What is the Jira Velocity Chart used for

Jira, a widely-used project management tool, provides several reporting features to help teams monitor their performance. One of the most valuable of these features is the Velocity Chart. In this blog post, we will delve into what the Jira Velocity Chart is, how to interpret it, and how it can be utilized to enhance team performance. We will also include FAQs and provide external links for further reading.

What is the Jira Velocity Chart?

The Jira Velocity Chart is a graphical representation that shows the amount of work a team has completed (measured in story points) in each sprint. It is a fundamental tool in Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, to help teams understand their capacity and to predict how much work they can handle in future sprints.

Key Components of the Velocity Chart

  1. Sprints: The chart typically displays multiple sprints along the horizontal axis, showing historical data of completed work.
  2. Story Points: The vertical axis represents the number of story points, a common unit of measure in Agile for estimating the effort required to complete a task.
  3. Completed Story Points: Bars or lines in the chart indicate the number of story points completed in each sprint.
  4. Committed Story Points: This shows the number of story points the team initially committed to completing at the start of each sprint.

How to Interpret the Jira Velocity Chart

Understanding the Velocity Chart involves comparing the committed story points to the completed story points for each sprint. Here’s a step-by-step guide to interpreting the chart:

  1. Consistent Velocity: If the completed story points are consistently close to the committed story points across sprints, it indicates that the team has a stable and predictable velocity.
  2. Fluctuating Velocity: Significant differences between committed and completed story points indicate that the team’s capacity is inconsistent, which may suggest the need for better sprint planning or that external factors are impacting team performance.
  3. Trending Velocity: Observing trends in the chart can help predict future performance. For instance, an increasing trend in completed story points might suggest improved team efficiency or better estimation practices.

Example of a Jira Velocity Chart

Imagine a team with the following data over four sprints:

Sprint Committed Story Points Completed Story Points
Sprint 1 20 18
Sprint 2 22 21
Sprint 3 25 20
Sprint 4 23 23

In this example, the team shows a relatively stable velocity with minor fluctuations, indicating a predictable workflow.

Uses of the Jira Velocity Chart

The Velocity Chart is a versatile tool that serves multiple purposes in Agile project management:

1. Sprint Planning

By analyzing past performance, teams can make more informed decisions during sprint planning. Knowing the average velocity helps in setting realistic goals and prevents over-committing, leading to more successful sprints.

2. Performance Tracking

The Velocity Chart helps teams track their performance over time. It highlights trends and patterns that can be used to identify areas for improvement, such as estimation accuracy or workflow efficiency.

3. Capacity Forecasting

Understanding the team’s velocity allows project managers to forecast the capacity for future sprints. This is particularly useful for long-term planning and setting expectations with stakeholders.

4. Identifying Bottlenecks

Fluctuations in the velocity might indicate potential bottlenecks or issues within the team’s processes. Addressing these issues can lead to smoother sprints and more consistent performance.

5. Enhancing Team Morale

Transparent performance tracking through the Velocity Chart can boost team morale by showcasing progress and achievements. It provides a clear picture of the team’s capacity and helps in recognizing and celebrating improvements.

External Links for Further Reading

  1. Atlassian Jira Software Documentation
  2. Understanding Agile Velocity in Jira


1. What is the primary purpose of the Velocity Chart in Jira?

The primary purpose of the Velocity Chart is to help Agile teams track and predict their capacity for work in future sprints. It provides a visual representation of the amount of work completed in previous sprints, aiding in better sprint planning and performance analysis.

2. How can I improve my team’s velocity?

Improving team velocity involves several strategies:

  • Refine Estimation Techniques: Ensure that story points are estimated accurately.
  • Enhance Team Collaboration: Foster better communication and collaboration within the team.
  • Identify and Remove Bottlenecks: Use the Velocity Chart to identify and address process inefficiencies.
  • Continuous Improvement: Implement regular retrospectives to learn from past sprints and apply improvements.

3. Why does the Velocity Chart show fluctuations?

Fluctuations in the Velocity Chart can occur due to various reasons, such as changes in team composition, varying complexity of tasks, unexpected obstacles, or inaccurate estimation. Regular analysis can help identify the underlying causes and address them.

4. Can the Velocity Chart predict the exact completion date of a project?

While the Velocity Chart provides valuable insights for capacity forecasting, it cannot predict exact completion dates due to potential variability in task complexity and unforeseen issues. It is best used as a tool for setting realistic expectations and improving sprint planning.

5. How often should the Velocity Chart be reviewed?

The Velocity Chart should be reviewed after every sprint during sprint review meetings. This allows the team to assess their performance, make necessary adjustments, and plan future sprints more effectively.

6. What is the difference between committed and completed story points?

Committed story points are the number of story points the team plans to complete at the start of the sprint. Completed story points are the actual number of story points finished by the end of the sprint. The difference between the two helps in assessing estimation accuracy and team performance.

7. Can Velocity Charts be used in Kanban projects?

Velocity Charts are typically used in Scrum projects with fixed-length sprints. While they can provide some insights in Kanban projects, where work is continuous and not divided into sprints, other metrics like throughput and cycle time might be more relevant.

8. What should I do if my team’s velocity is decreasing?

If your team’s velocity is decreasing, investigate potential causes such as increased task complexity, process inefficiencies, or team-related issues. Conduct retrospectives to identify problems and implement solutions to improve performance.

9. How does the Velocity Chart differ from the Burndown Chart?

The Velocity Chart shows the amount of work completed across multiple sprints, providing an overview of team capacity and performance trends. The Burndown Chart, on the other hand, tracks the progress of work within a single sprint, showing how much work remains over time.

10. Can the Velocity Chart be customized in Jira?

Yes, Jira allows customization of the Velocity Chart to some extent. You can configure the chart to display specific sprints, adjust the time frame, and select different estimation methods (story points, hours, etc.) based on your project’s needs.


The Jira Velocity Chart is a powerful tool for Agile teams, offering insights into their performance and capacity. By effectively interpreting and utilizing this chart, teams can enhance their sprint planning, track progress, and continuously improve their processes. Regularly reviewing the Velocity Chart and addressing any identified issues can lead to more predictable and successful sprints, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the project.

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