What does the Scrum Guide mean with development organization?

Last post 12:54 am March 6, 2019
by Ian Mitchell
3 replies
02:29 pm March 5, 2019

Hi all I'm having some problems on understanding what the Scrum Guide refers to with "development organization" maybe it's because I'm not a native english speaker but let see, here the different options I get from reading that:

  1. The company the development team belongs to, needs to have a DoD as a Standard for PBI and for an Increment
  2. A product has several Scrum Teams, the developers from each team, all together need to define a DoD

This is really confusing as from my understanding I believe (maybe I'm wrong) that the DoD may be at first stablished by the dev team but it needs to be formed in collaboration with the whole Scrum Team.

So... why is the Scrum guide setting aside the PO when defining a DoD? and what should I understand from "development organization"?


Thank you all!

03:44 pm March 5, 2019

In my opinion, both of your interpretations are correct.  It really depends on the organization (sorry for that).  An organization is a larger collection of groups. Can that be more than one team working on the same Product Backlog? Yes.  Can that be the entire development division of a large company?  Yes. 

Let me give examples that might help.

Example A

A company has a development division that is made of 20 teams that are broken up across 8 products. Some products have 1 team, others have multiple.  All the products that the company produces are hosted in a cloud infrastructure.  The "organization" may want to set some standards that all of the applications must meet (containerized, uses a specific queuing system, uses only one specific database engine).  An organization DoD might be created that says something like "All production quality products must conform to all corporate standards".  They may also want to set some legal standards such as "All data collected by our applications must be GDPR compliant".  These could be an "organizational DoD".  Then each team can add criteria to their DoD must team DoDs must add to the organizational and can not change it.

Example B

In Example A I mentioned that some of the products are being serviced by multiple teams. One of them has 4 teams working on a single Product Backlog. All work will be in the same code base.  There could be "organizational DoD" requirements across all the teams such as "All new code must have 80% automated test coverage" or "All UI elements must adhere to the defined style guide".  

Combining the two examples, there is an "organizational DoD" at the corporate level.  And for 1 Product, there is an "organizational DoD" for the Product.  So for those 4 teams their Team DoD must include all of the corporate level DoD and the Product level DoD in addition to any Team level criteria they choose to include.

Does this help?

03:59 pm March 5, 2019

Super clear!

It helps quite a lot and thanks for such a clarifying explanation :)

12:54 am March 6, 2019

One way to look at it: if a product is of unsatisfactory quality, who bears the risk? Few teams are garage startups, and sub-par deliverables can bring a wider risk to corporate reputation.

In such cases, an organization will be accountable for a standard of Done which mitigates that risk, and which teams must be able to accommodate before making any commitment.