A burndown chart allows you to make a visual representation of the work that is needed for a particular project as well as the amount of time that it will take. By putting the specific tasks that need to be done on one side of the chart and the timeframe on the other, you can create a chart that allows you to see progress that is made in a quick and graphical way.
Burndown charts are an excellent charting tool to add to an already existing arsenal of progress and process charts.
Any project where progress can be measured over time will work well with a burndown chart. Having this type of visual representation of progress will often help to keep teams on track. It can also help to encourage people to stay on task since they will be able to represent their progress visually on a chart that everyone involved can see. For many people, this can be very motivational.
Some people will combine the use of a burndown chart with what is called a burnup chart. This is a chart that looks specifically at the work that has already been completed. When both charts are used together, they should look almost like mirror images of each other. This can help to allow teams to measure both the expected timeline of the project and the already completed tasks that have been done.
If your company regularly has projects, especially larger scale projects, that need to be completed, this type of chart can be extremely helpful. It is beneficial both for the people who are working on the project itself as well as those in upper management positions who need to track progress. Having this type of information on one simple chart is one reason why burndown charts are used so frequently in many different industries.