Scrum Foundations Course – Product Increment and the Definition of Done

Product Increment and the Definition of Done


An Increment, broadly defined, is an increase or addition, especially when that addition represents one of several steps in a sequence.

In Scrum, the Development Team works to deliver a new Increment of the product every Sprint. Each Increment is a new, updated, usable version of the product, so the Product Owner may choose to immediately release it.

A product Increment is a tangible output of each and every Sprint. The Increment is considered “Done” if it can be immediately released without any additional work. Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments, and is thoroughly tested, ensuring that all Increments work together.

In order to assess when work is complete on a Product Backlog item or an Increment, the Scrum Team creates a shared definition of “Done.” This definition provides transparency about the level of quality that is considered sufficient to release an Increment.

The definition of “Done” guides the Development Team in knowing how many Product Backlog items to select during Sprint Planning, since the purpose of each Sprint is to deliver Increments of potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the Scrum Team’s current definition of “Done.”

This definition will vary significantly per Scrum Team, since each team collaboratively creates it based on their own context and goals. When multiple Scrum Teams work on the same system or product release, they collaborate to create a shared minimum definition of “Done,” to which all teams will adhere.