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Product Owner and the Definition of Done
Last Post 24 Aug 2015 04:16 AM by Aleksandr Chistiakov. 11 Replies.
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Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona
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Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona

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22 Mar 2013 09:02 AM
    Regarding the Definition of Done, does the Product Owner provide any input on it? I've read that the responsibility of this definition lies solely on the Development Team, but I think the PO may provide criteria that must be followed, like supporting material (i.e. help content for each PBI), or testing strategy (i.e. usability or performance).

    What do you think?

    Thanks!
    Jack Cantwell
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    Jack Cantwell

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    22 Mar 2013 09:17 AM
    The development team is solely responsible for the DoD. The PO can create backlog item "requirements" that the application perform at a certain level, or that it be extensible in particular ways, or whatever. The PO, however, can not tell the development team how to do its business.

    The job of the development team is to write high-quality, high-value software. The PO decides what the value is, and the development team decides what the quality is. If the PO gives feedback that the product sucks because it's buggy, slow, hard to use, etc., then the dev team has to take that into account and change the way they produce software, but it's very much not in the PO's purview to tell them HOW to accomplish that.
    Philipp Eisbacher
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    Philipp Eisbacher

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    22 Mar 2013 09:22 AM
    The Scrum Guide talks about the scrum team, being owner of the DOD, so the PO is included.

    For me it is something like a "contract" between Development Team and PO and as in any contract, both parts can provide input until both are ready to "sign" it.

    For something like performance goals, you can also use "constraints". Those are types of userstories that are not estimated on not pulled in the Sprint Backlog but are there to remember such things like "be compatible wit h all IE beck to 8" or something like this. Because if you have many of them they will blow up your DOD and there will be PBI's that will not meet the DOD because the are not in the same context,
    Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona
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    Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona

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    22 Mar 2013 10:03 AM
    @Jack:

    I think the main issue here is quality. I believe the PO may state some quality aspects, namely, the aspects users are aware of (extrinsic). As you said, the job of the development team is to write high-quality, high-value software; but some quality aspects that affect value should be agreed with the PO, as Phillipp said.

    Regarding specific PBIs related to quality, some quality attributes can be stated this way (i.e. documentation) but others should be stated as required for all stories (i.e. performance or usability). In that way, PO can tell to the team to accomplish those attributes, so they may decide to include that in DoD.

    I think DoD may be viewed similarly to PB, but reversed: PO can provide input, but Team is responsible for it.

    Thanks!
    Jack Cantwell
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    Jack Cantwell

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    22 Mar 2013 10:18 AM
    • Accepted Answer
    @Francisco, I think you've got it right. The PO can provide input, that's where I was going with the PBIs regarding perf and quality, and those would naturally require a DoD that can accomplish these goals. But it's the dev team that decides how to do it. The PO can't say "you have to have perf tests that are run x often", but CAN say "the application has to perform in x way, go figure out how to make it do that".
    Jack Cantwell
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    Jack Cantwell

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    22 Mar 2013 10:18 AM
    @Francisco, I think you've got it right. The PO can provide input, that's where I was going with the PBIs regarding perf and quality, and those would naturally require a DoD that can accomplish these goals. But it's the dev team that decides how to do it. The PO can't say "you have to have perf tests that are run x often", but CAN say "the application has to perform in x way, go figure out how to make it do that".
    Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona
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    Francisco Luis Rodríguez Villabona

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    22 Mar 2013 02:11 PM
    @Jack, thanks for your insights. The issue is much clearer to me right now.

    Cheers!
    Susanta Kar
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    Susanta Kar

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    27 Mar 2013 04:43 PM
    I believe PO must have input to the definition of DoD - he is the one who is going to take that to business. So he must have something that was not meant by dev team while defining. So definition is PO + Dev team while responsibility to deliver as per DoD goes to Dev team.
    luc dubrule
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    luc dubrule

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    21 Aug 2015 05:16 AM
    In one of the Open Assessment question, there is that exact question and scrum.org correct answer is the Development Organization (or team). I still have trouble with the answer. I would think it would be the Scrum Team as input from all would be needed.

    What am I missing?
    Ching-Pei Li
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    Ching-Pei Li

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    21 Aug 2015 06:13 AM
    If the definition of "done" for an increment is part of the conventions, standards or guidelines of the development organization, all Scrum Teams must follow it as a minimum.
    If "done" for an increment is not a convention of the development organization, the Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “done” appropriate for the product.

    The key point is explained in the first line.
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    21 Aug 2015 01:06 PM
    The Scrum Team owns the Definition of Done, and it is shared between the Development Team and the Product Owner. Only the Development Team are in a position to define it, because it asserts the quality of the work that *they* must perform.

    The quality asserted must be appropriate for the product, which implies that the PO must be consulted. Failure to consult the PO may result in an increment not being accepted, as the DoD would not then be shared.
    Aleksandr Chistiakov
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    Aleksandr Chistiakov

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    24 Aug 2015 04:16 AM
    In Scrum the Development Team is self-organizing it means that team decide HOW to make a potentially shippable product increment every sprint. The usage of the Definition of Done helps Development team to organise and control its work within the sprint. For instance, only Product Owner may decide what increment successfully passed acceptance criteria and ready for sprint review, and after Development team has got that knowledge it add new item: "Acceptance tested" in the Definition of Done checklist.
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