Posted in Scrum

Definition of Done

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


Value of Definition of Done (2, pg 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, pg 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, pg 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, pg 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, pg 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 Planning Scrum Theory Scrum Values
Posted in Scrum

Scrum Values

“When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone.” (1)


  • Everyone focuses on…
    • the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team. (1)
    • what’s important now – YAGNI (you ain’t gonna need it) (3)


Scrum Team members respect…

  • each other to be capable, independent people (1)
  • people’s opinions and diversity (3)
  • the customer to change their mind
  • the sponsors to not waste their investment (3)
  • Scrum


Scrum Team members commit to…

  • achieving the goals of the Scrum Team. (1)

Commitment refers to dedication rather than a binding contract of tasks. It applies to the intensity of effort (3)


The Scrum Team agree to be open…

  • about all the work and the challenges with performing the work. (1)
  • to collaboration (3)
  • to change (3)


  • The Scrum Team members have courage to…
    • do the right thing and work on tough problems (1)
    • admit your plans won’t be perfect (3)
    • fail
    • share knowledge


Team Scrum Values Powerful Questions (2, pg 1)

  • Why do the values matter?
  • What are some examples where specific values helped?
  • How do we use the Scrum values to guide our actions?
  • What happens when Scrum values aren’t present in our team?
  • When is it difficult to live the values?
  • What gets easier when we embrace the values?
  • Which value helped us the most?
  • Is there a value that we need to work on?


  1. The Scrum Guide
  2. Scrum Insights for Practitioners by Hiren Doshi
  3. Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen

Explore More Scrum

Sprint Planning Scrum Theory Definition of Done
Posted in Scrum

Scrum Theory

Scrum (n): A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. (2)

Definition of Scrum

  • Framework not Methodology (1)
  • Servant Process not Commanding Process (1)
  • Goal = to optimise and control the creation of valuable software (1)

Origins in New New Product Development Game

  • Demonstrated complex product success
  • By self-organising team
  • The team were given objectives, not tasks (tasks make teams blinkered) (1)

House of Scrum


created by Gunther Verheyen (1)

  • The walls are the main activities of Scrum (inspect and adapt)
  • The foundation for the activities is transparency
  • The roof keeps the house safe (the increment) from the unpredictable from outside the house
  • Inside the house is the space to create (including the principles, rules, roles)


Inspect (2)

  • Frequent inspection of artefacts and progress toward Sprint Goal
  • To see if there is variance between where we are and where we want to be
  • Not too frequent to get in the way of work
  • Performed by skilled team members at the point of work

Adapt (2)

Transparency (2)

  • Artefacts of the product must be visible to all people responsible for the product
  • Common understanding
  • Example is the definition of done


Empiricism: "Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known." (2)

Empirical Process Control (1)

Closed Loop System

Closed Loop System (Empirical Process)
  • Actual outcome is regularly compared with desired outcome to diminish undesired variance
  • Creates transparency
  • The Sprint and Daily Scrum are examples
  • Self-correction is applied (no need to know the details up front)
  • Complexity means steps and tasks are not predictable as they are not repeatable

Open Loop System

Open Loop System (For reference)



Sketch notes above by ‘Sketching Maniacs’ from the Wikipedia page


Scrum Improvements Exercises

Scrum Elements Team Exercise (3)

  1. Write each element of the Scrum Framework on a separate sticky
  2. Write complementary practices the team uses on a different coloured sticky (e.g. story points)
  3. Score each sticky from 1 (not doing this) to 5 (mastered this)
  4. Discuss how the team can get each Scrum element to 5. Are the complementary practices getting in the way?

Scrum Across the Organisation (3)

  • Gather the Scrum Masters together
  • Use the liberating structure, 15% Solutions to answer the below question
    • ‘What’s within my control that I can change to get our organisation 15% closer to where it needs to be?’


  1. Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen
  2. The Scrum Guide
  3. Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller

Explore more Scrum

Sprint Scrum Values Scrum Master Increment Definition of Done