Epic burnup chart (Scrum)


Scrum Epic Burnup Chart shows the cumulative amount of work done in each sprint and rises towards the target, all Jira issues under the specified Jira Epic. It helps to answer the following questions:

  • How the team progresses toward the target, delivery of the Epic?

  • When the team is supposed to deliver the Epic?

The main feature of the burnup chart is the ability to forecast how long it will take to complete the work remaining for the Epic. Based on the team’s velocity, you can get optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic forecasts of when the Epic is going to be delivered:

Chart analysis


Let’s analyze the chart above. This burnup chart is built for team “Omega,” which follows the Scrum process and is currently working on the Epic called “Epic AAA.”

For the burn-up chart, we see that the total scope size of Epic AAA is 92 story points (you can also use hours or issue count).

The team works in 1-week sprints (the information is taken from Jira Scrum Board). You can check the team’s velocity for each sprint by hovering over data points on the chart:

We see that in Sprint 2 the team delivered 5 story points in the context of Epic AAA. This information is taken into account when building a forecast.

At the end of Sprint 2 the total completed scope size of Epic AAA was 18 story points.


Let’s check the forecast for the case of team’s average velocity. Remember, the scope for which velocity is calculated on this type of burnup chart is reduced by filtering by Epic AAA:

Forecast based on average velocity

We see that if the team keeps up with their average velocity of 9.7 story points, it will take 7 more sprints to complete the scope of Epic AAA. The current sprint is “Sprint 3”, so the team will reach the target in “Sprint 10”.

The total epic’s scope size that the team is expected to deliver in Sprint 10 is 96.9 story points, leaving some room for scope fluctuation because the epic’s scope size is 92 story points.

The same logic applies if we take into analysis the maximum and minimum team’s velocity. If we are optimistic, we may expect for the epic to take 6 more sprints; if we take the pessimistic scenario, we should expect the delivery to take 8 more sprints.

What-if scenarios

What-if scenario for a given velocity

Let’s model what would be the delivery date if team Omega’s velocity is 25 story points. Here is how you configure this:

From the chart below, we see that the team will be able to complete the epic in 3 sprints:

What-if scenario for a given delivery date

Suppose you specify the target date by which the team should deliver Epic AAA. In that case, the burnup chart will calculate the needed velocity. Here is how you configure this:

The target date is set to July 15th. From the chart below, we see that in such a case, the velocity must be equal to 21 story points:

What-if scenario for a given amount of work

On the Forecast tab, you can manually specify the size of the planned scope. In such a way, you can override the default behaviour to calculate the total estimate of all Jira issues under the epic:

This configuration option allows to quickly model different delivery scenarios. For example, if the planned scope size is equal to 150 story points, optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic delivery times are 12, 16, and 30 sprints respectively:

What-if scenario for the case when a planned scope is growing

The usual thing in our agile world is the case when new work is added to the already planned scope. Knowing the average rate with which new work is added, you can model the delivery timeline on the burnup chart. Here is the configuration:

From the configuration screen above, the scope is growing by 8 story points each sprint. So let’s check the burnup chart for such a case:

We see a big difference in forecasted delivery dates - forecasted velocity in each scenario tries to outrun the amount of work constantly added.

Chart configuration

For the details, please, continue to https://brokenbuild.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/ARG/pages/3150151700 article.