The Ultimate Guide to Definition of Done

The concept of “Done” is the most important one in Scrum, however, it is often not fully implemented in organizations due to previously established processes and agreements. Without a Done Increment, working usable product functionality at the end of the Sprint, Scrum implementation is losing it’s benefits.

If you want to start seeing real results, you have to put the focus back on Done. This starts with having a strong and clear Definition of Done, of course.

As always, it can be hard to start. There is no guide that explains how to go about it, how to teach others, how to create a Definition of Done, who to involve and when.

That is why I have created the ultimate guide to the Definition of Done to help teams with this complex topic. It contains all of the practical knowledge I have and gives you concrete steps and examples of making “Done” more tangible.

Grab a copy of the Ultimate Guide to Definition of Done in the ScrumMastered store, and read further to get some initial pointers.

The 3 elements to a successful Definition of Done

Whenever you are introducing the Definition of Done, there are three key elements you need to consider.

Understanding the concept of “Done”

First things first – before you jump into the creation of the definition itself, you need to make sure that everyone understand the underlying concept: what “Done” actually means here?

In terms of Scrum, Done Increment is a working usable product functionality. We used to call it potentially releasable as well. It means that no other work is left to do and if we want to give it into the hands of our customers, it’s as easy as a push of a button.

Important: “Done” doesn’t mean “already in production”!

Creating a clear definition

The next essential element is the creation of the actual Definition of Done. It has to be documented, understood by everyone involved, clear and transparent.

It’s important to not only look at the Developers’ side of thing, but also make sure that stakeholders and customers understand what they can expect when something is “Done”.

Definition of Done is about minimum acceptable quality of the product we deliver.

It might include testing, documentation, integration, verification, approvals, legal, etc. Whatever is needed for your particular product.

Improving “Done”

The last point I wanted to make here is about the fact that the Definition of Done is a living document. It is not something you create once and then never look at again.

Your definition has to always be visible and transparent. It’s important to bring it up in discussions and review it from time to time.

Of course, you don’t want to go changing your Definition of Done every Sprint, but it is something that you would want to gradually improve as your team and organization become more Agile.

Taking steps to Done

The concept of “Done” and the Definition of Done are pretty complex topics. I know it because the creation of the guide for it took me the longest time than any other guide I have created. It’s tough to put it all together even when you have the information already.

To help your team and organization succeed, you need to help them understand what “Done” means, create their Definition of Done and set up processes and agreements that help you improve “Done”.

This is exactly what the ultimate guide to the Definition of Done is walking you through by giving you not only the knowledge you need but also by giving you the tools to teach others and create the definition. Check out what exactly you can find in the guide on the store page.

I hope that this brief explanation of the key elements to a successful implementation of the Definition of Done can help you and your team get more benefits from Agile and Scrum.

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About the author

Hi, my name is Daria Bagina. Iā€™m a Professional Scrum Trainer with and a experience Agile leader. I help teams and organizations to get the most out of the Scrum and Agile implementation by sharing my personal stories and practical advice.

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