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What is Definition of Done in Agile?

The Agile definition of done is a collection of criteria that must be completed for a project to be considered “done.” It is essentially a checklist used by Scrum teams to create a shared understanding of what is required to make a product releasable.

To fully understand the definition of done in the context of Scrum, we must first outline two of the key elements in Agile project management

  • Product backlog item: This is a specific improvement that is made to a product. Items can include bug fixes, user stories, and specifications. 
  • Product increment: This is what is produced at the end of a short development period or sprint. It combines all the product backlog items completed during this sprint.

In specific terms, the Scrum definition of done is a list of conditions that must be met to successfully mark a product increment as complete.

What are the benefits of the Agile definition of done?

Implementing the Agile definition of done offers some key advantages, which coincide with the three pillars of Scrum:

  • Transparency: Everyone on the Scrum team has a clear understanding of what constitutes “done.” This eliminates confusion and potential clashes of opinion because there is a pre-defined set of rules for what the product should look like when complete.
  • Inspection: This stage is carried out by every team member throughout the sprint, so issues can be spotted early and addressed quickly. The team can also share the product with customers for testing purposes to gather feedback and ensure their needs are being met.
  • Adaptation: After the inspection stage, improvements can be made to reach the definition of done in Scrum. These adaptations will ensure higher quality in the finished product, potentially increasing ROI and boosting customer satisfaction.

Definition of done: Agile example

In Agile project management, the definition of done is often employed when Scrum teams are creating a software product. Take the launch of a new mobile app as an example. Here, the definition of done in Agile could incorporate the following deliverables:

  • Code has been written
  • Code has been reviewed
  • Build has been deployed for testing on mobile devices
  • Tests have passed
  • Google has approved the app for accessibility 

Take a tour of Wrike to learn more about Scrum workflows and Agile project management.

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