DoD checklist

3 steps to define the Definition Of Done

Why you need a Definition of Done(DoD)?

According to the Scrum Guide:

The purpose of each Sprint is to deliver Increments of potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the Scrum Team’s current definition of “Done”.

Development Teams deliver an Increment of product functionality every Sprint. This Increment is useable, so a Product Owner may choose to immediately release it.

For a scrum team to deliver the product which can be used by the end users , they need to answer the following

Answering above will not solve all the problems but it will help you move in the right direction. Define and follow Definition of Done. It will not only help to improve transparency but will also help to make decisions in a timely manner. If people are not agreed on common goals and standards, it can lead to confusion.

That’s why agreeing on the “Definition of Done” is of critical importance to achieving a consensus on when projects and features are actually called complete.

How to define the Definition of Done?

Regardless of the Acceptance Criteria that could be varied according to the specific needs of the customer, you should have base quality criteria that ensure your product is “ready to be served to your customer”.

Following three main steps can help you define a Definition of Done

DoD can be a combination of following
1. Organizational level standards
2. Engineering process
3. Quality standards

1.Organizational Level
The criteria that need to be checked against the larger goals, needs, and conventions of the company. If its a banking firm all the features must provide secure transactions to customers at all times. Or if it's a service providing company to hundred or thousand customers at a single given time, then introducing new or change is a feature , should not compromise the performance.
Depending upon the organization, the DoD could include

2. Engineering practice
The DoD representing the engineering practices could help developers serve their energy in the right direction (they might be defined on the organization or squad level). Examples include

3. Quality standards
DoD can also help to limit the risk of misunderstanding and conflict between the development team and the customer or product owner from the quality standpoint (they also might be defined on the organization or squad level)

DoD might need to be rewritten on the basis of a project but you shouldn't be needing to update it on the basis of the feature or functionality of the same project.

The evolving Definition of Done

The team’s Definition of Done will not remain the same throughout the life time. It will need a revisit depending upon the changes on the organizational level or a project level. As the team matures and works together, they will learn to improve and implement best practices, processes and procedures, which will lead to iterating the Definition of Done to produce more valuable and quality features.

It’s therefore important that the team gets regular opportunities to revise the definition of done and the most suitable ceremony to do this is in the sprint retrospective meeting.

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