If You Could Teach Only One Thing About Scrum, What Would That Be?

If there is one thing that I wish people would take away about Scrum and my training courses, is the importance of determining an actionable Definition of Done. To some this may sound arbitrary and silly, but in reality it is one of the most important aspects of an efficient team, and delivering a high-quality product. This is because it requires all members of the team to focus on getting the job done, and agreeing on what the ‘done product’ must look like, and  most importantly what actionable tasks need to be carried out in order to meet this objective. In my experience I found that when teams work and function in this way on a regular basis, everything starts to fall into place. 

What Does A ‘Definition of Done’ in Scrum Mean? 

In Scrum, the ‘Definition of Done’ can be thought of as a shared agreement in the Scrum Team, whereby a particular set of criteria must be met in order for the product backlog to be considered complete. More simply, you could think of it as a checklist of important activities, otherwise known as increments, that need to be completed before the product can be considered complete. 

A Definition of Done ensures that: 

🚀 The team has a common understanding of what it means for the product backlog

🚀 The product meets the quality standards that are required. 

🚀 The team can release an acceptable increment of the product at the end of each Sprint. 

🚀 The team maintains transparency and collaboration

And it typically includes criteria such as: 

🚀 Coding. 

🚀 Testing. 

🚀 Documentation. 

🚀 Integration. 

How Can We Reach a Consensus on The Definition of Done? 

When trying to reach an agreement on what the Definition of Done looks like, Scrum Teams can take the following steps in this order: 

🚀 Define the criteria for done within the Scrum Team (Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers). 

🚀 Document the particulars of the product’s Definition of Done, and ensure this is accessible and agreed upon across team members. 

🚀 Review and refine. This is typically done during the Sprint Retrospective where we reflect on the previous Sprint, and where we could improve. 

🚀 Conduct and follow a checklist to ensure the Definition of Done is met during each Sprint

🚀 Commit to continually enhancing the Definition of Done, through feedback from team members and stakholders. 

With this in place, we can truly start the inspection process, and have a critical look on what we are actually dealing with and what to do about it so that we can get the best return on our investment. And so if we are able to meet all of our criteria for a Definition of Done, then fantastic! We can keep going!

Interested to learn more about how to achieve an actionable Definition of Done, and its benefits? 

Get in touch today and let’s work together on your journey to success! 

Pragmatic Shift is a Scrum Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile Coaching consultancy that specialises in delivering Scrum.Org certified scrum courses, and helping organisations increase their business agility and product development success through agile consulting and coaching.

We firmly believe that a shift to agile is a pragmatic shift. A natural evolution from traditional project management and product management. A proven, reliable, and resilient framework for addressing compelling problems and developing complex solutions.

Over a decade’s worth of experience as an agile practitioner, agile consultant, agile coach, and scrum trainer informs our pragmatic approach to change. Agile dogma has no value in the context of product development or organisational change.

Instead, we look to start where you are, work with what you have, and make meaningful interventions that align with the objectives you are trying to achieve.

Progress over perfection.

If this sounds like a pragmatic solution to you, visit the following pages for more information.

Scrum Training: https://pragmaticshift.com/training/

Agile Consulting: Coming Soon!

Agile Coaching: https://www.thescrumcoach.uk

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