Definition-of-done (dod)

definition of done - dod
definition of done - dod

In scrum, it’s important that the entire team aligns with what is considered “done”. The team will define its “Definition of Done”.

La Definition of Done (Dod)

The development team will define together all the criteria that will make it possible to affirm that one item (user story for example) can be considered as “done”. We commonly call this practice by the acronym Dod. On visual boards, this is often represented by passing the post’it in the “done” column.

Definition of Ready
Definition of Done

In some development team, we also see a member with testing skills (or certification) who will have the mission to validate that the item meets 100% of this Definition of Done. Here is a small interesting sentence of the scrum guide to show the importance of this practice:

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

The Dod set up will be of great help to the product owner; he may decide whether to deliver the functionalities (according to his strategic vision) in production.

The product owner participates in the Definition of Done (dod)?

By default, the product owner doesn’t participate in the creation of the Dod. The development team is 100% autonomous on the delivered items (in a stable environment). However, he can be an observer of the workshop of the dod creation which allows to have a closer team. But if the development team in complete autonomy wants the product owner to be an active participant of its creation, nothing prohibits it. However, in case of disagreement, the last decision will be from the development team.

The Definition of Done of several teams

If several teams are working on a common product (or offer), it is strongly recommended that the dod will be the same for all teams.

How to define your dod

The development team will define the Definition of Done together during a workshop. There are some differents things to define:

  • action to be taken
  • quality criteria
  • Expected compliance (in concrete terms)

For example the team could define a Definition of Done of this type:

Definition of done - criteria
Definition of done – criteria

I strongly recommend you to display your Definition of Done in your visual management or to put it visibly on the software used (in case of dispersed teams).

The Dod must evolve

When starting a product, it is not easy to be strict about the Definition of Done. The list of criteria will be fed in the future to get the “done” to be a quality criterion increasingly strict.

Conclusion

The concept of the Dod is relatively simple to understand. It will be more difficult to implement it especially when you will start a new product. Development teams must agree not to be too demanding when starting the product; indeed, this will allow the development team to have a learning phase. It will improve it throughout the advancement of the product. However, don’t forget that the Dod is a practice of the development team; it’s alone responsible for its definition even if it can authorize the product owner to participate.

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