to Friday - actual work field is showing empty.

Enter the data for the “Actual Work” performed by the Resource. After I entered actual work done by Resource 1, the task usage details is shown as below.


Now go back to your created Report. You now have a Custom Chart called “Agile Burnup Report". Select it from Report tab - Custom - Agile Burnup Report. It will look as shown below.


Our simple example can be expanded to have multiple tasks. As noted earlier, during Iterations/Sprints, it is about tasks and estimation is in hours. Many ask to estimate in Story Points in the iteration for the tasks, which I really do not agree with. As story point should be actually considered on a longer time horizon. 

You can customize the report, export the report, copy the report or create various other Agile reports with the help of MS Project.Will see that in next post.



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