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TOPIC: Hurricane Style Burndown Charts

Hurricane Style Burndown Charts 1 year 4 months ago #30235

  • Megan Romeis
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I received this question on another PMI practice platform: "Project sponsors usually want to know project timelines. Agile teams usually estimate project completion using variables such as current velocity and cycle time. However, like any other estimate, this estimate has some degree of variability. Which of the following tools can help an Agile team reflect this variability?" The answer was Hurricane-style charts. I've never heard of these and can't find any good explanation online about them to learn more. I've heard of Tornado charts but these seem different.

Can anyone help me understand more details about these types of charts?

Hurricane-style Burndown Charts 1 year 4 months ago #30237

  • Dominic Hickey
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This subject came up in the in-person class that I attended back in December, so I hope I can help clear this up for you.

First of all, it's not a type of burndown chart as such, but a means of visually representing estimates and their variance.

The Agile Practice Guide mentions "hurricane-style charts" in the side bar on p. 61, but, unhelpfully, there is no further explanation. What they are referring to are the kind of charts you might see on a TV weather forecast, where the predicted displacement and intensity of a hurricane are charted, overlayed over geographical maps. The resulting visual outcome is generally a cone, with predicted events in the near future having less variance (i.e. narrower section), and events further into the future are represented with a wider range of possibilities, giving a wider section. In project management, this is often called the "Cone of Uncertainty". If you search that term, you should find more useful information.
Dominic Hickey, PMP
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