The project management principle of building quality into processes and deliverables resonates deeply with the Scrum framework, particularly through the concept of the Definition of Done (DoD). For Project Managers transitioning to Scrum Masters, understanding and effectively applying the DoD is key to ensuring quality in every increment of product development. In Scrum, quality is not an afterthought but is built into every step of the process, ensuring that each increment meets stakeholder expectations and fulfills requirements.

Potential dangers for project managers, just picking out two from my experiences

Overlooking Increment-Level Quality: Project Managers may focus on task-level or work-item-level quality. In Scrum, however, the emphasis is on the increment level, ensuring that each product increment as a whole meets the DoD.

Undervaluing the DoD: The Definition of Done is crucial in Scrum for ensuring quality. Not giving it due importance will lead to inconsistencies in deliverables and stakeholder dissatisfaction.

Quality in Scrum

Definition of Done (DoD): The DoD is a clear and concise ‘list’ of criteria that an increment must meet to be considered Done. This ensures that all increments maintain a consistent level of quality and meet the criteria agreed upon with stakeholders.

Continuous Quality Improvement: Scrum encourages regular inspection and adaptation of both the product and the processes. This approach allows teams to continuously improve quality throughout the product development lifecycle. Yes, the Definition of Done will evolve! It never becomes a fixed artefact.

Stakeholder Alignment and Feedback: Regular stakeholder engagement in Scrum, especially during Sprint Reviews, but also during the Sprint itself, ensures that the product aligns with their needs and expectations, thereby maintaining quality and relevance.

Steps you can take as Project Manager to transition to a professional use of the Scrum framework:

Develop a Robust Definition of Done: Collaborate with your team and stakeholders to develop a DoD that encapsulates all quality requirements. Ensure that it is clear and understood by all team members.

Integrate Quality into Daily Processes: Make quality a focus in daily activities. Encourage team members to consider the DoD in their daily work, in the Daily Scrum, in refinement workshops, in Sprint Planning, ensuring that quality is built into the product incrementally.

Foster a Quality Mindset: Cultivate a team culture that values quality. Encourage team members to take ownership of quality in their work and to actively seek ways to improve processes and outcomes.


For Project Managers moving into Scrum, embracing a quality-centric approach through the effective use of the Definition of Done is essential. Quality in Scrum is about ensuring that each product increment meets a set standard, aligns with stakeholder needs, and contributes to the overall project objectives. This approach is fundamental to delivering high-value, high-quality products.

Next Steps

Begin by reviewing or establishing your team’s Definition of Done. Engage in discussions with your team and stakeholders to ensure alignment on quality expectations. Remember, quality in Scrum is a continuous journey, not a destination. Let’s embark on this journey towards excellence together.

Exploring this project management aspect within Scrum reveals a complex relationship between project management skills and agile practices which we only just touched upon. Project Managers can bring valuable expertise to a Scrum team, but realizing its full potential only happens when the skills are adapted and applied to each unique Scrum Team’s context.

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


If you want to take a deeper dive into the 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.


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Wishing you an inspiring read and a wonderful journey.
Scrum on.






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