In the Scrum Framework, the Definition of Done is the standard that work must meet to be considered complete. It is the quality gate through which work must pass.
If the team or the product is new, it can be difficult to agree on what the DoD should include. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds workshopping long list of exhaustive criteria, but this can be counterproductive. Laying out a big list of hurdles before the work has commenced can suck the wind out of the teams sails and crush creativity. It’s also possible some of the criteria borrowed from past projects don’t apply, causing wasted effort.
It’s important to remember that we have the opportunity (and obligation) to inspect and adapt the way we work with each iteration. Starting with a simple DoD, learning from experience, and then refining and expanding on it over time will create a leaner, more valuable definition.
Consider this starting point:
- The increment is valuable to the customer
- It is production-ready, or already live
- The team is proud of the work included
Pride is subjective, and that’s a good thing. We respect the team and acknowledge that they are capable professionals with a desire to produce high quality work. If they aren’t proud, there’s a reason. And that reason is a great starting point for the next retrospective.