Scrum: Definition of Done

It is said that the definition of done is important for any highly operational Scrum team. You need to know the important characteristics that a team has for done to be defined. Making sure that a team can meet these DoD criteria can guarantee that your team can deliver the said features that can assure that it is truly done both in functionality as well as quality.

Most of the time the definition of done is composed of a list of certain activities that can range from writing codes, coding comments, testing unit, testing integration, releasing notes, designing documents and a lot more. These activities can add demonstrable or verifiable value to any product. When you focus on the steps that add value, it allows the team to put all of their attention on the things that they should complete for them to build the software on time and eliminate all the activities that waste their time and complicate their development efforts in finishing the software.

In the simplest form, DoD is having the ability of saying that the feature is either already done or not done. What it gives a product or any artifact is that, it adds clarity in the statement that the feature is done. With using DoD as the reference used by a team member during a conversation, it is already one way of effectively updating other members of the team as well as the owner of the products.

When asked by the scrum to provide “potentially shippable software” at very print’s end, it means that the software is already equipped with a feature or features that can already be released, provided with a limited notice, to the users at the discretion of the product owner. Those products that are set to be released with a span of 2 days are considered as those that are in the potentially shippable state. Preferably, when the term potentially shippable is used in a product, it is already similar to what the Definition of Done is.

In every team, they are working differently to achieve their product’s potentially shippable condition. Most of the time, they use DoD at different levels such as the following:

  • DoD for a certain feature. This is typically used for product backlog or story item.
  • DoD used for every sprint or the collection of certain features that are developed or made within a single sprint.
  • DoD for releases. This is the terms used for items that are labeled as potentially shippable state.

With the different factors that may influence whether an activity belongs to a release, sprint, or feature of DoD, it is necessary that one is well aware of the definitions and get to see its connection with the software or products they develop.

Do remember that DoD is changing in a certain period of time. The ability of the entire team and organizational support in removing impediments can enable the enclosure of added activities in the DoD for either sprints or features. Getting to know these basic things helps in understanding definition of done in product, release, feature, or sprint.

Slimane Zouggari