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How Done makes your Scrum Master more effective (77)

June 20, 2024

We started this Scrum foundation series explaining we see four underlying concepts of the Scrum framework. In the past series of mails we covered the three pillars of Empiricism, the Scrum Values, and a Self-Managing and Cross-Functional Team.

The concept Done is the fourth of these concepts. It needs a self-managing, and especially a cross-functional team, a team living the Scrum Values, to make it work in a way that it brings the needed transparency with regards to the quality of your solution/product.

👉 A solution (Product/Increment/Service) the team labels as Done, meaning the solution meets the required quality measures, is ready to be released in the hands of the users, in their day-to-day life.

Being Done = meeting the required quality measures = a new Increment exists = a production release is possible.

Done should receive the necessary attention by each of the Scrum Accountabilities.

A team is not effective when no Done Increment is available the latest by the end of each Sprint. Given the Scrum Master is accountable for the team’s effectiveness, Done is a key concept for him/her.

So what can the Scrum Master focus on?

Some ideas:

  • During Sprint Planning, remind the team to take their Definition of Done into account. Not Done = not effective.
  • During the Daily Scrum, during the entire Sprint, listen in to hear whether or not there is attention by the Developers getting to Done.
  • During the Sprint Review, guide the team they only discuss Done items with stakeholders. This might also be a good opportunity to gain input on quality expectations from users and stakeholders. Maybe usability can be improved, or performance, or ... All great input for improving the Definition of Done as these are aspects applicable to the entire product.
  • During the Sprint Retrospective trigger the Developers and Product Owner to maintain their Definition of Done based on what they learned during the Sprint.
  • Facilitate the team to make transparent what is not yet included in their Definition of Done, yet should be - this is often called UnDone work; currently accepted lower quality that still needs to be addressed for staying "future-proof".

These are just a few examples.

For the Scrum Master, the Definition of Done is a key concept that helps raise the team’s effectiveness. Guiding the team to improve its use is a key enabler to bring value to customers, making the team truly effective.


When it comes to Done, the Scrum Master helps the Scrum Team to focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the expected quality levels, i.e. that meets their Definition of Done.

Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate how the Scrum Master can facilitate the team in improving the use of the Definition of Done.


I hope you find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

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Done and the Scrum Master

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