Effort Variance

Effort Variance Chart shows a comparison between The Estimated Time to perform a work -item v/s The Actual Time Taken to complete that work-item within an iteration over a period of time. It also reveals,

  • Effort Variance is measured at the end of an iteration so that the performance of the team can be measured.
  • Amount of time taken within each timebox compared to the time estimated enables you to predict the amount of time the team can take to complete work in future sprints.
  • It is useful during your planning meetings, to help you decide what time will be needed to complete a work-item which you can feasibly commit to.
  • As a result, measuring progress becomes easy, to see if there is any improvement over a period of time.

Here you’ll learn how to:

How to Read

X-Axis: Shows timebox name.

Y-Axis: Shows sum work-items by – Effort Estimated (in hours) and Effort Taken (in hours).


You can view the Sprint Effort Variance chart for last 15 Timebox (iteration/sprint).


Just viewing chart doesn’t help you enough until you can view associated work items and act upon.
To view associated work items,

  • Click on any data point
  • Work-items get displayed just right below the chart

Effort Variance chart displays all workitems related to timebox as shown in the image below.


How to Use

It is recommended to measure the Variance of the team at the end of an iteration.

  • You will able to compare progress over a period of time.
  • You can list down common causes for not achieving the Planned Scope by comparing various iterations and as a result, iterations improve gradually.
  • Planning can be done according to the Variance of the team so that disasters are avoided.