They way I've been using FobBugz is to plan out a bunch of releases (usually one every 2 weeks or so). So, for example, you might have the following releases/milestones in the Inbox project:
- Release 10.1 (due date 15 Jan)
- Release 10.2 (due date 29 Jan)
- Backlog - accepted but not yet scheduled
As change requests come in they generally go into Unassigned.
After each release I usually have a conversation with the major stakeholder (who's not really a coder) concerning priorities and we discuss which of the new change requests we actually want to implement and, specifically, what we want to attack most urgently (in the next release).
During a release cycle, sometimes priorities shift a little, some things get prioritised and some things get bumped out to the next iteration to ensure the release is made on time.
This works well, but if you schedule in some milestones/releases 2 months in advance, by the time you actually start working on the milestone there is already quite a bit of history in the burndown chart (typically an almost horizontal line dating back for months). If you only work on the release for 2 weeks (which is typical in our shop) or 1 week (typical in other shops) then by in large the burndown chart is going to be uninteresting noise... a horizontal line for 2 months and then finally 1-2 weeks of actual work where the burndown chart creeps down towards zero.
There are a couple of ways that this could be avoided.
One would be for me, before each release, to create a new milestone and transfer over all the stuff from the old one to the new/real one... then delete the old one. This would work but it's not really how I'd like to work with the software.
A second option would be to have some kind of "Start Date" on the milestone which could perhaps, by default, be when work was first started on one of the cases in the milestone. My thinking is that the burndown chart could only show data from the start date onward.
A third option, similar to the above, might not be to have any particular field but at least allow the user generating burndown charts/reports to specify a date filter for the report... that way I could (knowing we only started work on that milestone on the 5th Oct) say "only show datapoints from Oct 5 onwards.
Does the above make sense?