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 your Daily Scrum?

Remember that during the Daily Scrum the Scrum Team inspects progress towards the Sprint Goal and adapts the Sprint Backlog as needed.

Reaching the Sprint Goal without having an Increment that is Done is a contradiction in itself. An Increment that is not Done cannot be released, and as such does not bring any value to its potential users.

Therefore, when the team is discussing progress towards the Sprint Goal, they should always take the Definition of Done in account. An item cannot be indicated as done if the Definition of Done is not met. This indicator brings transparency to the team that there is still unfinished work. Instead of starting a new item, they can first finish this one. “Stop Starting, Start Finishing”.

Imagine five Product Backlog Items (PBI) have been selected in order to implement the Sprint Goal. And none of these items is implemented – i.e. integrated in the new Increment, and having met the required quality measures. This the latest by the end of the Sprint, then there is zero additional value available for the users.

If on the other hand only one PBI out of the five made it into the Done Increment, then the Product Owner can decide if this item, which meets the required quality measures, provides enough value to release to the users. At least it can be shared during the Sprint Review so the team can receive valuable feedback.

During the Daily Scrum, the Definition of Done brings transparency on the progress towards the quality measures. Without an item meeting Done, the team knows there is still work to be finished.

Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate how you can improve the use of your Definition of Done during the Daily Scrum to make your progress evaluation more effective.

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

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.

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


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