The Rules of Scrum: I work with all the team members to expand the Definition of “Done”

The Definition of “Done” for a Scrum Team makes transparent how close the team’s work is coming to being shippable at the end of every Sprint.  Expanding the Definition of “Done” until the team is able to ship their product increment every Sprint is a process that every Team Member helps advance.  Team Members expand the Definition of “Done” by learning new skills, developing trust and gaining authority to do work, automating repetitive activities, and finding and eliminating wasteful activities.  When every Team Member is systematically expanding the Definition of “Done”, the team builds its capacity to satisfy business needs without relying on outside people, groups or resources.  If Team Members are not actively working on this, then many of the obstacles to becoming a high-performance team will not be discovered.

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2 thoughts on “The Rules of Scrum: I work with all the team members to expand the Definition of “Done””

  1. 🙂

    I perceive the definition of ‘done’ in two ways …

    On one hand, we can look backwards at our team’s recent work and glean a definition of ‘done’. As in… we delivered this, this, and this so therefore it’s apparent/evident that our team believed those things to be ‘done’.

    On the other hand, we can look forwards and build common understanding around the quality of work which we’d like to deliver and that which is within our capacity to deliver.

    1. I think expanding the definition of “done” in 3 stages of increased complexity/capability:

      1) What the team actually gets done on every Product Backlog Item in a single Sprint.

      2) What the Product Owner considers to be “potentially shippable”. The team should be striving to realize this definition as soon as possible. The Product Owner must be able to split PBIs small enough so that the team can achieve this within the timebox of the Sprint. All the reasons why the team cannot (independently) deliver “potentially shippable” increments of Product every Sprint are impediments that need to be removed as soon as possible.

      3) Once the team has matured to the point of being able to deliver “potentially shippable” Product increments every Sprint, the team expands its definition of “done” to include more stringent quality measures and improve productivity (better/more increments delivered per Sprint). In other words, once the team establishes a “potentially shippable” definition of “done”, high-performance becomes possible.

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