We started this Scrum foundation series explaining we see four underlying concepts of the Scrum framework. In the past series of mails we covered the three pillars of Empiricism, the Scrum Values, and a Self-Managing and Cross-Functional Team.

The concept Done is the fourth of these concepts. It needs a self-managing, and especially a cross-functional team, a team living the Scrum Values, to make it work in a way that it brings the needed transparency with regards to the quality of your solution/product.


👉 A solution (Product/Increment/Service) the team labels as Done, meaning the solution meets the required quality measures, is ready to be released in the hands of the users, in their day-to-day life.

Being Done = meeting the required quality measures = a new Increment exists = a production release is possible.

During each of the Scrum Events, Done should receive the necessary attention and each of the Scrum accountabilities has its role to play.

So how is Done, the Definition of Done important during Sprint Planning?

Remember the objective of Sprint Planning: to have a plan for the Sprint. Why is the Sprint valuable? What can be Done this Sprint? How will the chosen work get done?

In order to come to a realistic plan it is important that the team understands the work involved. Knowing the expected quality for the solution supports the team in determining a realistic scope for a Sprint.

Without a clear Definition of Done, and having a shared understanding about it, the Scrum Team will

or select too much work (a very common situation),
or not enough (an exceptional situation),
and as such will not perform at their best.

Especially in the activity to determine how the chosen work will get done, the team needs to consider their Definition of Done.
For example, does our solution needs to comply to a standard (e.g. ISO- standards)? What quality metrics are applicable, and within which boundaries must our solution stay (e.g. reaction time less than 2ms.)?

During Sprint Planning the Definition of Done brings transparency to the Scrum Team about the amount of work needed to implement a Product Backlog Item according to the required quality measures of the solution.

Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate how you can improve the use of your Definition of Done during Sprint Planning to make your planning session more effective.

We hope you will find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

PS. Next week we’ll look at the use of Done during the Daily Scrum.


If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.


Don’t want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.

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