When does everyone need to understand what done means?

Last post 10:46 pm September 9, 2015
by Ching-Pei Li
7 replies
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08:24 am September 7, 2015

As per the scrum guide:

1. "When a Product Backlog item or an Increment is described as “Done”, everyone must understand what “Done” means."

2. "The same definition guides the Development Team in knowing how many Product Backlog items it can select during a Sprint Planning"

As per my understanding the definition of done should be clear at the beginning of sprint. Otherwise we will not be able to achieve point two,

Please clarify.

11:47 am September 8, 2015

The team should have understood and agreed a Definition of Done for the product increment no later than the end of Sprint Planning. Without an agreed DoD the team will not be in a position to forecast its Sprint Backlog, since the requisite level of quality (and the work needed to satisfy it) will be unknown.

02:30 am September 9, 2015

I would prefer to have understood and agreed on the Definition of Done before Sprint Planning. The Definition of Done is usually updated in the Retrospective and doesn't change within the Sprint Planning. Otherwise you would have a moving target when creating the forecast.

03:26 am September 9, 2015

Thanks for your answers Ian and Ludwig. I am not able to follow point 1. “When a Product Backlog item or an Increment is described as “Done”, everyone must understand what “Done” means."
My understanding is the Scrum Team is clear on DOD before the Sprint. But everyone (including Stake holders) becomes clear on DOD when, a Product Backlog item or an Increment is described as “Done”. Ideally it should happen on Sprint Review. Please correct me.

04:51 am September 9, 2015

Posted By Ludwig Harsch on 09 Sep 2015 02:30 AM
I would prefer to have understood and agreed on the Definition of Done before Sprint Planning.

I agree with Ludwig.

The Development Team should have understood and agreed on the Definition of Done before Sprint Planning so that it could know how many Product Backlog items it can select to develop during the Sprint.

03:17 pm September 9, 2015

I would also prefer to have an agreed DoD prior to Sprint Planning. However it is not a precondition needed for this event to occur.

03:26 pm September 9, 2015

> My understanding is the Scrum Team is clear
> on DOD before the Sprint. But everyone
> (including Stake holders) becomes clear on
> DOD when, a Product Backlog item or an
> Increment is described as “Done”. Ideally it
> should happen on Sprint Review. Please correct me. 

A PBI or increment can be *evidenced* as Done in the Sprint Review. That is a formal opportunity in which the conformance of completed items with the DoD may be proven. However, the *description* of what Done means must be agreed before a Sprint Backlog can be forecast...and that means no later than Sprint Planning.

10:46 pm September 9, 2015

Posted By Ian Mitchell on 09 Sep 2015 03:17 PM
I would also prefer to have an agreed DoD prior to Sprint Planning. However it is not a precondition needed for this event to occur.

Agree!

For those days as a Scrum Master, I always let the team recall the up-to-date DoD in the beginning of the Sprint Planning, especially, if we had increased the quality of DoD in the latest Sprint Retrospective.