When a Product Backlog item or an Increment is described as “Done”, everyone must understand what “Done” means. Although this may vary significantly per Scrum Team, 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. The purpose of each Sprint is to deliver Increments of potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the Scrum Team’s current definition of “Done”.
Development Teams deliver an Increment of product functionality every Sprint. This Increment is useable, so a Product Owner may choose to immediately release it. 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 Development Teams on all the Scrum Teams must mutually define the definition of “Done”.
Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments and thoroughly tested, ensuring that all Increments work together.
As Scrum Teams mature, it is expected that their definitions of “Done” will expand to include more stringent criteria for higher quality. New definitions, as used, may uncover work to be done in previously “Done” increments. Any one product or system should have a definition of “Done” that is a standard for any work done on it.
The What is Scrum Blog Series are excerpts from the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Offered for license under the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode and also described in summary form at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.
- Scrum Foundations Course Video Series
- An Introduction to Scrum
- What Are the 3 Pillars of Scrum?
- What are the 5 Scrum Values?
- What is a Scrum Team?
- What is a Scrum Product Owner?
- What is a Scrum Development Team?
- What is the Ideal Size of a Scrum Development Team?
- What is a Scrum Master?
- What are the Scrum Events?
- What is a Sprint?
- Who can cancel a Sprint?
- What is Sprint Planning?
- What is a Sprint Goal?
- What is a Daily Scrum?
- What is a Sprint Review?
- What is a Sprint Retrospective?
- What are the Scrum Artifacts?
- What is a Product Backlog?
- What is Product Backlog Refinement or Grooming?
- What is a Sprint Backlog?
- What is a Product Increment?
- What is a Definition of “Done”?
- Who is Monitoring Progress?
- The Importance of Artifact Transparency