Definition of Ready and Definition of Done – Important Practices

How Definition of Ready and Definition of Done help teams to achieve quality deliverables

Scrum recommends shorter delivery cycles called Sprints. The sprint can last from 1 week to 4 weeks. The work, planned for a sprint, should complete. To ensure this, two important practices used. These two practices called the Definition of Ready (DoR) and the Definition of Done (DoD).

You will often hear these concepts used by teams. These concepts ensure product quality. They also ensure that the team’s delivery aligned with the sprint goal and the product goal. They are like working agreements between the team and management/product. These ensures what all the team needs to deliver when each piece of requirement called done. Let’s talk about these two terms in more detail here.

Definition of Ready

First I will talk about the Definition of Ready or DoR. What is it? How does it help the team? And why it is important. The Definition of Ready is a checklist that the team has agreed upon and prepared in accordance with its way of working. In addition, this list is a parameter or criteria for the team to decide, in the Backlog Refinement activity, whether a story ready to include in the sprint.

Few possible items can be part of DoR like –

  • Does design completed for the requirement?  
  • Is requirement got freeze?
  • All questions/queries related to story answered?
  • Is it ready to commit in the sprint planning?
  • Is test data available for team to test?
  • Is environment available and ready for development and testing?
  • Does acceptance criteria defined for story?
  • Is story adhering to INVEST?
Definition of Ready and Definition of Done

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

Definition of Ready can vary from team to team. One DoR may not be feasible or right for another team. The team should prepare it before they start working on the project.

Definition of Done

Next, we have the Definition of Done or DoD. This ensures when the requirement done and presented at the Sprint Review. There may be different concepts for different people. For developers, a story is complete when development activities done. For testers, it is complete when testing activities done. Is a story complete when only these two activities done? Probably not.

The story has a purpose. The story has some acceptance criteria. There may be legal requirements. There may be some release requirements. Also, there may also be some security requirements. The Development and testing alone do not guarantee that a story finished. Also, this is a list that the team has agreed upon and created according to their way of working, based on the sprint goals and product goals.

Few possible items can be part of DoD like –

  • Does acceptance criteria met?  
  • Does story tested and verified?
  • Does all severe open defects tested and closed, no high priority defects open?
  • Does automation testing, if applicable, done?
  • Is story fulfilling the release requirement?
  • Does all review comments addressed?

The Definition of Done defined at the project/product level. The team can add items to it. People on the team may have different ways of calling a story Done. It defined based on the product goals and requirements. The Story not done, if does not meet DoD. It either moves to the next sprint or to the backlog.

Hence DoR and DoD helps the team to pull work which is ready to take in Sprint, worked upon and validated against DoD when done.

Hope this article would give you some idea about DoR and DoD and help you to implement with your teams appropriately.