Definition of Done and its applicability on all PBIs

Last post 03:19 pm July 31, 2019
by Ian Mitchell
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11:41 pm July 30, 2019

Once a Definition of Done has been defined by the team, does it mean that everything defined in it has to be fully applicable to all Product Backlog Items (PBI) everytime? For example, if, adhering to security standards, is one of the things as part of the DoD, but one of the PBI's in concern has nothing to do with security standards, does it mean that that PBI cannot be considered Done?

 

11:50 pm July 30, 2019

The purpose of the Definition of Done is to make sure that all stakeholders understand what it means to say that the work is "done", whether that work is a Product Backlog Item or the Increment at the end of a Sprint. Sometimes, I find it much more useful to consider applying the Definition of Done to the Increment that results once the Product Backlog Item has been integrated. Although it may not specifically apply to the completed Product Backlog Item, it will describe the state that the Increment needs to remain in.

04:40 am July 31, 2019

Once a Definition of Done has been defined by the team, does it mean that everything defined in it has to be fully applicable to all Product Backlog Items (PBI) everytime? For example, if, adhering to security standards, is one of the things as part of the DoD, but one of the PBI's in concern has nothing to do with security standards, does it mean that that PBI cannot be considered Done?

You could define a level of Done, such as acceptance criteria, which apply uniquely to individual PBIs. These would contribute to the Definition of Done for the increment.

Then again, just because a PBI has “nothing to do” with security standards, does that mean it should be allowed to break them?

02:07 pm July 31, 2019

You could define a level of Done, such as acceptance criteria, which apply uniquely to individual PBIs. These would contribute to the Definition of Done for the increment.

@Ian Mitchell, Thanks for that answer, I believe you've almost answered my question. So, let's assume that a PBI has met its acceptance criteria but it cannot be tested (hypothetically speaking and for the sake of discussion) and testing is part of the DoD which applies to the increment. Just because one PBI could not be tested, would the resulting increment be considered Done?

Also, if that unique acceptance criteria was only a one time thing, how would it contribute to the DoD. I understood your statement as it may or it would become part of the DoD going forward. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

 

03:06 pm July 31, 2019

let's assume that a PBI has met its acceptance criteria but it cannot be tested (hypothetically speaking and for the sake of discussion) and testing is part of the DoD which applies to the increment. Just because one PBI could not be tested, would the resulting increment be considered Done?

Correct. Work would remain to be done before the increment is brought into a releasable state.

Also, if that unique acceptance criteria was only a one time thing, how would it contribute to the DoD. I understood your statement as it may or it would become part of the DoD going forward. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

Isn't each and every DoD potentially a "one time thing", in so far as it ought to be applicable to a specific product increment?

03:19 pm July 31, 2019

Correct. Work would remain to be done before the increment is brought into a releasable state.

To clarify, the resulting increment would not be considered Done