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Definition of Done - per product or per organization?

Last post 08:51 am October 9, 2013
by Ian Mitchell
7 replies
01:33 pm October 8, 2013

Hello everyone! =D

I'm a newbie in Scrum and I have a newbie question:

The Definition of Done is per product or each project of the organization mas share the same?

Thanks for the attention!

02:12 pm October 8, 2013

Definition of Done is per team. This is because each team must effectively own its process, and thereby be able to take every item in its Sprint Backlog through to completion.

When multiple teams collaborate on the release of a single product, they must share the same Definition of Done (or at least a common and valuable subset) so that the release will be of a known quality.

03:27 pm October 8, 2013

Understood, thanks Ian!

03:36 pm October 8, 2013


This changed recently in the new Scrum Guide, and essentially the DoD is per product, though it can also be influenced by the development org.

From the Scrum Guide:
"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. If there are multiple Scrum Teams working on the system or product release, the developer teams on all of the Scrum Teams must mutually define the definition of “Done.”"

04:12 pm October 8, 2013

Hi Mr. Bradley, thanks for answering,

Indeed I saw this in the Scrum Guide, but I still was in doubt if each product could have a specific DoD (if it wasn't a little excessive) or if the DoD should be not specific, applicable to every project. Now is all clear. Just learned more for the PSM I assessement!

04:08 am October 9, 2013

Strictly speaking I suppose - and this is being an absolute pedant - a Definition of Done is per Sprint. This is because it is subject to revision by a Scrum Team during the Sprint Retrospective. They could effectively replace their DoD entirely if they considered it to be appropriate for the product and the organization.

On another note, perhaps there is a slight inconsistency in the Guide. It says "...the Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “done” appropriate for the product". Yet in a Retrospective, it is says "...the Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by adapting the definition of 'Done' as appropriate". Surely it is always the full Scrum Team including the Product Owner, and not just the Development Team, who both define and adapt the DoD.

08:24 am October 9, 2013

I think you're right Ian, but I would reformulate saying that the DoD is per product, BUT the DoD evolves through out the project, sprint after sprint, during Sprint Retrospective, as the guide says "by adapting the definition of 'Done' as appropriate".

08:51 am October 9, 2013

Yes, that seems to be a fair and accurate statement. I think it expresses it better than the guide or my pedantry.