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How does Definition of "Done" help to the Scrum Team?

Last post 04:28 pm December 30, 2019 by Rajesh Swarnkar
11 replies
12:23 am January 21, 2017

Hi, I was working on the following question with my colleagues and we are not sure why the last option is incorrect, could anyone help to clarify?

Question: How does Definition of "Done" help to the Scrum Team? Select the 3 most applicable items.

1. DoD helps in inspection and adaptation
2. Guides the Development Team in knowing how many Product Backlog items it can select during a Sprint Planning
3. DoD is used to assess when work is complete on the product increment
4. DoD ensures artifact transparency
5. DoD helps to calculate velocity of the Scrum Team

The answer is 2, 3, 4.

We are wondering why 5 is incorrect.Thought process: DoD helps to guide whether the work is "done" or not, if it's done, the points will be added to the Sprint, i.e. Velocity is calculated at the end of the Sprint by totaling the points.

Could anyone help to clarify? Thank you in advance.

07:03 pm January 23, 2017

Where does this question come from? It's a bit sweeping to assert that a Definition of Done "ensures artifact transparency".

03:57 am January 24, 2017

The reason #5 is excluded from the answer is because Scrum doesn't talk about Velocity and Story Points anywhere, try finding out the words in Scrum Guide. Its upto the team to decide how they would like to estimate and how they would like to measure the Done item.

06:26 am January 25, 2017

Ian, this question come from the mock test @ Mikhail Lapshin website.

09:25 pm January 26, 2017

Another question I had about the same, is why does the DoD is not helping in inspection and adaptation?

10:26 pm January 26, 2017

It does. It allows the team, the increment, the Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog to be inspected and adapted. The best answers are 1, 2, and 3.

07:58 am December 17, 2017

Hello everyone,

I know it's too late but I'm posting this for further reading.

The best answers are 2,3 and 4 as per Scrum Guide.

members must have a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete, to ensure transparency. This is the definition of “Done” for the Scrum Team and is used to assess when work is complete on the product Increment.

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


08:56 pm December 18, 2017

Option 4 says that the Definition of Done “ensures artifact transparency”. There are three artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Increment) and it is perhaps a bit sweeping to imply that transparency across all three will be ensured by a DoD. The Scrum Guide only talks about a DoD ensuring transparency in the context of work being complete.

07:16 am December 19, 2017

Ian, there is a case to be made that it at least enhances transparency on all three:

Product Backlog: As per the Scrum Guide, each Product Backlog Item (PBI) has an estimate. That estimate will depend on what work is to be performed and the DoD helps clarify that. The DoD also might make it more transparent to stakeholders how the Development Team arrived at its estimate.

Sprint Backlog: The Sprint Backlog shows the Development Team's plan to get create the product increment. That will absolutely be influenced by the DoD and it also might enhance transparency with regards to work yet to be done.

Increment: What quality does the increment have? "Potentially Shippable" is the minimum requirement, but the actual quality of a product increment differs wildly between companies and sometimes teams. So having the DoD to establish what level of quality it has, makes the increment more transparent.

07:55 am December 19, 2017

There is indeed a case to be made that the DoD may improve the transparency over all three artifacts. However, option 4 states that it “ensures artifact transparency”, which it cannot do. If backlogs are not made sufficiciently visible for example, or are not referred to conscientiously enough by the team, then they will lack transparency irrespective of the Definition of Done.

The question and supplied answers do not seem to come from a open assessment but from a third party, and option 4 is apparently held to be one of the 3 most applicable. However, if a similar question was to appear in a exam I think it is unlikely that option 4 would be considered a good one. The DoD definitely “helps in inspection and adaptation” (option 1) however, and this would be a better answer. 


02:58 pm December 19, 2017

Oh, I do agree the answer is not quite correct. But it's easy to see where the misunderstanding comes from.

The test in question doesn't just draw fro the Scrum Open assessments because it aims to give those taking the test a feeling of the level of difficulty of the PSM assessment. And having passed the PSM I, I will attest that it is more difficult than the Scrum Open assessment.

04:28 pm December 30, 2019

Oh, I do not agree as well. DoD indeed ensure the artifact transparency. If it does not then what else? 

2,3,and 4 are most appropriate. (Be it scrum or any scrum guide based educational website)

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