Posted in Scrum

Definition of Done

“everyone must understand what “Done” means” (1)


Value of Definition of Done (2, page 52)

  • Transparency about where we are  – clarity around what ‘Done’ means
  • Transparency about where we are going – understanding of size and complexity of completed PBIs helps forecasting future work
  • Transparency about planning a Sprint – team will have a better idea of what they can deliver each Sprint

Multiple Teams and the Definition of Done (4, page 53)

  • When multiple Development Teams are working on a single product, they must agree on a common definition of ‘Done’.
  • Their integrated increments must be potentially shippable rather than them being separate, and then integrated

Sprint Planning

The same definition guides the Development Team in knowing how many Product Backlog items it can select during a Sprint Planning. The purpose of each Sprint is to deliver Increments of potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the Scrum Team’s current definition of “Done”. (1)


As Scrum Teams mature, it is expected that their definitions of “Done” will expand to include more stringent criteria for higher quality. (1)

Exercises for Review of Definition of Done

Evaluation of Definition of Done Exercise (3, page 65)

  1. Draw 3 rectangles inside each other with the titles of future on the outer one, next on the middle one, and now on the inner one
  2. Work together with the development team to put sticky notes in each of the sections
    • Now: Definition of Done right now
    • Next: What do we plan to do next to improve?
    • Future: What do we imagine being in our Definition of Done once we are capable?


Create a Definition of Done (3, page 166)

  1. Decide as a team categories for when tasks need to be done (e.g. PBI level, sprint level, release level)
  2. Create a space for each of the categories on the wall
  3. Spend five minutes with each team member privately brainstorming all the tasks they can think of for each category, and then put them on the wall
  4. Work together to eliminate duplicates and gain a shared understanding of the notes remaining
  5. Ask questions to ensure that the team are thinking beyond coding activities (e.g. business issues)
  6. Ask the team to put a dot on any task that will be difficult/ impossible to complete during a sprint (Reminder – all the items that go into the Definition of Done must be completed by the end of the sprint. Remove it if it can’t be)
  7. For the task with the most dots find ways to compromise to make it easier to achieve without sacrificing quality – process improvements likely to come out
  8. Decide which sticky notes survive into the DoD
  9. Review regularly

Definition of Done Questions (2, page 52)

  • What do we need to do to assist the people who will maintain the product (e.g. readable code ,variable naming conventions)?
  • How will we minimise technical debt?
  • How will we test the product?
  • What testing will be automated?
  • What defects must be resolved?
  • How will we meet performance and scalability requirements?
  • Which development standards will guide us toward technical excellence?
  • How will we verify conformance to our team’s development standards (e.g. peer reviews)?
  • How will we validate and ensure data quality?
  • How will we ensure that our product is secure?
  • How will we ensure that our product is secure?
  • How will we ensure that our product meets regulatory, legal, or other compliance standards?
  • What do we need to do to meet branding requirements?
  • What do we need to do to ensure that our product is usable by people with disabilities?
  • What documentation is needed to release to production?


  1. The Scrum Guide
  2. Mastering Professional Scrum by Simon Reindl and Stephanie Ockerman
  3. Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller
  4. Scrum Insights for Practitionersby Hiren Doshi

Explore More Scrum

Sprint PlanningScrum TheoryScrum Values

3 thoughts on “Definition of Done

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s