Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Various Aspects of Definition of "Done"

Various Aspects of Definition of "Done"

This item in japanese

Scrum teams use definition of “done” to assess when work is complete on the product increment.

As per scrum guide when a product backlog item or an increment is described as “done”, everyone must understand what "done" means. Although this varies significantly per scrum team, members must have a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete, to ensure transparency.

Daniel Gullo, Founder and Principal at Apple Brook Consulting, Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer, shares his views on usage of definition of “done” in his recent blog. He says that there are different contexts of “done,” which can be applied at the story level, epic level, release level, product level, and so on.

Daneil says that there are different perspectives of “done”. 

The word “done” is often used to mean “complete” as in the Development Team saying: “We are done with this story.” It is also used to indicate “acceptance” as in the Product Owner saying “This story is done.” I typically teach and coach it this way: Don’t say “done.” Instead, use “complete” and “accepted” for more specific indications of status.

Mitch Lacey, Agile Software Practitioner, Coach and Author at Mitch Lacey & Associates, describes definition of “done” at various levels as below in his blog:

Daniel defines two aspects of the definition of "done" – completion criteria and acceptance criteria:

The development team determines when the completion criteria have been met with the guidance of the scrum master.  At that point, the story is considered “complete.”.....

The product owner officially determines when these Acceptance Criteria have been met. At that point, the user story is considered “accepted.”

The first column defines the scrum activity during which the action item in column 2 takes place. Column 3 identifies which roles are chiefly responsible for the action item.

What is your definition of “done" at various levels: story, sprint, release, etc?

Rate this Article