Create trend charts

Last Update: 4/7/2017

Team Services

Trend charts show progress or activity over time. Common types of trend charts include sprint burndowns or burnups, cumulative flow diagrams, and bug activity.

Story points burnup trend chart

By following steps step 1 through step 4 of the basic steps shown below, you'll see the trend of story points as their added to the work item store.

Story Points VSTS   trend chart in power bi

Story points provide an estimate of the amount of work required to complete a user story (Agile process) using any unit of measurement your team prefers, such as t-shirt size, story points, or time.

If you use the Scrum or CMMI processes, you can create similar charts by filtering on the Effort or Size fields.

Basic steps to create a trend chart

The following image shows the basic steps to create a trend chart. In step step 4, you expand the Fields sections to checkmark the X and then Y axis fields on which to create the report. Here we check Story Points for the X axis and the Date field for the Y axis.

Steps to create a trend chart: 1-Open report, 2-Edit report, 3-Add and label report, 4-Check the X and Y axis fields, 5-Change the chart type from to Linex, 6-Apply additional filters.

After you have your initial chart, you can change the chart type and apply additional filters as shown in the examples below.

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You can create Power BI trend charts for data stored in Team Services. To access similar charts for on-premises TFS, see Create status and trend charts in Excel.

Apply State filter

To focus the trend chart to count only story points from active or in progress work items, add the state filter and check those values associated with being Closed, Completed, Cut, or Done. For example:

State filter for active or in progress work items in power bi

Apply step step 5 and change the chart type from a column to a line chart, and your chart will look more like this one. Story Points by date, filter by State, line chart

Apply additional filters to create a burndown chart

To change the trend chart to a burndown that focuses on a specific iteration, add the Iteration Path to the filter set and choose the iteration of interest.

Story Points burn-down chart

This chart indicates that most of the work was finished in the iteration, but there are still some story points assigned to the iteration that haven't been closed. Beware! These are things to investigate.

You can also apply advanced filtering on the Date field to focus only on the start and end dates for your selected sprint. Here we add the Date field and set the advanced filters to:

  • First option: is on or after the first day of the sprint
  • Second option: is on or before the last day of the sprint.

State filter for active or in progress work items in power bi

This changes the trend to the following:

Story Points by date, filter by State, line chart

This chart indicates that some work wasn't scoped until a day or two after the sprint started and that some work was added to the sprint a day or two before the sprint was started (indicated by the line starting at 150 on the first day instead of zero). Note also that by constraining it with the iteration and the date it ends nicely on the last day showing how many story points were not delivered.

The sprint burndown chart based on Story Points provides you with a daily update of your sprint progress when you don't break your stories down into tasks. You can update the chart further by adding Work Item Type as an additional filter to differentiate the story point count for bugs versus user stories.

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Pin your chart to a dashboard

To pin your trend chart to a dashboard, follow the steps provided in Pin a tile to a Power BI dashboard from a report.

More about sprint burndown

To learn more about healthy and unhealthy sprint burndown charts, see Sprint burndown.

Additional chart resources: