After spending too much time fighting with various burndown templates, I have found a very friendly work-around that produces working burndowns for just about any task set up on a Trello board.
If you aren’t familiar, Trello is a information mgmt service that allows you to create boards with items that can be organized hierarchically (read Theme, Epic, Feature, Story for the agile users out there). Each item has a number of attribute, including “priority” and “time to complete”, which can be used with story points. It literally takes a second to fill out a trello card, so it makes backlog building a breeze. While it doesn’t sport some of the same reporting and visualization abilities as the full featured requirement management tools out there, it is so simple and easy to use, it is a great option if you want base features at no cost.
With the lack of basic reporting features being a major downside to the service, a savvy Chrome developer created Burndown for Trello, which allows you to transform the time estimates and completed date and time fields into a perfectly serviceable burndown, instantly. Keep in mind you’ll need to be working in Chrome to take advantage of this plug in.
Try it out and write in with your own requirements management hacks in the comments section below.